When you just wanna wallow...

A Sunday stroll through the neighborhood. Personal photo.

A Sunday stroll through the neighborhood. Personal photo.

Have you ever had a “wallow” day?

You know, one of those days where you feel miserable and you just sort of wallow or soak in it?

Sunday started out as a big wallow day.

I cried during Communion at church. Not because I was having a come-to-Jesus moment but because I was overwhelmed in my fear and frustration.

We all have our things. One of my things is a tendency to have thyroid flare-ups a few times a year. And the symptoms that occur during a flare-up scare me if I let my mind go there. Sometimes if I’ve had a bad health day, I’ll stay up late at night, and I’ll Google symptoms and find myself self-diagnosing…. Googling, I have to say, is usually a terrible waste of time and energy. But sometimes, I do it anyway.

So yeah, Sunday’s wallowing started because I felt afraid. I started to obsess a little about my body. And then I started thinking of other things. I have a trip overseas coming up that I’m looking forward to but feels a bit overwhelming. There was a plane crash Sunday morning and I was internally freaking out about that and imagining what losing a loved one that way might feel like, and then I was imagining my own mortality. When I expressed all my overwhelmed feelings to my husband he minimized my experience and wasn’t sensitive enough and I was mad and…

 Wallow. Cry. Wallow. Blame. Cry. Wallow.

But then, something kind of miraculous happened.

I asked God to help me.

And shocker, I know, but he answered me.

I was reminded of a note I had made last week, that included a list of all the health symptoms that were currently bothering me and a list of all the things I could actually do to help myself feel better.

And I don’t know about you, but sometimes there’s a disconnect between identifying what I know will help me and me actually doing what I know needs to be done.

But Sunday afternoon, after hours of being in the dumps, I had surrendered and come to the end of myself. I took some of the kids and we went for a walk in the sunshine. It’s still winter weather here, but getting a little walk in felt amazing.

Like soul-nourishing amazing.

And my husband and I put our phones away and talked through some things. It’s kinda crazy how distracting electronic devices can be and how long we can go without actually looking each other in the eyes. 

Hey, it feels good to connect with someone you love.

We were intentional with the family, too. Who knew, just playing card games and curling up to watch one episode of “Little House on the Prairie” could be just what the doctor ordered.

It feels good to focus on others and not just myself.

And then just when it seemed the day was done and it felt like the wallowing was behind me, our five year-old son had some sort of internal revolt against daylight savings time and woke us up throughout the night. And I was sure my Monday was going to be a wallowing disaster. Turning to a miserable-outlook seemed inevitable. Because it was the first day of the work week, my husband had to go to work early, the house was a mess, I was sleep-deprived, and…

But I chose to get up early anyway. And my exchange daughter and I read about Jesus healing people in Luke chapter 7 and wow, there’s something remarkable about starting the day off with prayer and scripture. Even when you think sleep would be a better option. Go figure.

And after surprisingly starting the day calm and refreshed, everyone got dropped off to his or her schooling destinations and I decided instead of the coffee shop, I just wanted to come home. But somehow, instead of wallowing, I started cleaning. And I started praying. And then singing along to my Spotify list and worshipping God while cleaning and you know what?

The dog had even peed on the carpet. And I didn’t freak out or start self-medicating with chocolate.

I spent minimal time on social media but when I did it was intentional.

My writing time was productive.

I didn’t overly obsess or worry.

I ate healthy food.

And I can’t believe I’m about to say this, but…

Monday was a great day. 

And all that to say, sometimes we just don’t wanna… adult. be healthy. pray. or ask God for help.

Sometimes we just wanna wallow.

And sometimes we’re going to have days that don’t go the way we planned.

Or life is going to throw us a curveball.

But all I could think on Monday and now today, as I sit here and type this, feeling tired but relaxed, is that when we surrender, God meets us where we’re at.

And also someone must have been praying for me on Monday. LOL. Prayer is legit, friends.

Honestly, when was the last time you knew what you needed to do to get out of a funk but you just didn’t want to do it?

And did you pray for help and God answered you?

A few years ago, I was having a health flare-up and feeling anxious. The fear and symptoms had been building in me for several days. I finally sat down and just asked God to help me. I was done trying to focus on me and my problems. I needed him. I started thinking of a time I felt great and remembered my friend’s Christian yoga class that I had attended. She had since moved to a different fitness center and I didn’t know her schedule. I got up and went to the computer to see if I could find any class information posted online. I looked, and much to my surprise, my friend had a class starting within the hour and not only that, but the fitness center had childcare! Needless to say, I made it to that class that day and felt like I had just been kissed from heaven. The class didn’t end my health issues, but it made me feel better and I knew God had lovingly answered me.

Jesus said, “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, because 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

I want more of that rest Jesus is talking about. And I know he answers me- even in practical ways like encouraging me to come to him, and gently guiding my steps like reminding me to get outside or praise him or put my phone away. I can’t focus on Jesus or other people when I’m only focused on me and the worries surrounding me.

I look around this world and I don’t see a day where there isn’t pain or suffering. I don’t see a time when the news suddenly becomes about peace and love rather than the usual reports of dysfunction, hatred and fear. Until Jesus comes back, I think we’re stuck in a fallen world with fallen people which means there’s going to be crappy things that come against us.

And we’re going to have our share of just-wanna-wallow-days.

But if we come to Jesus? Somehow, things really are better.

 I have a song on my playlist right now. It’s an old hymn that Lauren Daigle revamped called, “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus.” And one of the lyrics goes like this, “Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full in his wonderful face. And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of his glory and grace.”

Do you believe it today?

It’s true.

God loves you. He has a plan for your life. And if you turn towards him, the things of earth do grow strangely dim and suddenly, you’re doing things you once didn’t feel like, because his glory and grace are propelling you in a direction of peace, love, and fullness of life.

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