I woke early for a Saturday. Not all that surprising since my days have blurred. Determined to start the day on a less jittery foot, herbal tea instead of coffee. From my favorite sunny chair I prayed, help today to be different. Please God, I need today to be kind and gentle and peaceful.
Jesus Calling, for the 18th… Seek to please me above all else. Let that goal be your focal point as you go through this day. Such a mindset will protect you from scattering your energy to the winds. Without a focal point to guide you, you can easily lose your way. You inhabit a fallen, disjointed world, where things are constantly unraveling around the edges. Only a vibrant relationship with Me can keep you from coming unraveled too.
Sometimes the brick to the head is more obvious than other times. AND THEN I realized I read September 18, not April 18. Ha. A divine mistake. Thank you, Jesus.
Guilty of having lost my focal point, I see now how unprotected and vulnerable I allowed myself to be. Easily ravaged by the wind, I had indeed unraveled.
During these strange times, I’ve discovered it isn’t just me. I bet you have noticed it too. Because we are all in un-chartered waters, even those who are typically focused and anchored seem more aimless and fragile.
In general, we are just “off”, out of sorts, not ourselves. Maybe a bit more on edge, reactive, defensive and ungracious.
Healthy public discourse is gone
This pandemic is taking a toll and not in just the obvious ways. Any healthy public discourse has gone. What was once a little mud slinging from todays vantage point looks like child’s play. Now, to engage at all, promises a bloodbath.
Friday I made the costly mistake to share my opinion online. In a matter of seconds… like vultures circling for prey, the hurtful comments came with brutal force — insults, low blows and even offensive profanity. This, from my so-called ‘friends.’ Bewildered, I watched in amazement, before hitting reply. I waited for my defenders to enter the arena. When they did, things got worse, quickly. Hurt and embarrassed to have instigated it and even to be associated with such shameless people, I deleted the conversation and stood back, stunned. I recited the childhood mantra, sticks and stones may break my bones but names… and quickly decided the stupidity of it.
Unfortunately deleting the evidence did not erase the impact to my soul. It wasn’t a fleck on my shoulder I could simply brush away. I was shocked, confused, hurt and angry… to the core. But there was more to it.
Days later, still bruised, I’m grateful for the ugly incident. It became the very catalyst that has re-anchored me, re-focused me. My reaction wasn’t solely a result of the nasty facebook interaction. It was the straw for sure. But the camels back was already weighed down.
Lean on Me
Have you seen the Walmart commercial of the employees singing Lean on Me? Seeing it the first time, I cried. We do need to lean on each other. And that fact has become even more evident during our isolation. I’m grateful the un-sung heroes are being celebrated —not just the doctors and the nurses, but the techs, the admin people, the truckers and the grocery employees.
Here’s a picture of my favorite hero. Becca was able to stay in Waco finishing her last semester at Baylor while also working full time at the rehab hospital.
Lean on me too, I decide. I’m healthy, have extra time and a strong desire to help. I’ve committed to pray for two different friends throughout the days they are plugged into chemo. I text frequent encouragement to some burdened young moms, always at the ready to assist. I’m an errand runner for an elderly couple. I pray for a mother whose anguish is unrelenting as her young son is in a coma, alone. My heart is heavy for my extroverted kid who doesn’t really understand. And I’m in constant touch with my parents who can’t see visitors and whose universe is already confined to a bedroom.
With all the time in the world I chide myself, this should not be overwhelming. Why are you so fragile and sensitive, I wonder. Get a grip, Debbie!
Sometimes… it’s all just too much. The need is too great, the suffering too pervasive, and my efforts too meager. My comfortable life of oblivion has been shaken. It is as if the once muted world is now screaming and I hear every voice.
Feeling overwhelmed is not a new phenomenon. Even without a pandemic, we use strategies to cope when life gives us more than we can handle. Typically we choose the low-hanging fruit to ease the pain or at least distract us. Binge TV, banter on facebook, a glass of wine, baking goodies we don’t need. These emotional pick-me-ups are imposters, bandaids. They are teases the enemy uses to convince us we are OK. In fact, what begins as an innocent distraction can become a dependency, an addiction even. And I predict a common repercussion we’ll experience in the aftermath of the Covid19 pandemic.
Matthew 11:28 says… 28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
This is a familiar verse to me. But, while mindlessly scattering my energy, I completely missed its rich meaning. Rest in this verse is restorative soul quenching rest, not just physical rest.
Shame on me
Even though I am in His word and I talk to Jesus everyday, I’m ashamed to admit that it often takes something monumental for me to crawl into His lap and to admit defeat. To give up. To lean on Him so completely that I allow myself to be restored. That is the gracious rest only He can provide. And from that protected place I’m focused again.
When I focus my energy on pleasing Him, my efforts are simplified and their impact greater, because it’s not just up to me. The thing is… leaning on me is only possible, if I’m leaning on Him. Without Him, I can’t make a dent. Nor can I be gracious and forgiving to my attackers. I can’t carry the weight of the world. And neither can you.
Before you offer help in whatever form it takes, remember that for others to lean on you, you must lean on Him.
GodsGotThis, Debbie Hucke
Joan Schrock says
Debbie – Spot on as usual!!! My heart broke when I read about your Facebook encounter. It is so hard to imagine, but I know first hand it does! I have a friend on FB that is a woman of God, but her comments lately have me totally surprised. I have been praying for her more as I am thinking her comments are a way for her to try to regain control of her life and for her life to go back to what it was pre Covid -19. I desperately need to crawl in my Savior’s lap and rest! Thank you for your wise words and for gently guiding us to lean on Him! Stay healthy!!
Thank you Joan. Yes…people who we thought we knew are not behaving the same. Including us! Grace!
Mary Ann says
This was so so good!! So excellent!!! Keep writing my friend, keep on! This resonates with so many of us right now I am sure! Thank you!!
Im grateful to know, it’s not just me. Thanks, Mary Ann.
Marilyn Lehning says
Thanks Debbie, that is where I am, also! I have been doing daily Mass, EWTN, but stopped today, miss church so much(in house) cry all the way thru. Since my RA, not missing like others, but concerned what we will find when start up happens. 4 family members out of work. 3 grands in college, but online. My computer is my lifeline with society, worship with many churches, MJ and Greg Fitch are fantastic!!! Even have communion with them. I love your outreach! I sit with Jesus holding my hand, the left on my head, he is our strength. Years ago realized God is the only security on this planet, good will come from this event! He is letting you bless us, in his glory!!!
Yes Marilyn. He is our only security. Thank God we can’t count on that.
Debbie, ‘Jesus Calling’ is the best reminder of where we need to be and how often … in Jesus’ arms, constantly! Any day, September or April or other is a wonderful day to pick up this devotion and be reminded. We all struggle with internalizing these precious lessons from Christ, some days are better some are worse. BUT we know, and you are a great reminder, if we slow down and turn to Christ with open arms and heart He WILL comfort us, He WILL provide peace, He WILL assure us that no matter what He has our best interest at heart. God bless you for your willingness to share trials that all of us can relate to. “He’s before you, He’s beside you, He’s within you, He is with you. He is for you, He is for you, He is for you, He is for you!” I love this song, it is my new mantra and I listen to it every morning as a reminder of how to start my day and where to try to focus my mind. You’re the best, Debbie, thanks for hanging in there and with us. Terri
OH goodness Terri. You can be my cheerleader any day. But I love that thought on repeat… HE IS FOR ME. Tailor made. Thank you.
Traci Brigham says
Thank you!!! You have the wonderful ability to vocalize what so many of us are feeling. I know I truly appreciate your gift. The past week I have been going over scenarios of what the “new normal” will be when all this is over….but I just read this and now realize I don’t want to figure it out…I will leave it up to him and take this time and revel in it in His presence…what an amazing gift from Him. Blessings.
Yep. I’m with you Traci. Running ahead of Him is tempting, but futile. Thanks for your comment.
Mary J. says
I am in awe that this sharing came out today. I too have had little mental break downs lately. I know and have the tools, but do not always use them. It is easier to fall into favorite T.V. show to numb my thoughts for an hour…then another and soon hours have gone by and I feel guilty for accomplishing nothing. Then I bargain with myself…well you worked all day/week you deserve a break…you are in an essential job and are even front line to human suffering…but I find myself feeling worse and broken because I did not clean out the closet I promised my self or at least wash the dishes from my last two meals. Today’s sharing hit me in the eyes…joyful tears flowing…I realized that I have taken on too much and forgot to lean on the ONE who is always there for me and will fulfill my every need. Thank you so much.
It is a lesson we seem to need to remediate. Put on our own face mask before we can help another. Thanks Mary for ALL YOU’RE DOING!
Anne Kole says
Oh Debbie, I am grieved that you were attacked for expressing an opinion! You are a blessing to me and many others.
Your thoughts today sure resonate with me! I feel aimless without my usual routines. I am a go and do person and, sad to say, proud of it. As I try to structure my time at home, you’ve encouraged me to lean on my Savior for direction and peace. I know he holds an uncertain future and loves me.
I appreciate you so much! Remember that we don’t know the what or when or how this season of isolation will end , but we know the WHO . Jesus holds us all in his strong and loving arms. Love you Debbie.
Indeed. Thankful that Jesus is and will always be essential and no errand needed to access Him.
Eileen Mahn says
I can so relate to what you said. I have been there. Thank you for your encouraging words.
Thank you Eileen. I appreciate you bravely commenting. 🙂
Gail Cooley says
Debbie, I appreciate you sharing with others and am so sorry you were attacked and hurt on FB. I do not know how many times I say “What is wrong with people!” Grateful we have the good Lord to lean on. I empathize with your feelings about your parents. My Dad is also confined to one bedroom in his Alzheimer’s home. So grateful for his private caretaker who keeps us informed. I do not have things quite as bad as some. I have worked from home the last couple of years. Miss seeing Dad and my grandkids! Jerry’s hip surgery has to be rescheduled. Had to cancel a planned trip to Oregon, but overall we are blessed. I pray for blessings for you and yours!
I think attacks are pretty common sadly. It’s just ugly out there. Perspective is very needed. Thanks Gail.
I am so sorry for what you have had to go through on Facebook. This pandemic had a very negative effect on my activity and I was spending altogether too much time in Facebook. It reminded me of an earlier time when I became “addicted” to soap operas and realized that what I was watching was keeping me from living in the real world. That kind of thing was happening on the Facebook posts. I have since deleted my Facebook account and find it has given me a calm I had been missing. I am finding other ways to occupy my time, including Bible study plans through my Bible app. And Rightnowmedia. Thank you for always being a voice from God in “world” of anxiety and fear!
Amen Pam! I have turned off FB. I still use it to promote my writing. But it is just awful right now. Aside from some pretty hysterical memes. YES… we do have options. Rightnow media is awesome. Thanks for your comment.
Gail Moscato says
Reading this today seems to fit so close to me personally, as I am sure it does so many others. I also had someone “Come at me” in what I felt was a very ugly, unkind and hurtful way. I felt all the things you described, angry, upset, defensive, etc. It took me a few days to even feel somewhat like myself. I did a lot of praying and reflection. Your writing today helped me to put things right within myself. I am going to give it up to the Lord and continue to do things to help others and make this crazy world even just a little bit better by doing his work. Thank you so much!
I agree Gail. And I’m grateful we aren’t alone. Thankful for grace to be our constant companion. Debbie
Gail McDaniels says
“takes something monumental for me to crawl into His lap and to admit defeat.” To admit defeat is not in this fighting spirit. Thank you for writing this. Spoke to my heart.
Good to hear from you friend! It is good therapy to pour out my heart and I’m blessed that it sometimes blesses others.
Dawn Johnston says
I seriously cannot imagine someone being mean to you on Facebook, Debbie! You are the kindest, most empathetic/compassionate, beautiful woman ever. But you are right, people are not themselves right, myself included. So sorry that happened to you. …and your message of crawling into God’s lap and surrendering, well, I so needed to hear that as I have been trying to rely on my own strength, which is pretty much at an all time low at the moment. Our God, who loves us more than I can imagine, is full of wisdom, strength, grace, mercy, and compassion and wants us to surrender/crawl in his lap/talk to him and just accept his love and guidance. Thank you for the timely reminder. The children’s song of “Jesus Loves Me this I Know” comes to mind.
Praying for you my friend. This storm of the pandemic is impacting each of us uniquely. But your storm… is mighty fierce. Thanks for your comment and stay in His lap Dawn. It’s the safest place.
Thank you for sharing your Facebook story. I can’t believe what people say on posts. We all have different opinions about this Pandemic. I’m not a scientist or politician and can’t say what we should do or not do to stay safe. I do know that my faith is in HIM. God is in control and handles everything and knows the outcome. I don’t like being told by politicians what I can and can’t do but I do want to follow procedures and be safe and do my part. We should be encouraging each other in this frustrating time. We all need to pray for healing and calm as well as peace. It is hard for everyone. Each house has its own challenges. But I know I have God in my life and fear has no place in it. I will trust in HIM! Thanks for your blog Debbie! You are great at writing what I need to hear!
Thanks Diane. Good to hear from you. Yep… there are alot of arm chair quarterbacks and all have limited facts. But extending grace seems to be missing at times. And I agree. I’m not fearful. Just frustrated. I’m delighted you appreciate reading my blog. Debbie