Today’s team journal is written by our Design Director, Mindy Braun.
I always have said, “Want to know your heart? Have a kid”. After two kids, I thought my heart and the ugly sin within were pretty much revealed. I was wrong.
At the end of January 2018, my family became approved to host kids in our home through Safe Families. The very next day we welcomed two toddlers into our home - one almost two and the other almost three. Needless to say, it’s been a long 5 weeks of exhaustion, and in the middle of it, all 4 kids in my house had strep throat. It feels like I’ve been running on fumes and I’ll never catch up.
Through these last 5 weeks, though, the Lord has used this season to reveal deeper parts of my sinful heart. I’ve seen anger, frustration, impatience, harshness, selfishness, and a whole slew of other negative emotions well-up and overflow into my actions. Seeing these things in myself has brought on inner turmoil. I’ve seen myself get quickly agitated or easily angered, and have become too quick to speak, just wanting to crawl back into bed to be left alone. I’ve been struggling with the guilt and frustration. I thought, I’m supposed to be opening my home and my heart with grace and unconditional love. I’m supposed to be Jesus to them and I’m failing miserably.
I feel like everyday I’m saying to my husband and to myself: “I don’t know what to do about this....” I don’t know how to change behaviors. I don’t know how to prevent meltdowns. Or, how to simply find enough energy to get through the day. And ultimately, I didn’t know how to change my own heart.
The Lord has quickly stepped into these wandering thoughts and has inserted Himself. These last few days, I’ve heard a still, small voice - a voice that I had quieted and ignored before - and it’s simply saying “Seek Me.”
These last few days, I’ve heard a still, small voice . . . and it’s simply saying “Seek Me.”
Instead of wallowing in my own frustrations and self-discouragements, what I needed to be seeking was the Lord and His truths. I remembered that I needed to be looking to him to change my heart (Psalm 51:10) - to give me a heart of compassion, understanding, and unconditional love. He will be my strength (Psalm 46:1, 54:4), and He will to give me the endurance to keep on doing His good work (Psalm 57:2). I need to be in His Word daily, not just skimming it to check my box for the day, but I need to entrench myself in it. I need to be mediating on His words day and night. I need to be communicating with Him in prayer - to bring my struggles to Him, instead of dealing with them my own through meaningless means like Netflix and chocolate hearts.
Christ calls us to lean upon Him in times of joy and in times of trouble (Prov. 3:5). So, when Satan is using our weaknesses against us, we are not to go to numbing out, but we are to actively and fervently go before the Lord with awe. The Lord wants to hear from us and He is willing to listen (Psalm 116:9). Now, after having been reminded of this, I am finding my response to be the same as Paul’s in 2 Cor. 12:9-10: “Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (NLT).
When we feel weak; when we feel like failures; when we feel like we cannot go on; the Lord can be our strength, our success, and He will help us endure. He is for us and is our Helper in our time of need (Psalm 56:9, 54:4). He is faithful to His Word and He will empower us to do His good works (Psalm 118:1). My prayer for you in this understanding is that of Hebrews 13:20-21 (NLT):
“Now may the God of peace—
who brought up from the dead our Lord Jesus,
the great Shepherd of the sheep,
and ratified an eternal covenant with his blood—
may he equip you with all you need
for doing his will.
May he produce in you
through the power of Jesus Christ,
every good thing that is pleasing to him.
All glory to him forever and ever! Amen.”
Mindy wants to live in a world where laundry cleans itself, it's 78 degrees every day, and where grace abounds. When she's not working alongside her husband, you can find her serving with DWITW and Safe Families Greater Dayton, caring for her two kiddos, and enjoying time outside.