I went and saw my best friends in the world a few weekends ago. We live all over Texas so we try to get together four weekends out of the year to catch up. They've been a part of my life for more than 10 years and they know me better than almost anyone.
I obviously really needed to see them because we had a really great talk one night. I had been getting a little suffocated by the pressure I was starting to feel. I know that anyone being moved by my story or my blog is actually being moved by the Holy Spirit. But I started feeling pressure to measure up to some pretty high standards. Most places I go, I'm not annoymous anymore. I'm "Cancer Girl." And I would be a failure if God didn't get the glory and the praise for bringing us through the fire.
See, I'm slinging around some pretty big words here-- "failure, pressure, suffocated."
Because of my experience, I've had a heart for those suffering. And I was being driven by a sensational need to help. When you're sick with something like cancer (for me anyway) everything is extreme. You are REALLY sick. When you rest you need to REALLY rest. When you cry, you REALLY cry. When you praise God you REALLY praise Him! I would be playing with my kids and think, "How much longer will I get to do this? How long will I be here?" And I'd use those feelings to make every playtime "the BEST playtime ever!" (Man, I'm I excited those feelngs are gone!)
And when everything is extreme, you get really, really tired. Which led to me feeling the need to crawl under a rock...throw in the towel...bury my head in the sand...leave town and never look back! Which in turn, led to a small breakdown with the previously mentioned group of girlfriends.
Thankfully, I've got some friends who are grounded in the Word and comfortable speaking when the Holy Spirit leads. They talked to me a lot that night. And I argued a lot.
But then Pastor Larry preached this past Sunday about finding space in your life. He defined space as "the amount available beyond what is necessary." He suggested that we be spending three to four nights at home each week. I remember thinking, "yeah, right!" But at the same time, I felt relief!
We know the world is "rush, rush, rush," but Pastor Larry pointed us to Romans 12:2- "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will."
And I was happy to be reminded of the story of Mary and Martha. Jesus comes to visit them and Martha gets busy with preparations- making everything perfect, cooking, cleaning. Mary sits at Jesus' feet to listen to Him. Jesus says to Martha (Luke 10:41), "Martha, Martha... you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken from her."
2011 is all about simplifying life in our house. A few months back we started talking about moving. With MUCH apprehension. Neither of us wanted to but we kept feeling God urging us to. Finally the pieces all fell into place, and our plan was confirmed by Sunday's message. We are downsizing- living space, "stuff", Terry's commute. All of it will get scaled back to allow more "space." And hopefully we'll all find a better balance and be able to give God more time! ...and avoid future breakdowns! ;)