When I was 57 and beginning to go through hormonal changes that accompany women “of a certain age”, the thing that I did not expect was the mental fog and forgetfulness. I remembered my mom when she forgot why she entered a room or what she was gonna say. But I really got distressed one day when I told my children that I was going to my room to have my quiet time with the Lord. One of them said, “Mom, you did that 3 times already today.”
When I went upstairs, I just sat and WEPT! If I couldn’t remember even spending time with God, remember the scriptures I was reading, HOW IN THE WORLD could I continue to grow?
God in His absolute SWEETNESS said clearly in my mind, “Honey, don’t worry about your mind… I’ve got that! You take care of filling your spirit!” Oh, beloved, I cannot tell you the peace and rest that filled me from top to bottom! I could trust God to take care of my mind and even if I spent 7 hours throughout the day in “new” times with Jesus, I was gonna fill my spirit with Him!
He revealed this as a gift He was giving me.
I do remember at the moment thinking, “Do I really have to unwrap this one?” But over the years, I’ve seen the gift that it has been to me and the blessing of unwrapping it and how I’ve gotten to show others the beauty and sweetness of His love as He’s continue to reveal the part of my life that He’s got, even if I don’t feel like I do!
Fast forward 9 years.
For the past year (maybe a little more?) I’ve noticed the difficulty I find in spending extended time with the Lord. I will sit quietly with Him and one of two things happen:
- Either my mind RACES with nonsense or
- My mind goes completely blank and I cannot *see* God
Both of these things become places where I listen for Him to speak to me and I hear nothing. ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. Like when I first started menopause, I find myself being frustrated and fearful. Now, of course, God is NOT in frustration or in fear – but that is the human response that has gripped me for these past many months, often without my really even noticing. I USED to hear from God very clearly, but it just seemed to have stopped.
A couple of weeks ago (it could have been a totally different timeline, because time seems to have lost its significance for me) I really began to pray about this, and sometime in this past week (could have been a month, who knows?) I realized something. God DOES speak to me, but these days it seems to only be revealed when I’m with others – when I’m praying with others, when I’m counseling others, when I’m ministering to others, when I’m discipling others. You get the drift.
He was giving me another gift!
What IS it with these gifts that I didn’t want to unwrap??
I got a visual of the expression, “it’s easier to steer a moving car.” For whatever reason, God is bypassing my mind once again – when I sit quietly in His presence, the things He is revealing/speaking to me are going deep into my spirit, and He pulls them up out of the ‘storehouse’ when they are needed to minister to someone else. Sometimes the things He reveals are “well, I don’t know if it’s from the Lord or not, but this keeps coming to my mind.” And sometimes I don’t even realize they are being spoken until I see the BAM in the other person’s face that God touched them.
And just now, as I was writing this, it came to mind that the theme verse of the first 20 years of my Christian life was:
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not tremble or be dismayed for the Lord your God is with you, wherever you go. (Josh 1:9)
And what has been the overarching emotion this year? FEAR! Looks like I’m coming full circle in my walk with the Lord. Learning not to fear in deeper levels, levels that seem to be a major part of who I am. YET, my identity is not in what I can perceive of God — my identity is in who I AM in Christ! Even when He chooses to bypass my mind and go right to my spirit – His design and purpose for me doesn’t change.
It’s funny. Before I got saved, I put all my stock in the fact that I was intelligent and could do anything I wanted because I was smart enough. And here I am, 46 years later, with God saying, “You do know that you can do anything I call you to, because *I* am enough, right?!”