Life has its ups and downs.
Over the last few months I've seen both.
A few months ago, I was just feeling very down. My mom and I started a Bible study with some ladies in our community. My mom asked me to lead and it was going well. Out of what seemed like nowhere I just felt totally inadequate. I was beginning to question the sincerity of my walk with God. I was examining myself and yet beating myself to a pulp. In short, I was brokenhearted and turned my back on hope. I was looking my sin in the face and withered at the sight of it.
Yet, God restored me. He reminded me that as John Newton said, "I'm a great sinner and Christ is a great Savior"! A few days later, I was serving God with fervency again.
Things continued going quite well. I went to NEXT2010 and toured Mt. Vernon and then spent a month galavanting in the southeast with my family and friends. Of course, the time eventually came for us to come home. We had spent most of our time with some very good friends of ours and goodbye was not an easy thing for me. I was only home for two days before I left again for another week away, but those two days were miserable.
I had plenty to do, but I let my emotions get me down. Slowly but surely, they caught up with me. Several times different people who know me well and know me to be always filled with joy and always smiling commented on the fact that I was just not myself.
I had to admit to them that unfortunately, I WAS myself. Normally, they see the Holy Spirit working out the character of Jesus in my life, but I had crowded Him out and the rotten character of Victoria was showing.
During those days I saw how unkind, impatient, cynical, anxious, irritable, and even angry I really tend to be.
In the midst of it all I wrote this at a time when I finally realized what was going on and began pressing into the Lord again. I spent some time studying Nouthetic Counseling last year and learned that in most cases, when people aren't "feeling" "right" it's because they are not "living" "right". So, the best way to "feel" like doing something is just to begin doing it. This belief is rooted in Genesis 4:7.
So, I set out to do right and trusted that God would bring me back to the place of "feeling" right and truly "being" right with Him. This could sound like shaky theology, so I hope you understand where I'm coming from. I am a saved soul not by works of mine but by the grace of God and the blood of Jesus Christ. I am a sinner who has received both justification and regeneration and am now submitted to the Holy Spirit who is bringing about sanctification in my life. My sin was reigning in my life because I was neglecting my responsibility to fight it. The fruit of the Spirit was lacking because I was not communing with God through His Word, praying, or journaling.
A week later, I was able to write this with sincerity.
Since this post is so long, I'll save the rest of my thoughts for another day...