confessions part 2

Here is an excerpt from part 2 of the post i wrote for the Sovereign Grace Pastor’s Wives blog:

Phase 5: This is much harder than I thought it would be

Over time the comfort of ordinary rituals, and the exhilaration of being part of a new adventure faded. Once the blur and novelty wore off, I found things that used to be second nature, gradually harder to do. I wasn’t curled up in a dark closet in the fetal position or anything, I just felt an over-arching malaise. Sometimes it was hard to tell if I was physically tired, sad, or just plain lazy. Everything from getting dressed and presentable in the morning, to routine housework, or even just going out of the house felt very hard. As a result, my home was less tidy than usual, my day to day appearance more -eh hem- organic than usual, and I felt tempted to be isolated rather than enjoy fellowship with others. What was it? Was I depressed? Was I mourning? Was I just being lazy and self indulgent? Perhaps all of these things- I don’t know, but what I do know is that God used this season of my life to humble me and teach me greater dependence on Him.

Looking back, I think there were several things that contributed to this miserable season of my experience. One factor was that while I fully anticipated the pain of leaving my beloved family (which was still more painful than I expected), I totally underestimated the pain of leaving my church family. I missed my church in Maryland. I missed the comfort of being known and knowing others around me. I missed well-established biblical fellowship. I missed my staff wives growth group. I missed my role in the women’s ministry. It was hard to hear about life moving forward in Sovereign Grace Church without being part of it. Another factor was the siren songs of self pity and self indulgence. There was a subtle (or not so subtle) feeling that hey, I just did something really hard and painful so I’m entitled to comfort/console/reward/distract myself with food, phone calls, and Facebook. Living such an indulgent life is depressing. Obviously, and I know this – I’m a pastor’s wife for crying out loud – there was no comfort, consolation, reward, or escape found in these things. There was only the downward spiral of failure and guilt. I have been well taught and know that “the path of duty is the way of safety” but I wandered from that path, gave myself a pass on a lot of my duties because I was grieving, and the result was that I was more miserable.

My husband had the difficult job of being compassionate and understanding, but not letting me continue in this downward spiral. Jason was extremely patient, but challenged me as well. Part of his leadership included constantly reminding me of various aspects of the gospel, praying for me, supplying me with good materials to read or listen to, sending me to the local coffee shop to get vision for my life as a wife, mother, and homemaker. But his leadership also included extremely practical things like holding me accountable to limit my time on the computer (for a month I only turned it on during weekends), me going on the South Beach diet to break some unhealthy eating habits (Jason didn’t suggest the diet. He’s brave, but not stupid), and my incorporating exercise into my week (jazzercise – and yes, I’m still looking for that perfect set of coordinating leg warmer/sweatbands ). Within a month I started feeling much better. These things seem so unspiritual, but I think because doing them required such dependence on the Holy Spirit, such brutal battle with my flesh, that I really saw the benefits in other areas of my life that required desperate, dependent self-control. I can’t help but adding that I was truly surprised that a huge spiritual emphasis God had for me during the first year of my relocating was the need to cultivate self control. Whether it was self control over unhelpful thought patterns, the use of food or entertainment for wrong reasons, or reigning in emotions and feelings, I discovered (and continue to discover) that self control is indeed a wall of defense particularly during times of emotional vulnerability.

The rest of it it right here.


5 thoughts on “confessions part 2

  1. Thank you, Laurie. We moved 6 months ago. It was only the next town, but I’ve been feeling some of the same emotions and feeling rather puzzled by it. I really needed to hear what you said. Thank you for sharing. It ministered to me greatly.

  2. awesome post, Laurie. SO much of it was applicable to me–some totally separate from the context of relocation, and some in light of having changed churches 8 months ago. really helpful…and the ending was just beautiful. thanks so much for sharing your heart…it’s nice to hear from you in blog-land again 🙂

  3. Laurie,
    I appreciated the writing of your journey of the past two years. God has been so faithful to show you many things along the way. It was wonderfully written and the heart of the message so Christ honoring. In Christ Alone! Debbie

  4. Great reminders, once again! I have thought about your post so many time since reading it a few days ago. The Holy Spirit uses it to remind me that I need to stick to my duties, regardless of my feelings of drudgery or “need for me time.” I am safest where He has placed me. Thanks for being so faithful to recount your journey so all of us can benefit. Again, so glad to be with you!

  5. Laurie, this relo series has been such an encouragement to me!! Many of these things were things that I felt/wrestled through, etc, when I moved to Chesapeake to marry Danny, leaving a very familiar and loved church behind. It’s encouraging to know that I’m not the only one who faces these things…and helpful to see some of the ways that you’ve combated it.

    Thank you!

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