Often, when you do a detox, you experience flu-like symptoms as your body adjusts to the release of toxins and the lack of easy-energy sugar. There is a period of adjustment. And it's usually pretty yucky. So today, let's make sure we talk about THOSE days. I don't want you to be surprised. It's normal. Let it happen. Accept that you have lots of ugly to let go of, and it's going to take time.
We're taking a break from our 'reset' today to talk about what happens when, despite all of your best intentions, powerful prayers, positive thoughts, encouraging memes, and cheerful devotionals - you feel a bone-deep despair that completely encompasses you, and you sit with your tea, read your bible and just... can't.
This is real. It's a thing. And I have the honor of friends who are transparent with me, so I know this is a thing for some of you right now.
As I sat with my tea and my devotional and my bible this morning, this was me. In this middle of a full-blown detox spiritual flu. Having a moment of despair and exhaustion. The bible verse that God gave me:
Why are you in despair, O my soul? Why have you become disturbed within me? HOPE IN GOD - for I shall yet praise Him, my help and my God. (Psalm 42:11 emphasis mine)
really spoke to my heart. I sat, absorbing it, and my ear caught the voice from the old-time-hymns radio station Trey loves. The verse on the radio echoed what was marinating in my mind: "Why are you in despair, O my soul?..."
I've never had that happen before. It was God's voice in stereo. Frankly, I was still trying to wrap my head around the command to praise Him. I didn't really feel like it. What I really felt like was crying. Going back to bed. Eating an entire half gallon of rocky road ice cream.
I went through my morning, sitting in that emotion, recognizing it. Giving it space to breathe, accepting that some days, our souls are just overwhelmed. I wondered what I could possibly share today that would be hopeful. I experienced the reality of impatience, frustration, sadness, fear, doubt - and eventually went back to my bible and kept reading...
God promises to love me all day, and sing His songs into my heart all night... thus my life becomes a prayer... (Psalm 42:8)
I began to see a glimmer of light. So... it's not MY job to find the song of praise? He will sing it over me? He'll give me the words?
A thought began to push to the forefront, a song that I woke up with in my mind this morning...
"...Rise. Breaking the dark, piercing the night - you're made to shine, an army of hope bringing the world a radiant light..."
And then I remembered my sister's secret weapon against discouragement. She keeps a book of every answered prayer. Every blessing. Every God-wink moment. And she rereads it. From there, this truth began to leap out at me from the pages of my journal:
When my soul is in despair, exhausted and overwhelmed, I will review His Goodness to me: His provision, His strength, His power evidenced in my life. I will use those experiences, those memories, as the foundation from which I sing... hope... trust...
Don't be surprised when the 'detox flu' hits. The remedy is simple: Remember.
Remember the Good He has visited upon you. Remember His provision. Remember His faithfulness during dark times. Remember the beauty of sunshine, the scent of flowers, the softness of puppies and the laughter of a child - remember, and rise.
"We want to live well, but our foremost efforts should be to help others live well."
(1 Corinthians 10:24b MSG)