I woke up in a bad mood today.
Yesterday was great. I woke up early and did my Bible study, wrote, had breakfast with my husband, and got ready for the kids to wake up. I was on top of everything. I was smart and articulate and funny and caring.
But today I woke up in a bad mood. I couldn’t fall asleep for hours last night. I wasn’t tired and my dog kept crying to be let out and I had to keep sitting up and telling her to shut up and go to sleep and stop being lame. I already let you out once. You are not a human infant and you do not control me. Go to sleep and leave me alone.
When I finally did fall asleep, my husband’s second alarm started going off while he was in the shower and I couldn’t remember his password. Then I had nightmares for the rest of my night.
I finally woke up, hours after I should’ve been up, with a heavy weight on my chest: the realization that life is about to get hard. I was already exhausted and a little terrified. Now I’m feeling sad and lonely.
I rolled myself out of bed and stumbled out to the kitchen to make coffee. (Meanwhile, my dog is traipsing through the house like she just had the best night of sleep in her life. I hate her.)
Steaming cup in hand, I settled in on my soft, purple couch to just exhale and drink in for a few minutes before waking the kids. I desperately needed to turn my attitude around before starting our day.
God, help me move past my sadness this morning. Pull me up from this mucky attitude. I don’t want to do what I’ll have to do, but I need to get through these next few weeks with a smile. I need to focus on today and not what’s coming.
I don’t often “hear” God, but today it was loud and clear. Pick up your Bible.
No thanks, I’d just rather sit here and tell you how I need fixing.
Your Bible. Psalms.
Okay. But are you sure about Psalms? Proverbs is full of wisdom and I think I need wisdom today, God.
So I flip through my beat-up, marked-up, pages-falling-out Bible to Psalms, wondering who ever told me it was in the middle of this book. It’s clearly not.
Sigh. Okay. Here I am. Psalms. Any particular verse in mind?
Read what you see there.
I had opened to Psalm 91. I started reading:
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”
I exhale and the weight feels a little lighter and I whisper the words again.
He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.
And the weight is lighter still.
He’d led me to exactly what I needed. Here I sat thinking I needed sleep and coffee and a better outlook on life. What I really needed was a refuge, shelter, safety. I’ve been very busy being strong for everybody and haven’t let myself feel my feelings in a safe place. A place where I’m cared for and loved and sheltered. A place where I’m understood and listened to.
God is my REFUGE. I can trust Him with my feelings, all of them. Sadness, frustration, anger, fear, depression, loneliness. Joy, contentment, belonging.
These things are safe with Him and I am known and understood. I can rest in safety. So when I’m struggling though this coming season, I can trust His might arms to hold me up and carry me through.