What I’m Learning about Loneliness

Gina Butz identity, trials 2 Comments

What I'm learning about loneliness

photo by Jean Garber

It’s time for me to admit something I wish were not true: in this season of life, loneliness has been a frequent companion of mine.

If it were up to me, my life would be a constant episode of Friends or Cheers or Seinfield-living in the assurance that I belong to a tight-knit group of people whose doors are always open to me, and who are seemingly always available. Sure, I’m an introvert, but I want to know that someone’s there if I need them.

Perhaps my expectations are a wee high.

But we all want to be known, to belong, to be pursued, to be loved. Loneliness feels like a stamp of disapproval, like you somehow missed the invitation to the party.

Whenever I have encountered loneliness in my life, I have begged God to take it away. This time around, I feel Him asking me to linger in it a little longer, because loneliness has something to teach me.

This is what I am learning about loneliness:

It is not an indictment. I have remained silent about being lonely because it feels sometimes like a judgment; there must be a reason I’m lonely. Like maybe I’m really unpleasant to be around and no one’s telling me (although I’m confident enough to doubt this is the case. I like me. I can’t be the only one). In the void, the enemy will speak shame to the lonely, keeping us locked in silence.

Sometimes loneliness just is. It’s not the result of doing something wrong, or something wrong with you. It’s just a character in this chapter of the story, and God’s writing a good story for each of us.

There is a difference between loneliness and being alone. Several weeks ago, my husband went on his first long trip in awhile. I was achingly lonely, even though I interacted with plenty of people. Last week, he was gone again for another week, but I felt content to be by myself, breathing in the silence and enjoying more time to think.

You can be alone and not lonely. And you can be surrounded by people and feel terribly lonely. It’s good to recognize the difference.

Lots of people are lonely. Sometimes I wonder how many of us sit in loneliness, wishing someone would reach out. Imagine all the people who could be finding each other if only we would stop being silent about our loneliness. But again, shame wants us to believe we are the only ones.

The lonely ones are probably the most unexpected. My guess is most leaders are lonely. Think of our pastors, our bosses, the famous men and women we admire from a distance.

You know what that distance does? It isolates. The pressure to fit an image, the way position or status makes it hard to relate to others-they make it a challenge for many to find people who relate to them as peers. They might need companionship the most.

Loneliness pulls back the veil. One of the most frightening aspects of loneliness is that it exposes what we hide in our busy activity. It shows how much we hunger for companionship, what we most deeply desire, and how easily our souls settle for lesser things.

It is an invitation to solitude and silence. Sometimes I shy away from solitude and silence because they feel too much like loneliness. But loneliness is becoming an invitation into these very practices that are so necessary for my soul. Here, loneliness can become not only a teacher, but a friend in itself, leading me to places where God will meet me.

In the allegory Hind’s Feet on High Places, the protagonist, Much Afraid, is given two companions for her journey: Sorrow and Suffering. She is loathe to take their hands, but the more she does, the more strength they give her.

Loneliness is another unwanted companion for many of us, but as we take its hand, we may learn it is not to be feared as much as we believe. Rather, it is a place where we can meet God in our deepest hunger and desire, where He can teach us.

 

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On Learning to Be Quick to Call for Help

Gina Butz dependence on God, faith 0 Comments

Do you call on God for help?

photo by Pavan Trikutam

“Ring! Ring!”

These words were often heard in our house when our children were younger, usually accompanied by giggles, peppered with a little desperation.

They were the distress call from our daughter, translating to, “Daddy – my big brother’s playing with me and he’s getting a little too rough and left to my own devices I’ll probably retaliate in a way that I’ll regret, or at least he will. Save me!”

You can see how we needed a code word to avoid her having to scream all that.

It started as a simple conflict resolution skill – if it’s getting past “this is fun” into “he’s sitting on my head and it hurts,” she called out, “Ring! Ring!” and she knew daddy would come to her rescue.

Initially, her “Ring! Ring!” cries were a little frantic and uncertain. She was used to having to stand her own ground with her brother when they wrestled, and she didn’t know if she would be rescued. After awhile, she realized that daddy really would come readily when she called.

Not only would he come, but he would scoop her up and whisk her away, and what was distressing transformed to joy. He was her knight in shining armor. I think she secretly hoped for a chance to call. She loved it when daddy showed up.

Whenever I think of her “Ring! Ring” I am reminded of my heavenly Father. I have always been a fiercely independent, “thanks, but I’ve got this” kind of girl when it comes to life. I am often so convinced that I can handle life on my own that when it comes to the places where I can’t, I forget that my Father is so able and willing to respond to my “Ring! Ring!”

I’m not talking about the kind of faith that uses God as a last resort, or sees Him as only a lifeline when we’re in trouble. I want my “Ring! Ring!” to more and more change from the hesitant, questioning cries that mark young faith, to confident, joyful expectation that cries out in awareness that our God is never far away; a faith that does not trust in our own ways, our own strength, but immediately recognizes our helplessness and His great power and love.

Last night as I went to bed, the weight of the details of life hung heavy. Between work and writing and parenting and impending visitors and a soon to be traveling husband, I was tempted to be anxious and wonder if I could make it all happen.

I was reminded in that moment that our Father longs to intervene. He wants to take those burdens. In exchange, He wants to give us the peace, energy, wisdom and power to do what He has called us to do.

So this morning when I woke up, I called for help. And God came to my rescue, reminding me that He’s got today. He’s got me. He’s got this. He’s got us. So call, friends.

“The Lord your God is with you; He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you; He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17

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It’s All in How You Look at It

Gina Butz gratitude, perspective, trials 0 Comments

Are you keeping the right perspective on your life?

photo by Leon Seierlein

So I live in my car. I mean not really, but it feels like it sometimes. It’s not unusual for me to spend 3-4 hours driving on a given day. And suffice to say it’s not my favorite activity.

Lately, though, my perspective on my mobile prison has been changing. I’m coming to appreciate this time. After all, usually it means I’ve got kids in the car-not just mine but others. I am privy to conversations they have with one another, about subjects I would otherwise not know. Other times it’s just me and my own kids, talking, laughing, observing, and just existing together. It might be the only time of the day I have their undivided attention, and they mine.

This driving time is also a forced time of solitude. I do some of my best thinking, blog post and book brainstorming, praying, and, naturally, just talking to myself, in the car. I can’t multi-task in here (truth be told, I am writing this post in my car. Yep, I’ve just given up trying to exist in my house). I have to slow down and just be.

Someday I won’t have to spend this much time driving. And I will miss that time with my kids, eavesdropping on their lives. I will miss the silence it affords me to actually hear myself think. I will have to carve out other time for prayer and pondering. I will need to find other ways to be unhurried.

So I could look at all these hours as wasted, or I could see how God is redeeming this time. I could write them off as an inconvenience or I could be thankful for what it brings to my life. It’s all in how I look at it.

This is true of so many aspects of my life. I despise cooking (is there a stronger word than despise? I would use it), but I’m thankful I have people for whom to cook. Cooking reminds me that I don’t have to be the best at something in order to still be a blessing.

I’m not a fan of how much work our house requires, but boy am I glad we have one. I wish there were a way I could clean my house and have it stay that way, but the cleaning humbles me and gives me an opportunity to bless the ones I love.

I would gladly never look another receipt, budget, or anything else related to our finances again. But when I do, I am reminded that we are so very blessed to have what we need, and more.

I wish I didn’t have the responsibility of feeding and walking a dog, but I know how much I would miss her company. She slows me down and forces me to get out into nature. She literally helps me stop and smell the flowers.

Working with people is hard, but what a blessing to have meaningful work. The problems that arise are an opportunity to move toward others with truth and love. The challenges keep me dependent on God.

I would love a struggle free life, but the trials are what keep me returning to Him. They highlight my humanity and His divinity, and remind me that I always have a place to go for what I need.

What’s the thing in your life you wish you didn’t have to do? What’s the activity that asks more than you feel like you can give? What road would you rather not walk?

Maybe it’s changing diapers or grocery shopping or homework or conflict management at work or driving all over kingdom come. Maybe it’s something much more wearying and painful.

Whatever it is, none of it is wasted. Someday we will look back and see the blessing in it, God’s hand at work, how it changed us for good.

So why wait? Why not look now for the blessing? Why not choose to see how it can be used for good? It might be a challenge, like panning for gold. But it’s there. God redeems it all. He uses it all. It’s all in how we look at it.  

 

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Redefining Success

Gina Butz expectations, identity 2 Comments

What does success really look like?

photo by Edu Lauton

It’s no secret to people who know me that I like to be successful. I tend to shy away from activities if I know I can’t do them well. And by well I mean better than anyone else (ugh-it sounds worse outside of my head). Average is Gina’s F.

This kind of thinking brings to mind the story of the talents from Matthew 25. One servant receives five talents, another two, and another one. Those with five and two make the most of what they have, investing them wisely and doubling what they have. But the servant with one talent does nothing with it. He wastes what he has been given.

I’d like to think that I have five talents, nay, ten talents. Oh what I could do with ten talents. But in some situations, I realize I might only have two. Maybe even just the one. That shouldn’t make a difference, but it can to me. I allow what I think I have to influence how much I will put myself out there. I become more focused on how using these talents will make me look than on being a good steward of them. I get distracted by comparing my talents with the talents of others. I think more about what they can do for me, than what I am doing with them for Him.

Take writing, for example. The more I am exposed to successful writers, the easier it is for me to doubt that what I write is worth putting out there. Am I successful if I don’t have the same following as them? Am I good enough if my posts aren’t wildly popular? Should I even bother? I see the success of others, and it’s tempting to think that if I can’t do that, I should just give up.

I need to redefine success.

Because according to this story, success is not about how much you have, how much people recognize what you offer, even what an impact you make. Success is being faithful and obedient with what he has given youTwitter , whether it’s a little or a lot.

So being successful as a writer is not about the number of likes and followers and retweets. It’s about listening to God’s voice and sharing whatever words He gives me because He asked me to share them.

And being successful as a parent is not about our kids’ achievements. It’s about believing that God has given us responsibility and resources to pour into our kids, claiming grace for what we lack, and leaving the results to God.

And being successful in our work isn’t about attaining more financial security or that corner office, but using the gifts He has given us to the best of our abilities in whatever space God has called us to work.

And being successful in life isn’t about creating the perfect amazing outward life, but about walking the long and dusty road with Him day in and day out, taking each next step as He leads regardless of who sees it.

In all these activities, our responsibility begins and ends with faithfulness and obedience. What He does with what we offer is up to Him. Whether He brings great fruit and influence and world change, or whether it falls on deaf ears and closed eyes, we have been successful if we show up.

So how have you been looking for success in your life? And what would it look like to simply be faithful and obedient today?

 

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Don’t Forget to Breathe

Gina Butz anxiety, dependence on God, faith, grace, prayer, rest 0 Comments

don't forget to breathe

photo by Jake Givens

In the quiet of a dimly lit room, standing unsteadily on a foam mat, wondering if everyone behind me was judging my form (they weren’t), I tried to focus. Arms up, down to prayer, bend over. Lift halfway, down again, now back up and reach . . . and oh yeah, don’t forget to breathe.

It seems like the lamest command one human could give another, “Don’t forget to breathe.” We breathe on average 17,000+ times per day involuntarily. I have done it for over 40 years. That’s, like . . . (I don’t do math) uh, a lot of breathing. I should be practiced by now.

And yet. Every time our sweet yoga guide said it, I realized I was not breathing. So focused on the action I forgot to inhale and exhale.

When I did breathe, my body relaxed. I sank deeper. I became more aware of everything I was doing. The places that were tight, needing more attention, spoke to me.

Our instructor pointed out that the Jewish name for God-Yahweh-was meant to be breathed. It’s the only consonants in the Hebrew alphabet that are not articulated with the lips and tongue. So as you breathe in and out, you can say the name of Yahweh. That is what we practiced. Yah-weh. Yah-weh.

A way of breathing that reminds us who is with us and what He offers. It calls us to slow down, lean in, be aware that the very breath of God is in us.

So I’ve been trying to practice this, in the moments when life feels a little rushed, too overwhelming, too hard. We must remember to breathe.

Don’t forget to breathe . . . 
when that guy in front of us is driving 40 in a 55 and there’s no possibility of passing . . . Yah-weh . . . we breathe in patience and peace and the knowledge that we will get there eventually. Then we breathe out grace toward those who slow us down when we want to be fast.

Don’t forget to breathe . . .
when we ask our children to do something and we can see the objections forming in their heads before they’re even words . . . Yah-weh . . . we breathe in time to speak to the heart Then we breathe out words that love and invite.

Don’t forget to breathe . . .
when one more person presents one more need for us to meet . . . Yah-weh . . . we breathe in the space we need to question if this yes is for us or not. Then we breathe out an honest, humble answer that offers the best for everyone.

Don’t forget to breathe . . .
when our best laid plans fall to pieces . . . Yah-weh . . . we breathe in the grace we need. Then we breathe out a good laugh at the idea that we were ever in control in the first place.

Don’t forget to breathe . . .
when anxiety grips our hearts and warns us to step away from the brave paths God’s calling us to take . . . Yah-weh . . .we breathe in his peace, his promise that He’s the one who brought us this far and He won’t let go now. Then we breathe out determination that says we will keep walking this way because He is with us.

Don’t forget to breathe . . .
when the pressure to be all things to everyone threatens to weigh us down . . . Yah-weh . . . we breathe in our humanity and let ourselves off the hook. Then we breathe out the tension as we remember that we are not the Saviors of the world.

Don’t forget to breathe . . .
at the end of the day when we realize we’ve made it . . . Yah-weh . . . we breathe in the joy and the blessings. Then we breathe out gratitude and worship to the One who gives it all to us. He is always with us, closer than our own breath.

Practice this Yah-weh breath with me. It slows us down, makes us conscious of the areas in our lives that need our attention, and brings consciousness of His presence in our lives.

Don’t forget to breathe today, friends.

 

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You Are Loved

Gina Butz identity, loved 0 Comments

you are loved

photo by Mona Eendra

How was everyone’s Valentine’s Day? Mine was less than stellar. In the morning I woke up feeling off, and by afternoon I had a fever, aches, a head that felt like it was going to explode, and what sounded like a case of tuberculosis. All this added up to making me the lamest Valentine’s date ever. We spent the evening eating Tijuana Flats in bed watching videos on our phones. Just how everyone dreams Valentine’s Day will be.

Tis the season to talk about love, think about love, hope for love, cherish love. But I can’t help but think how many people, even those of us who are married, even those who have deep relationships with others, long for something more.

We long to be loved. Our hearts ache for a love that is solid, never-ending, secure. We want to be fully known and at the same time deeply loved for all our good, bad, and even ugly.

Oh yes, please even for the ugly. Please tell us it’s possible to be consistently loved even at our worst, so that we can stop hiding our less-than parts behind closed doors and be fully ourselves instead.

Tell us it’s possible that there’s someone from whom we never have to fear rejection, abandonment, for whom we are never just too much, too hard to love.

I’m here to say today: it’s possible. It’s more than possible. It’s true. That is how we are loved. As I thought about what I wanted to share this week, every part of my being wants to tell you this truth:

You are loved. Period. The end. No ifs, ands or buts. You are deeply, without hesitation, loved, with an all-encompassing love.

How do I know? Because the whole of scripture tells me it’s true. The Bible is a love story, friends.Twitter It’s one long epic tale of the hero who stole into enemy territory under cover of darkness to rescue the ones He loves, because the thought of eternity without us was unacceptable to Him. We were worth everything. We are worth everything.

He first loved us. That’s important to remember. He doesn’t love us because, or when, or if. He just loves us, with a love that is unshakeable, unchanging, unconditional.

I can’t think of a better way to phrase it than how Henri Nouwen put it in Life of the Beloved, “My only desire is to make these words reverberate in your being, ‘You are the beloved.'”Twitter

Seriously, if I have one prayer for all of us today, it is that we would live loved. We would stop wandering, searching for lesser loves to satisfy our hungry souls. We would stop doubting, stop believing the lie that there’s something we can do to get us voted off His island. We would stop listening to the voices that tell us to prove our worth, and we would just soak in this truth today:

You are loved, you are loved, you are loved.

So maybe your Valentine’s Day was a bust. Maybe loneliness gnaws at the corners of your life and causes you to question your value. Maybe you’re feeling let down by people in your life. Maybe you’re feeling the sting of rejection. We’re all hungry for just a little more love.

So let me say it again: You are loved. May this thought echo off the walls of your hearts today. Repeat it to yourself until it becomes the place where you live. He loves you. 

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Lean In

Gina Butz dependence on God, faith, grief, trials 18 Comments

Are you leaning in to God?

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

The last couple weeks I have been witness to all manner of hardship around me. The sudden death of a son. Adopted children wrestling with trauma and fear. Inconclusive test results. Two attempted suicides. A mysterious illness in a child.

Moments like this rattle us to our core. They remind us that the world is fallen, and we are frail. They speak to our smallness, and our need for a solid place.

Pleas to God for comfort and peace and hope are intermingled with the aching questions of, “Lord Jesus, why?” and, “What now?” and “Where are You?” There is a desperate clinging to that which is good, mixed with a wonder and confusion of how we continue to navigate this world that is so hard and uncertain.

And when I ponder it myself, here’s what keeps resonating in my soul: Lean in.

So I lean in to His voice whispering to me through the questions and the confusion, “Come closer, sink deeper. Find a place of solace where your soul can exhale and rest. I’ve got this. I’ve got you.” I set aside what I do not know and grab hold of what I do.

Lean in, friends. Lean harder. Lean in to the One who sees it all. Lean in to the One who loves you. Lean in to the One who is more than able. Lean to the point where your feet don’t even touch the ground anymore and you’re just carried by Him.

He can handle it. He’s strong enough. He is our ezer kenegdo, our warrior helper, who fights for us and helps us.

Don’t just throw your worries at Him hoping something will stick. Don’t just hope for the best. Lean in to His promises like your life depends on it. Lean in with faith and hope and trust.

Don’t let your unanswered questions drive a wedge of bitterness or hopelessness between you and the very one who knows what you need and wants to walk with you in this. As Hudson Taylor said, “It does not matter how great the pressure is. What really matters is where the pressure lies-whether it comes between you and God, or whether it presses you nearer His heart.” 

The promise of abundant life is not the promise of a painless life. It is not the promise of a happy life. It is the promise of a life where His resources for us are plentiful for what we will walk through. It is the promise of a place where we can always lean in and find what we need for the journey.

So lean in with your fists, if you must. Lean in with your wailing and doubts and anger, and beat your hands against His chest until it dissolves into grief and you let Him hold you.

Lean in with the faith of a child and rest. Lean in to His comfort and peace, to the place where you don’t have to have answers or direction-you just know that someone holds those for you.

Lean in to His embrace. Lean in to listen to His heart beat for you. Lean in to hear His voice speak over you the very words you long to hear. Lean in because that’s where you will find what you need.

You can never lean too hard. You can never push too much. You can never topple Him or ask more than He can offer. He is our solid oak, our life raft, our shelter, our rock in the storm. Lean in.

 

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Why I Don’t Teach Sunday School . . . or . . . Finding My Yes

Gina Butz expectations, grace, identity 8 Comments

Why I won't teach Sunday School . . . or . . . finding my yes

photo by Jorigė Kuzmaitė

You will never see me teaching Sunday School to children.

It took me years to be able to say that without embarrassment. What kind of person isn’t willing to teach children? Does Gina not like children? Does she not see the great potential in shepherding young souls? These are the questions I was sure people would ask.

When my kids were little, and someone stood up front at church to talk about how important children’s ministry is (I swear in the background I could hear Whitney Houston singing, “I believe the children are our future . . .”) I would sink down in my seat, refusing to make eye contact, feeling terrible.

Then, one day, it hit me, “I am not called to this.” And suddenly I was free. I felt like Phoebe, in the pilot episode of Friends:

Learning to say yes to the right things

I don’t want to because it’s not what I’m supposed to do. I am called to other activities, things that you probably don’t want to do. I know this, because often when I tell people what I enjoy doing, they get a look on their face like they just smelled something weird. They would hate what I love. And that is as it should be. We weren’t all given the same passions or gifts. How boring would that be? And ineffective. This isn’t Divergent. Five factions isn’t going to cut it.

Since coming back to the States, I have had opportunities to minister in a variety of ways unavailable to me overseas, which is fabulous. What’s hard is being discerning about what I should and shouldn’t do.

At first, I felt I should say yes to everything because if I didn’t they might stop offering. Over time I’ve learned that when I say no to less ideal opportunities, it leaves space to pursue that which I love. God knows the good way I should walk, and He can guide me to the best yeses. There is great freedom and joy in knowing that I am learning to give my time to what I am created to do, rather than just doing what I see, or what is asked of me. I want to give my energy to the activities God has for me, not what others want me to do.

Also important is knowing that, in saying no, I am leaving space for someone who truly IS called to do that. And I hope she does. She probably will, because she wants to say yes. And I will say yes somewhere else. There, we will both find joy and life.

So go ahead, ask me to teach Sunday School. I will politely decline and feel no remorse. It’s just not my calling.

What about you? What are you saying yes to today?

 

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Drop the Hot Dog – Learning to Feed on What Truly Satisfies

Gina Butz dependence on God, expectations, identity, loved 4 Comments

What is your soul settling for?

photo by Mike Kenneally

Confession: While I deeply want to be loved for who I am (and fear that I might not be), I will settle for admiration. It feels like love. But that’s like eating a hot dog, when what I need is rich soul food.

It’s easier, feeding off admiration. It’s more accessible, more within my control, to seek out the praise of others, then it is to lay myself bare before them and hope I am enough in myself. I can pour my energy into dazzling others with my gifts and tell myself I’m satiated while my true hunger lies under the surface, unmet.

We all have our hot dogs.

Our hot dogs are those easy, cheap, artificial substitutes for what our hearts deeply crave. They are the worldly foods we eat that we hope will bring us life. They are what we settle for eating because we don’t believe our true needs will be satisfied.

We all settle for something lesser to satisfy our souls. We want to be wanted, but we settle for being needed. We want relationship, but we settle for false peace, based on a fear of confrontation. We want intimacy, but we settle for staying in control, hiding our weaknesses where they cannot be touched. We want to be our true selves, but we’re terrified people will reject it. We try to feed ourselves on competence, reputation, usefulness, perfectionism, security, self-righteousness, self-sufficiency, busy schedules and so much more.

A few years ago, the taste of success began to sour for me. Oh don’t get me wrong-I will always love the feeling that I have accomplished something. I will never fail to appreciate admiration. But it occurred to me that I could feed off success all day long and twice on Sunday and never satisfy the deep hunger of my soul to be known and loved for who I am. That is a desire for which admiration is a pale substitute.

It felt like I woke up one day and realized I have been feeding myself bread made from sawdust. Worse than a hot dog. That is the act of a person who is starving and must feed herself any way she can. It is the act of a person who doesn’t believe there is manna for her to eat instead.

God in his mercy keeps showing me ways I am trying to find life and love where it is not meant to be found. He keeps drawing my eyes back to Him and His provisions. He loves me too much to let me go hungry.

He’s been calling me to drop the hot dogs, telling me to stop trying to feed myself something that isn’t going to satisfy. (We can have a pretty tight grip on our hot dogs. Sometimes He has to outright smack them out of our hands. Word to the wise-just let go. It’s easier).

Instead of our hot dogs, God is offering us a feast.

When we stop scrambling to feed ourselves we see how He is providing rich food all around us. We see the manna of His presence, peace, joy and love in all the ordinary moments He gives us throughout the day. He is constantly trying to feed us.

As I step back from seeking admiration, the deeper hunger of my heart has come to the surface. I am learning to own the hunger, to feel it more deeply rather than ignore it. I hear His invitation to the feast and am discovering that the call to feast on Him alone is more satisfying than anything I could feed myself.

Don’t believe the lie that the hot dog is the best you’ll get, that it’s what you need, or that what He offers isn’t better. Ask Him to show you what you are settling for, how you are trying to feed yourself. What you are searching for is found best in Him. He is the source of love, the bread of life. Be satisfied in Him.

 

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Stand at the Crossroads

Gina Butz rest, transition, truth 0 Comments

He knows the path that leads to grace and rest. I have only to ask and obey.

It would never have been in my plans to make an international move pregnant, but that is exactly what I did in the fall of ‘99. When I was thrown into the newness of being a first time mama six months later, I was still wrestling to grasp a language as different from English as possible, learning how to lead a ministry alongside my husband, and finding my place in a new culture.

I was swimming in transition.

My love for our host country, coupled with a deep need for external validation, drove me through the spring to squeeze life out of every hour: studying the language while our son napped, taking him with me to meet students, our team passing him around as we met and planned. I once nursed him with one arm while wiping a poop explosion off the wall with baby wipes so I could finish in time to meet a student for discipleship.

I wanted to do it all. Six months later, I was overwhelmed.

To read the rest of the story, and how God used this verse from Jeremiah to minister to me, go to my guest post at (in)courage here:  Stand at the Crossroads

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