When Life Stinks

Cassandra Moton – Children’s Programming Pastor

Its 3:30 in the morning and I’m up. I’m wide awake. It’s been a long week. I’m questioning everything. Why am I doing what I do? I’m not good enough, I’m not smart enough. I’m way too old, too slow, too ___.

You can fill in the blank with just about anything. I’m not a person who is usually filled with self-doubt, in fact I’m almost always described as confident. But not today, not this week. I’m filled with nothing but doubt. The thing about self-doubt is it can start with one thing in your life and spread to everything. My self-doubt began with work. And now, in a few short days, self-doubt has spread over everything. Everything in my life is tainted with doubt. Am I a good enough mom, daughter or wife? What else do I suck at and don’t even know it. Self-doubt has crept its way into my life and has decided to make a home. Its roots have spread and are growing stronger. When you are in the moment of a crappy day – when life stinks, it’s hard to raise your head up and move forward. At least it is for me. All I want is some direction from God, an answer to the question, “what the heck am I supposed to do now?”  But nothing is coming. No answers. So I just keep going and going, and not sleeping.

A few days later it came to me. My mind flashed back to a book given to me by a dear friend of mine to read. Jon and I were newly married and working at our first church; it was a small Nazarene church in Rancho Cucamonga CA. Highland Ave Community Church was and is a church I still hold dear to my heart and think of as home. It’s where Jon and I learned so much, the foundation of ministry and what it looks like to actually live it out. The Senior Pastor’s wife, Terri, had taken me under her wing. She is an amazing lady who taught me so much in my early years of ministry. She taught me about putting others first, listening to others and most importantly she wasn’t afraid to point out my faults. Terri gave me a book to read one day called “A Shepherds look at Psalm 23” written in 1972. This old fragile book is one of the best books I’ve ever read. Everything inside of me was screaming, “Read this book again!” God was speaking loud and clear. I hunted through my house during another sleepless night looking everywhere for that book. In every bookshelf, under the bed, in the garage. Did I say this hunt began at about 3am?  Yep, my family must have thought I was crazy. Sadly, I never found it and was forced to order a newer version online via Amazon. Two days later it arrived!

This book spoke right to my broken, tired, filled with self-doubt heart. God created me. God loves me. God will never leave me. I have no need to be filled with self-doubt as long as I am allowing God to lead me, listening to His direction in my life. There is nothing new in this book that I don’t already know. But sometimes we need to stop and be reminded how much God does love us – each of us. I am His sheep, His child. And He is my Shepherd, my Father. Sometimes we just need to reminded:

Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.

Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

AMEN!

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When Life Stinks

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About The Author
- I am the programming coordinator at Central Christian Church AZ. I also moderate the Central Teaching Blog. If you have any questions, feel free to ask!