Amy Carroll » Living Joyfully » Living Your Lessons

Living Your Lessons

It’s been one of those mornings.

In fact, I’ve had a bunch of “those days” in the last few weeks. Do you know the ones? It’s a day when the pressure on your chest overwhelms the joy in your heart. It’s a day when just looking at the walls in the pit you’re in make you feel too tired to try to climb out. It’s a day when your burdens obscure your blessings.

As a girl with a naturally sunny personality, I don’t have lots of these kinds of days. It’s not that I don’t feel the realities around me. I just don’t usually let those realities consume me.

That hasn’t been true lately. The little things have become giants, and they’ve been eating my lunch. Not. Good.

The bottom line is that things haven’t been perfect. Translation: I’m not in control.

Wow. So I have a book coming out called Breaking Up with Perfect, and I can’t quite let go of life’s imperfections or my own.

Does anybody else see a problem here?

I sure do. I thought I was writing out of a place of having learned to let go of Perfect. I thought he and I had broken up for good. Knowing I should know better has been one reason I’ve been kicking myself around the block.

But I think I’m really just like everybody else. We all have surface flaws and sin that’s easy to address. We repent. We learn. We move on to the next thing.

Then there are the deep places of our souls that need tearing down in order to be rebuilt. These are the places we need God’s grace most. And they’re the places we need to give ourselves the most grace. These are the places that won’t be fixed overnight. The lessons that have to be learned and relearned over and over. The wounds surely healing–but slowly and from the bottom up.

God’s grace has been extravagant. My grace for myself tends to be miserly.

This morning as in all the other days I’ve struggled, I heard God whisper, “Don’t just think about Me. Turn to Me.”

And so I did.

I turned to His Word. The place I know I can find truth when every other thing is in question.

And He was faithful. He gently led me to Psalm 31: 1-8.

In you, Lord, I have taken refuge;
    let me never be put to shame;
    deliver me in your righteousness.
Turn your ear to me,
    come quickly to my rescue;
be my rock of refuge,
    a strong fortress to save me.
Since you are my rock and my fortress,
    for the sake of your name lead and guide me.
 Keep me free from the trap that is set for me,
    for you are my refuge.
Into your hands I commit my spirit;
    deliver me, Lord, my faithful God.

I hate those who cling to worthless idols;
    as for me, I trust in the Lord.
I will be glad and rejoice in your love,
    for you saw my affliction
    and knew the anguish of my soul.
You have not given me into the hands of the enemy
    but have set my feet in a spacious place.

I read, and I ran into my Strong Fortress. He met me there. As I soaked in His loving presence, I knew what I needed to do. Picking up my prayer journal, I started listing the things for which I’m thankful. I listed and listed, and as I did, all the small things–the worries, the joy stealers, the cares–shrunk back to their proper size.

It reminded me of one of my favorite quotes about prayer…

[Tweet “”Prayer doesn’t always change things for me, but it always changes me for things.” ~Unknown”]

My circumstances haven’t changed. There are still some things I’d like control over. (Just keepin’ it real!) But my trust has grown. God’s got this, and He is my refuge.

Are you having a day? I’d love to pray for you. Just leave a request. I’ll leave an “Amen” for you once I’ve prayed so you know I’m standing with you. Big hugs to you today!

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  1. “I’m breaking up with perfect!” Survived helping over 50 children create a glitter project this morning at Vacation Bible School. So much fun!

  2. I struggle with generalized anxiety, social anxiety, borderline personality disorder, some sort of bipolar, and obsessive compulsive disorder. I have tried to commit suicide a few times. I still battle with my life at times but God has kept me. Other times I have coped negatively using drugs and alcohol. I’m going to be going through another big life change with my mom soon. We are moving and I have to face getting a new job and starting the process of driving (big fear of mine btw). I also need to find a new psychiatrist and Christian counselor. My mom suffers from severe migraines also. I’m very overwhelmed seeing as my mom isn’t in the best position physically and I’m not in the best position emotionally. There have been financial struggles too but God has provided a way. Please pray for us. It’s very much appreciated.

  3. Thank you for this message Amy…it came on ‘my day of days’ – as I sent my husband off to work my mind was focused on finding quiet refuge in God’s word & support in the words of faith filled prayer partners like you! Please pray for calm upon my heart – battling old thoughts & demons related to my marriage & our poor communication practices…all healing – we are growing in God’s GRACE – but ‘these days’ still come once in a while & your pray support is so welcome & appreciated.

  4. Mimi Guzman says:

    Thank u for your obedience to what God is telling u to say! I thank 4 for you!

    1. Amy Carroll says:

      Blessings to you, Mimi!

  5. My 14 year old son has missed way too many days of school and it’s caused him to fail the 9weeks and if he doesnt make atleast a 85 this 9 weeks he’ll be kickec out of his school and forced to go to zoned high school in which the teachers dont care and the population is too big and he’ll have 8 classes all year instead of 4 a semester.He now goes to a school of choice that has mostly caring teachers and administration and counselors who know him.He’s dx with ADHD,IED,and ODD and his social skills are delayed somewhat.He’s underweight and maybe anemic but I need prayer that he’ll stay well the rest of the school year and he’ll want to go to school and get the rest he needs at night and get the nutrients he needs and he passes his Physical Science class.I need prayer to keep my cool and wisdom to deal with this.Every morning is a feat to get him up and to school and I don’t have the physical or emotional energy to keep fighting with him to get up and get to school and to do his work.I also have been having weird episodes which I’ve had on and off for a while but it usually isn’t as often as it’s been this week.

    1. Amy Carroll says:

      Amen. Candy, I prayed for you and your sweet boy this morning. Hang in there! God created you, equips you, and will empower you to be your son’s mom.

    2. Praise & blessings – Amen!