I participated willingly in a new discipline this week...actually twice. I started at a prompting I felt deep inside...as this is a discipline I have never embraced--ever. I have done it before, but always with a bit of a bad attitude. Anyway...I felt prompted for several days in a row...maybe even a period of weeks...before I succumbed to what, I believe, was Divine prompting. I am not going to share the specifics because I tend toward pride, and I think sharing details would open me up to patting myself on the back with "atta girl" and before you know it, I would be leaving God totally out of the equation.
So many people I love seem to be suffering greatly--particularly in relation to their children. I have railed at God, off and on during the past months, about WHY is everything so difficult? Why is there SO MUCH PAIN in this world in general, and in family relationships in particular? My heart is so heavy as I think of all the families I know that are affected by extreme circumstances at this moment.
As I mentioned, I began this discipline because I felt prompted, and I thought it was a way to engage in prayer for one family in particular. But what I didn't realize was how it would affect me. I felt so close and loved by my Creator during the days I did this. I was able to maintain a joyful interior, which, I am ashamed to say, has not been my norm lately. But the amazing thing was that the very next day I had the first belly laugh I have had in 6 or 7 weeks. I laughed until tears rolled down my cheeks. I was actually laughing at myself (no surprise, huh?). I have such a knack for putting my foot in my mouth. Oh, I laughed and laughed and laughed. I said something REALLY stupid, and thankfully there was someone there to call me on it. I was trying to compliment someone who wasn't there, but it could easily have been interpreted as an insult to someone who was there. A third person present recognized this and made a joke....and that is how it all started. Two hours later I was still laughing. Now you may not think much of that, but I haven't really laughed or even smiled deeply for quite some time. It felt so good to let those flood gates down. It wasn't until I thought about it the next day, that I connected the dots. What a gift this was. Thank you, God.