I've had lots of interesting daily readings recently, but today I'm finding that inspiration isn't striking even by reading them back. Recounting the day's events wouldn't help as it's been a day completely devoid of positivity, on my part at least. It's the first day of the summer holidays, the children have played nicely (mostly) and Bryan is home, it's Friday night, but it's not helping today.
I feel I've let you down, Father. I feel as if today I should be on top of the world because some wonderful things have happened to me in the last couple of days, and I have some great friends who have been so kind and generous with their love and their acceptance and their time; and above all I know that you are my loving, forgiving heavenly Father and I am your child. But I don't feel free and I don't feel as if I can get rid of the weight of stuff I'm carrying round.
Today I've been short tempered and miserable. I had a cry earlier and thought that I might not stop but I had to pull myself together as I was in danger of frightening the kids. I've forgotten to pick up Katy's new medicine today from the chemist despite my reminder system that has worked ok so far. What a terrible mother. Katy's tantrums haven't been anything out of the ordinary but today I've struggled to cope. I had to go outside earlier on because I thought my head would explode as she was shrieking so loudly and for so long. I got some gardening done this morning and Elizabeth has been lovely helping me shop this afternoon but my capacity for delight today is zero. I should be feeling happy and unburdened and light as a feather but I'm not; that familiar little voice in my head is telling me that I can't even get that right. Is there any wonder that I'm still a mile away from you?
What is it, Lord? I believe the right things, I say the right things. I have renounced and I have declared and I have confessed and I have cried and I have prayed. I know that you are who you say you are and I want to be more like you. I don't want to struggle to keep up all the time. I don't want to feel destined to fail all my life. I just don't know how to give you all the rubbish in my life and leave it with you. I'm starting to think I'm going mad.
I know that the negative voices in my head aren't real; or alternatively that they are real but they are not to be listened to. They're lies. Some months ago I was feeling invincible and I asserted that there was nothing in the world or beyond it that could stop me from being who you want me to be, or stop me from winning the battle that is all around us, since I fight in your name. The following day I found a breast lump that the doctor thought was serious. It turned out not to be, but not until it'd shaken me profoundly. After that Katy had her operation that didn't work and one problem has followed another. I haven't felt invincible since then, and it feels as if the day I asserted those things I was writing cheques I can't cash. I should feel invincible, because we have the victory in you, I haven't felt that confidence since that day. I've just been slowly sinking with the weight of things on top of me.
People have shown me how to overcome all this and it still isn't helping. I feel pathetic. I feel as if I can't even be honest about how I feel because it's getting silly. There comes a point when people feel that they've helped all they can and there's something wrong with you if all their help hasn't helped, and I feel today as if that's where I am. It's embarrassing to admit that people have talked and prayed and yet I can't seem to do my bit. Maybe there really is something wrong with me.
So, give me a hint, Lord. Is this hormonal, or am I just tired? The Holy Grail of the good night's sleep has eluded me recently, it's true, and since I've had the children I am all too aware of how a lack of sufficient sleep can distort things and make everything much darker. Maybe an early night and all will be well.
Is this the devil? All the thoughts that I have that bring tears to my eyes afresh each time; things like, 'You can't do this' and 'You can't get anything right' and 'why do you think this will be any different?' - they are not good thoughts. They are not your voice. How do you do that 'Take every thought captive' thing? I'm sorry - I can't seem to get the hang of it.
I don't know how to. I want it to stop, because I can't seem to learn how to beat it myself. I can't get control of it. I can't replace something that is obviously untrue with something true in time to stop the untrue thing from hurting me. I hear 'You can't get anything right' and although I can rationalise this and tell myself that it absolutely isn't true, in my life I have got lots of things right, there's a part of me that soaks it up and winces anyway. It hurts me. If I don't believe it, why does it hurt? This is sounding increasingly bizarre, isn't it? I need to get a grip. I'm going to stop.
Father God, I know that you can do anything, and I need you to do something here because I can't do it. I feel weighed down and I don't know how to shrug it off and leave it with you. I don't know how to put on the armour you've given me and I don't know how to use it in a fight. I know that you have the victory but I'm struggling to believe I have any chance of winning in this particular skirmish. Do I settle for just plodding along and being me? Just getting by? Meeting you in heaven and hearing, 'You could have done so much more?'
Am I over-thinking this whole thing? It's not beyond the realms of possibility that this whole thing is much simpler than I'm making it, but you know that from inside my head things don't look simple. I don't have to tell you how I'm feeling in order for you to understand and for that I'm so grateful because I don't feel as if I can explain properly. Just help me, will you? Tell me.
Well, I said I didn't have any words today. Turns out I found some after all. Pity that none of them were particularly positive.
I'm sorry about that too.