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The Biggest lie

Exactly one year ago my life was turned upside down. My heart felt like it shattered into a million pieces in the doctor’s exam room. I raced out of the hospital not knowing where to go or what to do. How ironic that it was an absolutely gorgeous day when my soul felt as dark and cold as the deepest part of the ocean. I can remember so many microscopic details of that day and yet there are huge details that went unnoticed in my panic. I know exactly where I was standing in my kitchen that Friday evening when the reality of everything that had been said to me that day sunk in. I had been running around like a mad woman frantically making calls and blindly strategizing my next move. When there was nothing left to do, I stood at my kitchen counter directly in front of my silverware drawer and tried to blink away the black spots swimming before my eyes. My face suddenly felt tingly and I fought to keep my legs from collapsing under me. I couldn’t catch my breath all of a sudden. Was Robbyn stretching her feet and rump into my lungs or had all of the air been sucked from my lungs. My mom was next to me and must have sensed the turn I was taking because she hugged me at that moment, and I sunk the entirety of my 33 week pregnant self onto her.
That was it. My weakest moment.
The moment I felt completely and utterly powerless.
It was as though the ground was opening beneath me and swallowing me up.
That moment. That 30 second chunk of my life is the most powerful tool God has ever used to grab my attention.
In that moment I realized how small, weak, and powerless I actually am.
In realizing how small I am, I could truly grasp the concept of how enormous God, in all his power, really is.
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly of my weakness so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (2 Corinthians 12:9).
HIS power. MY weakness.
I have been told so many times this year, “you are so strong” “you are such a fighter”
This is the biggest lie. The exact opposite is true. I am weak. So incredibly weak. That moment in my kitchen taught me that. I had about as much control over that disease as I have over the weather. And I’m not a fighter. I have fought nothing. I haven’t fought this disease. I have just been treading water while God is fighting for me.
That moment in my kitchen a year ago taught me that my body is fragile, my mind is inept, and I. am. not. in. control.
Do you know how that makes me feel?

FREE!

It’s not up to me anymore. This cancer diagnosis doesn’t depend on how well I can fight it. It’s out of my hands.
I have a savior who fights my battles for me. That is such comforting thought. Whether I live or die (Which we all will eventually) that it’s not up to me. Knowing that it doesn’t depend on my performance is so freeing!  God had a plan for my life, and it is part of a much bigger story that I will not understand this side of Heaven and I am learning that it’s ok. I am part of a story that doesn’t revolve around me. and that’s ok. I am part of a bigger plane. (and so are you).

My heart’s desire is to stay in his will for my life and strive to be more Christ-like daily. As long as I put in the work of studying the bible, praying, thinking on the things of God, and serving others God will grow me and use me more than I could imagine.

There seem to be a pandemic in society today of self help. That you can fix yourself if you just visualize your goals enough, or organize your life the right way, or concentrate on self care.
You. you. you.
That is so much pressure.
Pressure that God never intended for you to put on yourself.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

HE will give you rest.
There is nothing you need to do but give your worries, and fears, and anxieties, and burdens to him.
The Bible isn’t another self-help book. God doesn’t want you to fix yourself.
You know why?
Because he knows you can’t.
He knows you will kill yourself trying.
He gave us the Bible to show us that it is impossible for us to fix ourselves.
We need Christ to fix us.
He is the only one who ever could, and ever will live up to the standard of perfection laid out in the Bible.
He came and did the hard work.
He lived a hard but perfect life. Never missing a step,
He chose to die a hard death.
Being tortured.
And murdered.
In public.
For you.
A sinner.
He did that so you would not have to struggle to control every aspect of your life that is clearly out of you control.
He knows we are sinners utterly unworthy of his hard death.
But he did it anyway because he loves you more than you could ever fathom loving anything.
Saying we can fix ourselves or channel our inner strength, is a slap in the face to what Jesus did on the cross for us. To say, “that’s alright, I don’t need the cross. I can fix myself” is a suicide mission ending in weariness and anguish.
I’m not saying roll over and do nothing because God doesn’t want you to lift a finger. But I have found such peace and release in handing over my life, my body, my future, my children over to God. He knows what he is doing, and I need to do the work he has set before me instead of trying to control thing I was never meant to worry about.
Another myth that many Christians believe is that God will never give you more than you can handle. Yes, he does. I think he gives us so more than we can handle just to show us how much we need him.

To show how powerless we are apart from God.
Author Jon Bloom says, “God often gives us more than we can handle to makes us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead.”
I have grown so much closer to God this year because of the realization that I am weak. I have leaned heavily on my bible, prayer, and Christian podcasts to make Christ my focus. In focusing on Christ instead of trying to fix myself I have found great peace, joy, and contentment. Without this cancer I would not have been thrust into this realization that I need a savior more desperately than I ever thought.
Jesus says “learn from me I am gentle and humble hearted.”
He didn’t say push your way to the top to get to your goals crushing people unapologetically.
He used the words “gentle” and “humble”
I have found more peace in serving those around me than I ever have spending more time than necessary on self- care. This is not to say that I am against spending time on yourself, but I think it needs to be in moderation. It’s not always about me.

SHOCKING! I KNOW!

Most of the time in this stage of my life, it is giving my time and energy to serve my family, my children and husband. But I also find great joy and fulfillment in serving at my church whether it’s teaching a lesson or wiping 15 snotty noses in children’s church.
I would challenge you to break the mold society has formed. Stop focusing on yourself so much and chase after the things of God.

You will fill that gnawing hole in you heart with Jesus and he will fill you with joy. Pour your time and energy into serving others. Meeting their needs. Humbling yourself. Spend time with your nose in your bible learning about the character of the God who chose death on a cross for you, instead of an Instagram post about 5 quick fixes to a happier healthier you.
I am weak but I have the power of the one who spoke the world into existence inside of me and that is so much more than any self-help guru can give me.

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This year has been tough I will admit but I have felt so truly blessed. The sunny days seem sunnier than they ever have. (Though not all my days have been sunny). Even cleaning up toddler vomit for 6 days straight is a job that I cherish. God has granted me the desire of my heart to care for my sweet children and if that means cleaning up puke off my pillowcase every day for the rest of my life, then I will gladly do it. I can find the joy in any task fairly easily now. And I enjoy my days rather than rushing from event to event like I did before last April.

“Suffering is designed by God not only as a way to wean Christians off of self and onto grace but also as a way to spotlight that grace and make it shine” John Piper

Let God use you as a way to display his grace to others.

I do not think you will regret it.

5 thoughts on “The Biggest lie”

  1. We are just bulbs. He is the light. And His light shines through you in an amazing way. I have thought about this same week last year for the past several days. I am sooooo grateful for where we are today, but I know that if things had turned out differently God would still sustain us.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Excellent post! God has used you in a mighty way, Miss Kari Barlow Justice! Your testimony of faith and grace radiates in your blogs. Keep fighting the good fight in the freedom of the Cross!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Kari my prayer life changed because of you, I mention your name and all the others who have asked me to pray for their healing. We now have a prayer board in the labor and delivery break room for prayer intentions to be posted so all can pray. Thank you for blessing my life when you brought Robyn into the world.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kari… I used to be a “control freak as well” but this too has taught me that God is in control and I give God all praise and glory for that!
      In the midst of the storm we have to give him praise and glory for all things 🙂 and yes it is freeing….
      I try to explain the comfort I now have … because I know in the blink of an eye it could all be taken away from me or anyone of us.
      Thanks for sharing this !

      Like

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