By Kimberly Berg
I know without a shadow of a doubt that every single person I cross paths with has been through “hard” times. There are so many stories out there, which when compared to mine, make me want to scream from the rooftops about how grateful I am to be me. I have seen some of these stories play out in young ladies with questionable mental health that I have helped raise…with friends and family who don’t know the Father so they are living from a place of poverty in many ways…with those that have no choice in what has happened or feel as if there are no options for them. Weeks like the last few can easily exacerbate ALL of these “hard” times…if you let them.
I’ve discovered quite a bit about myself and my family over the last 3 weeks. My third grader and two 1st graders came home…my husband and I came home…we are now working, teaching, and loving from a very raw place. I still choose to live with some of my old mindsets because they are all “comfy and cozy” and sometimes what I know feels safer than what I don’t. There are SO MANY visible holes in our parenting, in our marriage, in our routine, in our relationships…the Father wants to FILL every one of those things with Himself.
The Father very clearly promised me while I was praying on March 15th, 2020 – the day that the announcement came that the boys would come home and start e-learning and my husband and I would have to figure out how to work and be home at the same time – that if I would give up all of my self-sufficiency, my family would grow and I wouldn’t recognize us on the other side. That time frame has now gone from 2 weeks to a month and a half. I’m not going to lie and say that I wasn’t and am not overwhelmed… I am the QUEEN of self-sufficiency… I loathe asking for help…that shows weakness, right?
The first 2 weeks were miserable for all of us. I cried a lot…the boys cried a lot…my hubby probably saw some old coping mechanisms flare up. I FINALLY grabbed a hold of the fact that self-sufficiency is a ploy from the enemy to push the Father out of our daily lives…just this past Wednesday…3 WEEKS IN TO ALL OF THIS! It took me 3 WHOLE WEEKS!!! I’ve always known the truth…but as a survivor of life, major depression, workaholism, having a put your head down and get the job done type of attitude, someone who can’t be worthy if I don’t ALWAYS have something to give…my view was clouded by all my ambition…and by my poverty mindset.
I’ve always thought that poverty mindset was all about scarcity of tangible things…money, groceries, housing, cars…not believing that there would be enough to go around. The Father has clearly shown me that poverty mindset for me is not about the tangible…it’s about how I think and feel about myself. There are many of us that judge ourselves unworthy of the call that He has placed on our lives…the circles of people He has placed us in…the families He has blessed us with…we don’t think that He thinks about us…that there is enough of Him to go around…that He freely gives His voice to others, but not us…so we become self-sufficient…we can do it all…there’s no need to worry about scarcity if WE can handle everything that comes our way INDEPENDENTLY. This is a lie…there is no gray.
Habakkuk 3:17-18 has been “my promise” for so long…
Though the fig tree does not bud
and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
and no cattle in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will be joyful in God my Savior.
These verses are true…I will rejoice in the Lord regardless of what is going on in the world around me, but the truth is that right now, in this place and time, there is NO LACK! We are not impoverished…we are free to eat and drink, to give ourselves and our families completely to our Father, to love and surrender like we never have before, to choose joy and thankfulness every day, to actually stop being self-sufficient and know that He will guide us through anything that comes our way, to admit and believe that we are worthy because He says we are. Who are we to argue with the King of the Universe? It seems a bit ridiculous. We need His voice now more than ever!
Quarantine by most definitions means isolation…we can do this with our physical bodies without doing it with our spiritual heart. The question that we have to answer is are we open to letting the Father fill in all the gaps that are showing up as we are home together all the time. This could look like not having firm rhythms with your kids…not feeling adequate to do school…not knowing how to converse with your spouse in a fun, not work-related way…not being consistent with discipline or even on the same page in parenting. These are hard things, but they are not impossible things, especially when we invite the Father into every moment of frustration.
A lot of us are spending more time together RIGHT NOW, without all of our normal busy-ness, than we ever have. The temptation will be to turn back to isolation of our hearts…to jump back into the old habits of survival…to not ask for help…to burnout while trying to do everything on our own. He is asking us to jump into Him…wholeheartedly…with everything in our being…give everything over and let the Holy Spirit comfort, guide, and advise. I firmly believe that the challenge and the promise that I received from the Father at the beginning of this crazy season is for every family that I know and love… if we will give up all of our self-sufficiency, our families will grow and we won’t recognize ourselves on the other side.
NOW, we get to see that God is our refuge and strength…an ever-present help in trouble (Psalm 46:1).