Webster defines drifting as “floating or being driven along by a current of water.” The “drift” in my heart didn’t happen quickly. There was no storm or high wind that came along and forced me into rapidly wrong thinking. It was slow. Subtle. “Explainable.”
As I’ve prayed and thought about it, there are two “explainable” factors that have contributed to the drift in my heart.
The first is stress from providential things that have been added to my plate. In recent years I have walked through some very weighty issues involving people I love that have yanked at my heart. Additionally, my husband experienced changes in his ministry responsibilities, resulting in him unexpectedly leading a team to plant a new church this past January. (You can learn about Redeemer Church at http://www.lakenonachurch.com.)
Some of what I’ve walked through with people dear to me have been the most difficult and heart wrenching circumstances of my nearly 60 years. A few other situations have been wonderfully joyous. Stress can come from both positive and negative sources.
The pressures in my life have been good for me in many ways. I have learned things about myself and about God that have enriched my relationship with Him. I have had to cry out for His help, strength, wisdom, conviction, comfort and grace in new ways — and anything that leads me to do that is welcomed! I have watched Him do amazing things through the hard situations, including taking the saddest of circumstances and bringing redemptive good from them all.
The drift from prizing godly womanhood has happened because I’ve allowed the pressures of life to distract me. Rather than finding peace and joy in my womanly responsibilities, I have viewed them as just “more things” on my task list. I’ve allowed understandable times when I needed to give myself a break to turn into a growing attitude of entitlement that I deserved break after break because of all I was going through. I’ve also become resentful when others didn’t seem to “get it” that I needed those breaks and expected me to keep serving them rather than them serving me! (How’s that for real honesty? Smile.)
Eric Liddell of Chariots of Fire fame said, “I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run I feel His pleasure.” I, too, believe God made me for a purpose, and he also made me female. And when I’m fulfilling my created design I feel His pleasure.
Since I returned from my retreat I have found fresh joy in caring for my home and family. I don’t feel as much like I’m going through the motions and checking tasks off my list. I’m still working for my son and serving alongside my husband in our new church — things I never imagined doing in this season of my life. But I’m starting to experience the stirrings of new life, fun ideas and fresh motivation for serving my family. The changes in my heart are starting to affect my decisions and choices.
And I’m opening up my heart and struggles to others, which is a gracious means of accountability for change. The power to change comes only from God — but the simple truth is that when God changes the heart, visible differences happen. I’m seeing the first fruits but have quite a ways to go.
Thanks for listening!
P.S. Visit tomorrow for the second explanation for my season of drifting.