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31Days to Keep a Tender Heart: October 5

I have a whole list of ideas to write about today, but I’m having a hard time writing anything about any of them. So, I think I’m going to write about how I’m feeling swirly and how God is teaching me to steward my heart when I feel this way. I’m hoping that if I write through them, then they will be easier to identify, understand and resolve.
I’m not sure exactly how I feel, but I know that I feel partly tired, partly fine and partly discouraged. The way that my feelings are swirling together inside my head and heart make it seem difficult to pin them down and figure out where they are coming from.

Feelings are still hard for me to identify in myself. If you’re having a feeling, then I can probably tell you what it is with little to no difficulty. But, figuring me out is harder. I think this is because I split off my uncomfortable feelings for so long. I’m learning how to recognize them now, but it’s still hard sometimes. When I have more than one feeling at the same time, I am even more confused and I think that this is part of my problem today.
This morning, I spent time being quiet and managing some details that I was behind on. This helped me to feel accomplished and pleased. This afternoon, I went to work for a few hours and it was good, but tiring. I’m now averaging 25 appointments a week, which is a huge blessing and exactly where I think that I want to be. It’s just that I’m still adjusting to the increase in time and energy spent at work and learning how to balance it well with my other desires and commitments. So, right now I feel more tired than excited and blessed.

Last night, I was catching up with one of my favorite people. She has known me for almost 10 years and is very familiar with my singleness struggle. After she listened to me talk about my family, she looked at me with kindness in her eyes and asked, “How are you doing with everyone in your family being married or almost married?”
I appreciated her question and I wanted to avoid it. I answered it honestly and said, “Sometimes it’s OK and sometimes it’s not.” I was thankful and relieved that she is so familiar with my feelings in this area that I didn’t have to spell them out yet again. But, her question has stayed with me all day today. I keep returning to it. And, I add to it, “Why am I still single?” Everyone else is married. Almost my whole family is married. Almost all of my friends are married. And sometimes it’s OK, but sometimes it’s not.

In the moments when it’s not OK, I feel discouraged. And, when I’m discouraged, I sometimes want to quit. I was driving today and I told God that I was having a hard time believing that I would ever meet someone that I would want to marry. I didn’t want to have this conversation with God because I knew that it was stemming from these swirly feelings I was having. But I’m trying to run to God, not away from Him, so I decided that I would be honest with Him about what I was thinking and feeling. I offered Him the real me and hoped that He would change my feelings and help me to receive my singleness as a gift for me today.
Later, when I was worshipping at Harvest Bible Chapel for their Sing Out Loud evening, I told God that I was sorry that my faith had been so weak and that I doubted what I cannot see or imagine. I told Him that I really want to trust Him to provide for this desire of my heart. I also asked Him to please help me persevere when my feelings get this way and to remind me to rejoice in Him so that those feelings will change.

All of the sudden, I was completely present with God and all of the people worshipping around me. I felt joy that we were all gathered together on a Friday night to sing praise to God. I felt graced with the ability to stop worrying about the future in that moment and savor the pleasure of the present. I felt God receive my swirly feelings as I offered them up to Him and exchange them for His peace. I felt Him accept me as I was, in spite of my doubts and swirly feelings, and richly bless me with His love. I felt thankful that God had given me real joy in His presence yet again.
Now, I’m back at the HOP for my first Nightwatch in a long while and I feel much better. I’m still physically tired, but praising God has really calmed my swirly feelings. I also feel affirmed in walking through this process of having lots of different feelings that I don’t understand, bringing them to Him and trusting Him to show me how to handle them well.

Still counting gifts:

·         #480: Giving myself permission not to go running

·         #481: Drinking coffee in the sun room

·         #482: Time and space for myself

·         #483: Lunch with my dad and the way that His deep faith challenges me

·         #484: God gave me energy to go to work

·         #485: How laughter at just the right moment can be very healing

·         #486: Some of my favorite left-overs for dinner
  •    #487: Lots of worship and prayer between 7:30 PM and midnight


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