I haven't really let on, but the past week has been a struggle for me emotionally. Ever since church, despite my continued efforts at giving myself pep talks, praying, listening to worship music, and talking to a friend, I've been feeling weighed down. I've been feeling kind of oppressed. I've been feeling a bit defeated.
The parenting struggles have been many, the exhaustion has been exceeding, and the reminders of the life we had for a while are many. There have been multiple avenues bringing me back, and not as many leading me forward this week. I know that happens from time to time for everyone, so I haven't been trying to dwell on it much.
But a dear friend pointed out midweek that she could tell, and we talked about it.
Today, we prayed about it together. She lead me to break off the spirit of defeat that has been weighing me down. I feel silly admitting the spirit of defeat, because obviously, from outside looking in, I haven't been defeated.
As we prayed and commanded it to go, she reminded me to ask God to fill me up with something to replace the defeat, to speak to me or show me something, and fill me with his love and peace.
Almost as soon as we finished praying, I felt my shoulders rise and my mind felt clearer.
Then, I heard "I know you feel defeated, but I AM undefeated. I AM un-defeat-able."
I sat there, quiet, thinking about it, and feeling myself regain the consciousness that I had been lacking for most of the week, just muddling through each day.
I have never been really into sports. I collected basketball cards as a child for no reason I can discern as an adult. I've watched them occasionally, but I've never been a die-hard fan of any sort of sports team.
But here I was, sitting there, hearing God speak to me in sports analogies. Perhaps it's because my kids like to play ball. Who knows.
It's been almost 51 weeks exactly since the children and I last saw their dad, or since they had any contact with him whatsoever (despite our efforts to be in contact with him over the weeks).
I felt Him telling me, "You've played these last 51 innings, batting hard. You've been struggling through them on one team, with half of your team having forfeited already. You've pressed on. You've played hard. Overtime is done."
I realized that when my former husband and I were raising kids, we went to church, but we didn't really do much more than that in regard to God in our family. We were our team, and for most of that time, I really was the only one fully invested in outcome.
"You're on my team." I had goosebumps, chills, and tears.
Of course I am, I thought. But I felt it again. "You're on MY team."
"I'm the coach. I'm the quarterback. I'm the MVP. I AM. And my team is bigger than yours. You aren't going at it alone on my team."
He's right. I am on His team. I have been all along. He's been on my side, and I have been on his. But I haven't fully invested in my draft, because I've been still longing for my old team. That team that failed me. And why should I want to play alone, investing in that team, when I have the undefeated champion right alongside me. He's got it all under control after all. He defeated death.
I realized also that, as I have been reminded numerous times by my friend, that we aren't supposed to live life alone. We don't live life alone. He gives us people to support us, to play on our team with Him, and to help through each tricky inning. I know this. I've known it.
But, apparently, I didn't see it as clearly as I should have, and God had to show me through sports. Go figure. I'm an art person. I married a sports person. My oldest son is definitely a sports person.
Go, God! Go, Team!