When Life Takes a Toll on You

As you may have noticed, I’ve had to cut back on blogging. Honestly, I’ve had to cut back almost everything except sleeping, exercising, reading my Bible, praying and eating.

God is taking me through a season of Him restoring my heart, body and soul after being completely wiped out this Spring. It was an intense season of ongoing physical, mental, emotional and spiritual stress that took a toll on me more than I realized while it was happening. But when I stopped going in early May, it all hit me like an 18-wheeler.

While writing my book, God is allowing some hard life circumstances ( in addition to our adoption). He’s walking me through emotional valleys I thought I had traveled extensively years ago. He’s showing me wounds that still need healing. They’ve been surfacing for a while but I didn’t think I had time to deal with them this Spring. So they waited for me.

God got my attention through some health problems in April that clearly indicated I can’t avoid the pain anymore. It’s not been easy. It’s taken time I don’t feel like I have. Time for me to take care of myself when I want to be taking care of everyone else. Time that wears me out because it means crying and getting those awful headaches that come when you pour out your guts to God.

But it’s been worth what He is showing me as I process all of it with Him. I know wholeness and freedom are on the other side. I am asking Him to enter into those wounded places with me, and I’m praying the blood of Jesus over each hurt that surfaces through my tears and sadness.

I’ve been depending on Jesus and His word in fresh and life-giving ways these past few weeks. Reading and praying scriptures out loud has been an incredible source of peace and strength. Here are some verses I have been praying each morning while I run:

Search me, O God, and know my heart, test meand know my ways. See if there is any offensive (or anxious) way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting, guide me and lead me in Your truth. Psalm 139:23-24

Lord, remind me each day that I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer lives, but Christ lives in me. Infuse me with confident assurance as I write, live, breathe and move, reminding me that the life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God who loves me and gave Himself up for me. Galatians 2:20-21

Lord, help me not to throw away my confidence but to persevere so that when I have done Your will, I will receive what You have promised…freedom and a God-confidant heart! (Heb. 10:35-36) for I am not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those (in Christ) who believe and are saved. (vs. 39)

Jesus, thank you that what Satan intended to harm me, YOU intended for good, to accomplish what is (will be) done, the saving of many lives as women put their hope and find their confidence in You. Gen 50:20

Encourage my heart again and again to be strong and courageous and do the work. Help me to never give up, be afraid or get discouraged (by the size of this task) for you Lord, my God, are with me. You will not fail me or forsake me. You will stay with meand make sure everything is done until this (book) is completed. 1 Chron. 28:20

This week starts off with two solid writing days Tuesday & Wednesday, and then my mom is having knee replacement surgery Thursday. On Friday our family of 5 is going to West Virginia for the weekend where JJ/Joshua are running a marathon/half marathon. They have been training for months and it will be a special weekend. I hate being gone while mom is in the hospital, but my brother is coming so I know she’ll be taken care of. Maybe God knew it would be best for me to be gone since it would be very hard for me to see her in so much pain. I have been told the first few days are grueling. We’d treasure your prayers for her pain and recovery.

Well, that is all for now. I will try to keep updating my blog once a week until I complete my manuscript, which is due July 16. As only He can, God is making a way for it to be written, although at times there seemed to be no way it could done.

I would love to know how you are doing these days and how I can pray for you, too. Every time I read your comments from blog posts for my book, and think of your friendship and encouragement, I can’t thank God enough for bringing you along for this part of the journey!

PS. I would love to stay connected on a daily basis through Facebook. I post updates and verses on my Facebook page everyday since it’s quick and easy, and would love to read yours. Just click on my Facebook photo in my sidebar and let’s become FB “friends”, too.

About Renee

Renee Swope is a Word-lover, story-teller, heart-encourager and grace-needer. She's also a wife, mom, friend, daughter and author of A Confident Heart, a Retailers Choice Award winning book that became a best-seller and has been published in six languages, with over 150,000 copies sold. Renee is speaks around the country at women's events and and serves on the writing team for DaySpring’s inCourage blog. For twenty years, Renee served in leadership at Proverbs 31 Ministries and as former co-host of the ministry's radio program, “Everyday Life with Lysa & Renee.

Comments

  1. I often think of you trying to write your book and adjust to a new little one. I think a lot of people underestimate how bringing a new toddler into the home can take out of you. And that, on top of all the other stuff you have going on.

    I will certainly keep you in my prayers as you finish up your book (yay!) and rest in Him. I am also going through a season of pulling back on every level. Trying only to focus on the eternal. Purging the non-essentials from my life.

    Hang in there and keep leaning on God and His word.

    I love you,
    Sandy

  2. Life has taken a toll on me as well, but I'm staying strong in the Lord. What a sustainer He IS. Honestly, these days I'm just putting my head down and plowing through the mess. We're getting ready to move in a couple of weeks to a new location, new church, and the details are about to overtake me. My house looks like a bomb has gone off, and my nerves? Well, I'm not sure what the interior of a bomb is made of, but I'm pretty sure it resembles my nerves.

    It helps to know that I'm not alone and that all of this, in due time, will pass.

    Just wanted to check in and say "hi."

    peace to you, Renee~elaine

  3. Anonymous says:

    I am praying for you as writing and listening to the Lord. I am also praying for your mother and the doctors as she has her surgery. I pray that while you are in W Virginia you will get much needed rest and some wonderful family time(:

  4. It seems the last year and half have been hard emotionally. I tried to press into God, but now it seems like I only have him right now. I am pressing into him. To let him minister to me. To fill and refresh me. To restore me.
    It is like now looking at him. To show me Him a new. A fresh.
    God showed me in time with worship with him, He had opened the door. I drew it in my journal like I saw, I can't draw at all. To trust as he leads me through. I want it to go faster, but He does not rush it. Trust. It is hard.

    It has been where friends are just sorta scattering. When they ask how I am doing, I share. They are just not there.
    It is hard.

    But I think of the open door. Trusting my heavenly father who knows me best, knows what He wants.
    So I will trust, and ask Him to help. I have no idea what the open door is leading too. But after the year and half. Am ready.

  5. Girl, you are such a blessing to me!Search me, O God, and know my heart, test me and know my ways. See if there is any offensive (or anxious) way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting, guide me and lead me in Your truth. Psalm 139:23-24

    I needed this reminder today. Although we are on (vacation…NJ) right now, my husband will be leaving tomorrow to go back home… uncertain if he will even have a job when he returns. And we are still waiting to see if he will be paid for the last two weeks of work that he completed–the same with all the other men at his company.

    I'm doing better anxiety-wise than I thought I would… truly trying to put my faith where my talk is. God has always provided what we needed when we needed it. Why would He stop now?

    Thank you for always being so open and honest with us. Love you dearly, sister! And I am praying for you and your family.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I think it is great that you are taking this time to be rejuvinated! I am so there! I have been working non stop on a project that was completed this weekend. Thank you Lord! We are about to start building our house so I am taking the next few weeks to renew my mind, body, and spirit! I will be praying for you during this time as well! (Yay, more prayer and Bible Study time) Have a great week!

    Tasha
    tcantrell@choctawnation.com

  7. I was thinking of you and Aster yesterday. Not sure why but you were there. I will be lifting your mom up in prayer for both her surgery and her recovery.

    Thank you for praying for me, even though you have never met me. Today I feel like I need encourgament. I just read Melissa Taylor's blog and then answered her same questions on mine (with my answers of course). After answering I realized that encouragement and confidence is what I need right now.

    I am going to friend you on Facebook.

    Blessings
    Jessica

  8. Anonymous says:

    Hi all,
    You and your family are in my prayers, Renee. -That God would make His presence real and felt to you. I don't know all that you're going through but He does and is with you.

    I recently found out I'm 8 wks pregnant and would love prayers. This is wonderful but it's been tough with nausea. 🙂

    Thank you,
    Amy V

  9. Anonymous says:

    Hello Renee. I will be certainly praying for you and what has been going on in your life(your mama too, my youngest daughter has had 2 knee surgeries, they had to break her leg with the last surgery finally got her screws out). Thank you for sharing your life and it's funny to think how we share our life and short comings, how it helps others in ways we may never know. I will be praying for everyone on here and pray God's blessings on you all!

    In His Love

  10. Renee, I have often thought of you too this year with a very full speaking schedule, writing your first book and your first year with Aster! Girl, I can't imagine life NOT taking a toll on you!!

    But I will tell you that after my first few speaking events, especially the retreat where I spoke multiple times, I was so surprised how drained I was after each event. I know the warfare and emotional part of giving all we have to the ladies we minister to is tiring and then coming back home to try to give even more. I can't imagine writing a book with your schedule but God is truly shining through and showing up and you are going to have so much to teach us! I often pray for you from my tired girl perspective and ask God to fulfill you, strengthen you and protect you.

    I pray you get rested and filled up this weekend and you get your book completed with the time you'd like to review it. I pray God would give you the blocks of time you need to settle in and get in the groove of hearing His voice and putting it to paper. I pray He would remove any doubt you have that you can do this and will do this! Renee, your confidence is in Him! And I feel certain that He is confident in you too!

    I'm also faithfully lifting your mother.

    I love you,
    lisa

  11. Darling sister,
    You are often on my heart and in my prayers. I can literally close my eyes and "BE" THERE! The stage of life you are in. The baby, the boys, the Mom, the ministry. All of it.I truly get it and can honestly say…YOU WILL SEE THE LIGHT! You are doing a great job. You are in the right place at the right time and you are loved,
    Pat

  12. I have been going through a similar season… was going, going, going… and when I stopped… it all came crashing down… in the form of being sick.

    I am currently depending on God to restore me to wholeness and I pray He works on you, too!

    I wish you much success with your book… and I am writing one, too… presenting the book proposal at She Speaks!!!

    I will be praying for you.

    Shelly
    http://shellysc.blogspot.com/

  13. I just finished reading your blog and stopped to pray for you. You are such a doll, Renee. Enjoy your time away this weekend with your precious family.

    love,
    Donna Jones

  14. I am praying for you during this season that you and God are walking together. The rewards down the road make this walk worth it. I went through something similiar in the spring and have finally been allowed to see my soul in a new way with lots of breathing room. God had to do a lot of work, but I wouldn't trade it.

    so take care of you and know we are praying for you and keeping you in our thoughts and prayers.

  15. I am just so thankful that God brought me here today. I knew that He indeed sent me when I saw the scripture on your sidebar – Jeremiah 29:13. My favorite… my life verse. It just speaks loudly to my heart.

    I am praying for you and your precious family.

    This week has been one of those "takes a toll on you" kinda weeks. My middle daughter is in Bolivia (for the 3rd time) and has been very sick while there. It has been so hard for me to know she is so far away and not feeling well. Especially just 6 months after she almost died after contracting complicated malaria after a 10-week mission trip to Africa.

    But God sustained us both and held me tight and God generously graced her with renewed health! He is so good.

    I will continue to pray for you and your family.

    In Him,
    Beth

  16. I love reading your blog! I am doing my first give away at:
    http://pink-itsmorethanjustacolor.blogspot.com/
    Would love for you to stop by and enter!

  17. Since you are running, I would love it if you could run by my new blog: @ SeeMyMomRun.com

  18. Renee, I haven't been around much either, but that doesn't mean you are forgotten. I am praying for you my sweet friend.

    I just heard Marybeth on a radio interview share that verse from 1 Chronicles. Powerful.

    He's guiding you on my friend…and although the path is sometimes hard and your heart hurts, He will bring healing. God IS with you and will NOT fail you or forsake you. You can trust in Him.

    Sending love, prayers and hugs,
    Joy

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