Thursday, September 27, 2012


It's been a while since I've shared my heart with the blog world. And when I say heart, I mean the biggest piece of my heart... I haven't shared much aside from a "Praise Jesus" here or a "Thank God" there since June 6, 2011. I know because I went back through my blog until I found the most recent post which could be considered a "God-Post," even though this particular post was mostly about the day I found out Kaki was breech and how the series of events in my faith-walk that Spring had led me to that place. I was strong and triumphant in that post, laying it all out there knowing that God had a plan for Kaki and I and that he would carry us through what, at the time, was one of my larger fears. 

I wish I could say that the strength and resilience and even determination in that post is what carried me through since then. I wish I could say that I was steadfast and faithful. I wish I could say that it didn't take more than a year to get me to the place where I could write again about God, not because He hasn't been working in my life, because He has been ever-so-faithful and good to me, but because I have not had the words, the strength or even the discernment of which words to put to where I've been. 

As I was going through my list of posts I found at least six drafts of posts I was working on at different times throughout the year that were trying to communicate where I was with God on my journey. They had titles like "Worn Out," "Sunny Days," "I Don't Want to Miss This." I never could put it all together and I figured that meant it just wasn't time. I could have forced something but it wouldn't have been right and I am thankful that God urged me to table those posts until my words had been refined through the fire of experience and through the grace of His wisdom.

Today, I was sitting in the drive-thru line at Chick-fil-a, waiting to get Kaki-pants a Strawberry shake to heal the hurts of the four shots she got today and it hit me...Choice! It is a word I have been throwing around a lot lately. Choice. It's a heavy word if you really sit and think about it in context with your life and all of the choices you make every single day. The choices we make moment by moment. Before today I was thinking about choice in the context of our country and the political battles that always precede a Presidential Election. So many choices. And I could go and on from this point of view, but that's not what hit me in the drive-thru today... 

Choice! What hit me today is that God gives us a choice. He allows us to choose Him. He does not force us to choose him. Sure, there are times when God acts in mighty ways to win over another one to His kingdom, but He still leaves the choice. There is always a choice. Even Jesus had a choice. He did not have to do what He did. I know people think that He did, but He didn't! He even asked for another option to choose, He cried out for a new way, a new choice. But there was only one left to make. Obedience or Disobedience which ultimately meant Life or Death. Heavy, heavy choices!

But you know, I think God did that so that Jesus and He himself could identify with the choice that we would have to make every single day. Because we do. Every single day we have to choose Obedience.  It doesn't just happen. We have to choose it. And that can mean the difference between life and death.

Right after Kaki was born, I started waking up each morning with a buffet of choices before me. I had so many things to choose from. Used to, I'd wake up and I'd choose God. But one day I stopped, although it wasn't obvious to me at the time and clearly it wasn't intentional, but looking back I see it so clearly and I'd be kidding myself not to think that every choice we make is intentional! I knew the choices I was making and I knew better.

The days immediately following Kaki's birth I would stand in the mirror, crying, looking at my bruised and scarred body from the trauma of a longer than planned c-section and I would chose self-pity which at times turned to doubt and anger. When I would replay each moment in the operating room minute-by-minute and I would chose self-pity again and then doubt, anger, fear, resentment. I would remember the moment Justin had to leave the room and I would chose loneliness and loss. And every time post-partum symptoms lingered longer than I believed they were supposed to I would choose fear and anxiety. 

And that was just in the short-term.

As the months went on my spiral down into the pit of defeat and ultimately spiritual death got shorter and shorter. I was very near the bottom and I kept choosing fear, self-pity, anger at times, and every single thing under the sun aside from God. I wasn't choosing Him or His promises or His power! WHY OH WHY would I ever relinquish the choice of His power? 

I had just recently climbed out of the pit in 2010, I had released the Holy Spirit to go to work in my life in way I never knew I could and He did HUGE things. I knew I would never ever have to go back to the pit again, but I did... and it happened so fast! 

Three months! But really... it took days... moments... but it would take three months for the Holy Spirit to say ENOUGH!! ENOUGH!! ENOUGH, KATIE!! CHOOSE ME!!

I will never forget it as long as I live. It was maybe the closest I will ever come to hearing God's audible voice on this earth. Justin, the kids and I were driving home from visiting Thomas the Train with my parents. At lunch I had had an anxiety attack over the chicken. Yes, you read that right. Fried chicken to be exact. I was afraid it wasn't cooked well-enough! It's FREAKING FRIED!! You see I was letting the "crazy" control my life. The fear of death by fried chicken was overwhelming to the point I could not even eat. I was in tears at the table with my whole family watching. I was literally crying over a plate of fried chicken, paralyzed by fear. I know this might sound silly, but this is how very deep I had gotten. 

And do you want to know what started my obsession with food safety? The cantaloupe recall of 2011... it was all over the news, people we dying, the news was telling us the proper ways in which to wash our produce. The irony of the whole cantaloupe debacle was that I don't even eat it... I'm allergic! But listeria was looming on my front doorstep and I was not going to open that door. 

But I did... over. and over. and over. AGAIN! 

On the way home from lunch that day, we were driving through the gorgeous Hill Country's winding roads, when out of nowhere Justin spoke a word from the Lord. I had been sitting in the passenger seat upset, choosing self-doubt, self-pity, anger, even embarrassment as I found myself thinking what am I going to do?!?! How am I going to continue on in a world like this. I sure hoped counseling would help!


Yep, you read that right. I went to a counselor. The previous week I saw a Christian Counselor. I met with her for two hours and talked to her about what was going on. I told her I was dwelling in the pit of fear, anxiety and self-pity and please oh please could she help me out of it.

So just as I was thinking about how much I had hoped that counseling would change my life Justin spoke and I don't remember verbatim what He offered, but it added up to this... He said, "Katie, You know what you have to do to beat this. You aren't choosing Jesus. You have to start choosing Him again."

And in a moment of complete and utter release like a HUGE WEIGHT had been lifted off of my shoulders I said, "You are right! You are absolutely right!"

Jesus had said, "ENOUGH!!!!"

Justin went on to encourage me to spend hours like I used to reading my Bible, studying, praying. He asked me if I even knew where my scripture spiral was? Had I even thought to crack it open? Well, sure... I had been storming the gates of Heaven for my cousin Amanda and her little boy Ryan. In fact, I even made her a copy of my scripture spiral because I knew of its power! God's word was living and active and it alone could carry them through!

But not me... 

I hadn't even realized what that meant...I wasn't choosing Jesus! 

In fact, my mom recalls a conversation when I told her I wanted to go to counseling where I told her in similar words, "Well, I guess I just don't have the time or energy to beat Satan this time. I guess I should go to counseling!"

Can you imagine? Just letting him have it? All of my joy? My blessings? My life? 

I am overwhelmed by tears as I write that last line! Praise you Jesus for not allowing that to be so! Praise you!

So that afternoon after we got home Justin said, I want you to go to Mardel's and I want you to buy some new books and I want you to spend time each day choosing Jesus. Such wisdom and kind words. I am so thankful to his sensitivity to the Holy Spirit on that day and the days following that allowed him to speak such words of truth to me in the most tender way possible.

So nearly a year ago, to the day, I starting waking up every day and choosing Jesus! And I canceled my second appointment with my counselor and humbled myself before the throne of the great Counselor! (This is not to say that counseling does not have a place. I think it is very helpful for lots of people, but it was not something I wanted to continue.)

And I wish I could tell you it was an easy transition but it wasn't. It was one of the hardest pits I have yet to climb out of and I even hesitate to say that I am fully out, but if the words of this blog can attest to anything it's that I am very near the top and maybe even climbing a bit of a mountain... oh, how I pray that I am!

Choice! We have to choose Jesus every day. We have to choose to remember His power when we are weak. We have to choose to remember His perfection when we are imperfect. We have to chose to remember His impeccable timing when we are impatient. We have to chose joy over fear. We chose blessing over self-pity. We have to choose life over death.

By choosing Jesus every day for the last year, earnestly and honestly. Working like a dog not to slip even a step back into the pit and leaning on His grace and mercy when I did, has restored me in ways that I never thought possible. It has showed me blessings that I kept missing. It has opened my eyes to the MAJESTY of our God. For He is powerful! 

There have been several truths that have helped lift me ever-so-carefully out of the pit but two that I rely on every day are these:

1.  Remember what the Lord has done for you! For His people!
2.  Today, it's just today that I have to worry about because tomorrow will worry about itself.

These may seem like pretty elementary truths, but when I find myself feeling anxious or powerless I remember the majesty, power, authority and greatness of my God. I remember what He has done and what He can do... which is anything... the battle has been WON... amen??!!! What and who am I to fear??!!

And living for today... and only today is a daily practice. I have wasted plenty of moments and even days/weeks living in the day when... I get diagnosed with cancer. I lose a loved one. I die from fried chicken! 

And if I live in those days then I might as well just tell the "pit-bosses" to cover me with dirt because in the pit is where I'm staying! 

But no! I can't miss all of this! 

The blessings, the adventure, the race... the grace, love, mercy and strength of our God!

It's enough to choose Jesus once, that's all He asks, but what He wants is for us to CHOOSE HIM EVERY DAY! 

Jesus, I choose you! Today! 

And you know what it is SUPER COOL about choosing Jesus every day? It's that He begins to restore our hearts, making room for something special that only He can put in our hearts to do. What a blessing that He has something so special for me... and for you and for all who choose Him. How great is a God that gives His immeasurably more for our benefit! I don't want to miss it! Oh Lord, reveal whatever it is that you have put in my heart for me to do... today! 

A year later, in the Chick-fil-A drive thru all of this FINALLY came spilling out of me... much like the strawberry milkshake that later spilled all over my car! :-) And I am oh so grateful! Thank you for the friends and family members who have walked alongside me this past year, most especially in those LONG months of bad choices. Thank you for loving me in spite of my weakness and thank you for praying that God's power would be made perfect in me. Those prayers were answered by His grace and mercy... thank you! 

For those of you who might read this and find yourself in a pit, I would encourage you to choose Jesus, today. If you are comfortable and feel so inspired to share your heart with me, I would consider it a great honor to pray alongside you and give you my "choosing Jesus tips" to help you hike your way back up! You can do it!! We can do it!

Love you all!!


ashleigh said...

What truth. Thank you for posting! It's exactly what I need to hear right now!

Lesley Boyd said...

You know I identify so very much with this post:) And what's ironic is the past month I have realized it is a "pit" . That's exactly what it is! And this is a verse that I speak over and over to myself: " He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand." Psalm 40.2 Amen and Amen that we have our feet set on a FIRM place to stand. Praying for you friend!