Todays team journal was written by our DWITW social media manager and beloved sister, Kelly Gwin.
There I was, on my knees in a desperate ball of tears in the middle of my living room crying out to God while my kids watched in a dramatic mix of confusion and concern as they watched their mom totally lose it….again. I wish I could say that only happened once, but this was a scene that was becoming more and more frequent as I desperately tried to hold my life together with my own incapable hands. These past months have been a wild ride in the Gwin household. New business, new baby, needy children, ministry, and staying alive had me all kinds of crazy, and my family was feeling it. I was feeling it.
I’ve always been a bit of a control freak. My father is southern born and military bred. Expectations were high, failure was not an option, and “quit” was not in our vocabulary. I will say, there are many aspects to my tendencies that have served myself and others well, but control and independence have been HUGE idols of mine, and a central issue in my relationship with the Lord.
I had been praying about what to do with my situation. I knew I couldn’t keep doing life this way. My kids were OUT OF CONTROL, I was a busy and absent mom even though I was working from home, stress levels were through the roof for everyone, and something had to give. I knew whatever that meant, it was going to be difficult for me.
I have been studying Habakkuk, and saw myself right up there on that watch post with him, “O Lord how long will I cry for help, and you will not hear?” (Habakkuk 1:2) I would cry out, complain, lament, and ask for help, strength, and clarity. The Lord was answering me, and I knew it, but it was not the answer I wanted to hear. Surely, he was not asking me to let go. He would never tell me I needed to cut something out of my life. He should just give me strength to succeed in all the things! And so the back-and-forth dialogue would continue. “Are you not from everlasting, O Lord my God, my Holy One?” (Habakkuk 1:12) I was in stubborn disobedience as I continued to try to “logic” my way out of having to jump off of this proverbial cliff. That lasted a short while, but the Holy Spirit was practically screaming, “LET. GO.” It was time to give up my business.
Why do we ever question our Creator? We know He’s sovereign. We know he’s good. We know his plan is always better than ours, yet we cling to the edge like we’re in danger.“What profit is an idol when its maker has shaped it, a metal image, a teacher of lies? For his maker trusts in his own creation when he makes speechless idols!” (Habakkuk 2:18) God used this verse to bring me to full surrender. Control, finances, approval, pride. I was holding on tight, but each day in my alone time with him I would take one more tiny step toward obedience until, by his grace, I was able to jump.
Yes, I felt like I was free falling, but he has proved himself faithful already. He doesn’t have to, but he continues to confirm to me in countless ways that he is in this. That his ways are higher than mine. That his plans for me are better than mine. That he loves me enough to take things away from me. Even when it hurts. I have testimony after testimony in motherhood, family, finance, and more of what he has done in the past few weeks. I’ve found so much freedom in his grace through this. I really don't have to worry. This is a lesson I have learned before, and will undoubtedly have to learn over, and over again, but each time I end up with abundant blessing and greater faith in my Father.
So here I am, a little Habakkuk. Thankful that I can come to my God with my real and raw heart. Presumptuous as I may be, I will cry out for help and deliverance, knowing that by the end of the conversation he will always bring me to a place where I cast down my idols, and stand on a higher mount singing a new song: “Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herds in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation.” (Habakkuk 3:17-18)
Kelly is a worship leader, treasurer, and all-around multi-tasker at her church, all while raising three little girls with her husband. Laughing, time with other women, and a completed to-do list are some of her favorite things outside of her passion for the work and Word of God. If you ask her when Christmas starts, she'll tell you it's before Thanksgiving.