Those that know me well know that I talk a lot about the birth of my twins changing me. Prior to having the twins I lived a life that was quite comfortable. I was in a place where I knew that I could manage my marriage, my two kids, and my household. But as life would have it, it's not about what I could do. Because we are created for God's glory its through our life circumstances that we discover who He is. Through times of transition, difficulties, and struggles we come to know a God who is faithful.
So, back to the character shaping God took me through. People often ask me how I took the news when we found out we were having twins. If I can be honest I was fearful! Yes they are a blessing. Yes there are many people who would love to be in my position, but hearing the news just made me want to run.
I had a hard time enjoying the pregnancy because I feared so many things that in hindsight were just traps and schemes of the enemy. I feared they might come early, I feared I would have no help, I feared that I was not cut out to be the mother of four, and the biggest fear I had was that I would be giving up my life to have these babies. When in reality I would come to learn that life for me was just getting started.
Being the person that I am, I know how to push through when things get difficult. So, after their birth and over the course of the next few years I pushed through all that felt challenging in this new season.
I had lots of moments of joy, but it was not consistent and I often felt overwhelmed -and felt like I couldn't see the end- but then I realized God does not want us to live a life where we are just pushing through.
From that realization I also realized I was not relying on Him enough. I had allowed fear to come in and paralyze me in ways I didn't recognize.
That's the funny thing about the enemy, he never parades himself in a way that would cause alarm. He feeds us lies that tear down our resolve in a crafty way, typically in a way that causes us to become self focused.
So as I was focusing on myself, I felt one day - the gentle correction of the Holy Spirit reminding me of His best for me. In God's word He tells us "For God did not give us a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power, of love and of self discipline." 2 Tim 1:7 there is nothing that He has not equipped us for!
With that in mind I knew I needed to take back my power. My focus needed to move from my day to day to the bigger picture. Well, you might be thinking, how do you shift your focus when everything around you feels so heavy?
Here is what I did to get me started. Instead of looking at my situation as burdensome I decided to shift my perspective. No it didn't happen over night, but through prayer, and the support system God placed in my life I've been able to - be encouraged and see the blessings and fullness that the addition of two little ones-- brought me.
We have to be willing to do the hard work, which means we take a look at our situation and the role we play in it. Are we spiritually full? Do we only go to God when we are overwhelmed? Are we aware of how the enemy works? We have to remember that he is always looking for places of weakness so we can't let our guard down not even for a moment.
When we set our eyes and hearts on things above we are keeping kingdom things at the center of our focus. Circumstances are just that, and they are not meant to take us out. When we keep in step with the Holy Spirit through prayer and reading God's word we get clarity for the days ahead.
Anytime you are going through a season of struggle I encourage you to stop and shift your perspective and invite God in to help you gain heavenly insight and wisdom. Because He is a gracious God He works all things for the good of those who love Him!