Today was my Tuesday morning ladies Bible study. I almost didn't go today because I felt so discouraged and I felt like complete failure.
I've been going through a tough time with my toddler. She's been pitching royal fits and pushing my buttons like crazy. She wakes in the night pitching fits and well it just feels like it will never end. I feel like I never get a break, not even in the night to rest. I'm exhausted and discouraged.
Making matters worse, I've been having a hard time controlling MY emotions. I'm supposed to be the adult here and yet I lose my temper and yell and react not so good.
And so after another night of being up and feeling like I want to pull my hair out from frustration, well I just didn't feel like going to Bible study to talk about God's love.
We are doing a study by Cynthia Heald called Becoming A Woman Who Loves.
I'm thinking to myself "how can I have anything to say about love, when I can't even love my own daughter propperly, when I lose my temper and yell?" I'm not even showing my own daughter the love of Christ.
I just felt completely defeated. BUT I went anyway. I figured well at least it will give me an hour break from the kids and some down time to regroup my thoughts and emotions.
Thank God I went because this is what he showed me:
The springs of love are in God, not in us. It is absurd to look for the love of God in our hearts naturally; it is only there when it has been shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit. --Oswald Chambers
After reading this quote in the study, three women (not knowing what I've been struggling with lately) all shared different experiences of when they were raising their kids and difficult times and how they got through. After that we read verse after verse on God's love....
And so the Holy Spirit spoke into my heart and said "Jennifer, use LOVE and COMPASSION with Claudia, this is what she needs. This is what she is crying out for!" It is absured to think God's love will naturally be in your heart when dealing with tough times, it is only when you rely on the Holy Spirit to "shed abroad" that God's love will shine through!!!
I realized that I was looking within to find the love I needed to deal with my difficult todder. I thought since she was MY daughter that this love should be there naturally, even in difficult moments. I had it all wrong! This love, God's love is NOT there naturally! EVER! It requires a continual reliance on the Holy Spirit!
I left that meeting a changed person. I went from defeated and discouraged to empowered!
What exactly does this look like in action?? Well it means when something goes wrong in my life, in that moment of dire need, I call out to the Holy Spirit for His power and for His help. And my cry reads something like this:
Oh God! You know that it is not in my heart naturally to love as you love so here I am! I stand in silence before you! I die to my flesh that wants to lash out and I cry out "infuse me with your POWER!" Your love is changing and it is sweet. Shed it abroad in my heart!!