Living in Central Asia, February can be a tough month. I call it my endurance month. Everyone is tired of it being cold, things breaking and everything taking twice as long. Students struggle to focus making 3rd quarter grades usually the worst of the year. It is so easy to look at the things that are going wrong. It takes no effort at all to find something to complain about especially when your students are being little toots or should I say big toots. Mix in feeling slightly isolated relationally and the negativity starts to grow.
But I have had enough. I am tired of having a negative shadow over me which is of my own doing. I am not related to Oscar the Grouch even though some days I feel like it but hopefully don't smell like it. Logically I know God is with me and working in and through me in all circumstances. I even write down each day things I am thankful for but somehow it is not permeating all of me. It is just words that I so want to take to heart. Thursday I sat and had tea with a local lady who had finished some sewing for me. She talked of her son being sick, she wasn't well and her house was cold. She savored the warmth of my room that by most people's standards was not warm and enjoyed two cups of tea. She finally felt warm for the first time that day since she had spent the morning doing laundry by hand. I am so spoiled. As I sat and talked with her, I inwardly confessed to God my ungratefulness and lack of true thankfulness. God then gave me the opportunity to pray with her for healing. This is why I am here. This is why I can't let the shadow of negativity block the light that so needs to shine in and out of me.
Friday morning I took one step further away from the shadow of negativity. I had been praying all week about my attitude but it still seemed to linger. At the end of our Friday service the pastor reminded us that people were available to pray with us if we needed it. I didn't immediately go forward but as a friend approached me and we talked, I knew I needed to ask her to pray with me. How healing praying with a friend can be! She saw my tears, heard my heart and lifted me up before the Father. The power of two or three is amazing. Even two days later, I feel the cloud has lifted. I still struggle with remaining positive and thankful but I know with God's strength I can endure the rest of the month more gracefully. I also know I have a friend who is there for support and prayer.
Maybe you are like me and want to be strong. You want to take care of it on your own or at least just you and God. You don't want to burden someone else. But I am so glad I took the time to share and pray with my friend, I think there is strength and power in that. I would encourage you if you are struggling with something to find someone to pray with. I would also love to pray for you if you would like to leave your request in the comments.
Dear God, Thank you for that you loved us while we were yet sinners and still love us even when we get ungrateful. Forgive me for the root of negativity that was to grow in me. Pull it out and help me to see you working in and around me. May I praise you all day. May I never cease thank you for all the things you do and are. In Your Son's name, Amen