Not by your power or might but by God’s Spirit

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I have spent the last  few days in hibernation (ok maybe weeks). I needed time away from the world, away from obligations, away from the heaviness that weighed me down for months. 

During this period, I had to seek the face of God. I needed to understand was going on. I had become emotionally numb. Conversations lacked colour. I laughed here and there so that the other person wouldn’t feel bad but I really wasn’t interested in what they had to say. 

As I write this, I realise that for several months in this year, I have been living a lie. So much bottled up but nowhere to release them. I’m a strong girl right? Besides, everyone has their own issues to deal with. 

The height for me was church. I went out of obligation, because someone would ask me why I wasn’t in church. No. Because I would have been queried for not live tweeting or putting up pictures. So I had to show up. Just because, stuff depended on me. 

But it all went over my head; the vibrant praise, the worship, the profound word, the lacklustre and dare I say boring conversations after service. I wasn’t interested but I had to pretend like I was. I smiled. I laughed. I cracked jokes. Yet, the voice within kept pounding my heart, “You don’t want to be here, Doyin.”

Then the health challenges struck. Again I had to pretend through this phrase. “Doyin you’ve lost weight. This your fitfam something is working.” I would smile. If only they knew that keeping food down was a struggle and when it did go down, it unleashed pain. I was in pain a lot of times but I put on my game face. 

In between requests to listen to people who needed someone to show them the light and being required to provide solutions, I held it all. The pain I mean. Even my mum had no idea what was going on. Sometimes she would complain, “Dedoyin why are you slow like this?” I would apologise and do what she asked me to do as quickly as possible. 

Sometimes I look at my life and I wonder how I make it through each day because sometimes it all gets overwhelming. One day as I was praying (about nothing in particular), the words “spiritual burnout” kept ringing over and over. So I decided to read up on it. 

Out of all the articles that I read, there was one that really stayed with me. It was written by a pastor who had gone through spiritual burnout and he was very detailed in his article. One thing he wrote that I pondered on was that spiritual burnout often happens when we fail to rely on God’s strength. We think we can achieve it by our power and we forget the God factor.

Sometimes it could be because we think what we’re doing is so small or significant to disturb God about. So we try with all our power and might forgetting our true source of strength. I could relate. Last year, I prayed a lot about my day to day work and activities. I prayed for God to show me the light. “Help me Holy Spirit,” I always cried. This year, not so much. 

Was it because I thought I could do it without God? No way. I think I just forgot that God is actually my friend, that He is interested in every little detail of my life. When I started to feel that burden early in the year, I should have cried out, “Holy Spirit, help me.” I didn’t because I felt I could handle it. 

Clearly, I couldn’t.

I have only spoken to God about the ‘big’ things this year. The major projects, the mighty leaps but not the seemingly little but just as important things. Like the state of my heart, or the loneliness I felt – not because I didn’t have friends but because I couldn’t just explain what was in my heart. I should have talked to God before things went bad. 

You know what? I’m glad that no matter how dark the night is God’s light always shines. Even though there were times I felt like I had lost God, He was always with me.

Even during this wilderness experience (can I call it that), there were outstanding miracles and breakthroughs. That’s a post for another day but I always saw the light of God. All that was required was for me to just reach out. 

Life gets stressful. Confusing. Annoying. You only overcome it all when you have God on your side. You need God more than He needs you. Your strength will fail you. I’ve realised this over and over again. But if you understand that your life is not by your power or might, but by God’s spirit, you will go far. You will go far in your walk with God. You won’t easily get sapped into the drudgery of the world. 

I’m thankful, grateful, blessed to be a child of God. Sometimes I imagine what my life would have been like without God and what I imagine looks like a scene from a badly scripted horror movie.

Lord, I thank You for being with me always. I think you for Your light that constantly shines on me. A few years ago during a special program in my church, a pastor laid hands on me and said,  “God said I should tell you that He has covered you with His cloak of love.”

That word keeps ringing in my ears when I feel myself sinking. It’s such a powerful word and I’m sharing it with you today. 

God has you covered; all around. Pour out everything to Him and live for His glory. There’s nothing better. And when you feel like you’re falling (even before you fall), cry out “Holy Spirit, help me!”

 

 

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