“Can a mother forget the baby at her breast
and have no compassion on the child she has borne?
Though she may forget,
I will not forget you!”
Why am I so fickle? Forgetful? And frustrated? What makes me so distracted? Disillusioned? And easily discouraged and disappointed?
This is a great mystery to me. I think I have a disease called spiritual amnesia. And I don’t think I am alone. Lately, my feelings about faith and my visions for the future have been waning. Am I on the right track? Does God really care? Do I really care?
I find myself in the darkest cave (that space between my ears) wandering into uncharted territory farther away from the sunlight of the spirit. I’ll be honest I even thought about a drink while I’ve been on this family vacation. Was I really THAT bad? Is sobriety really THAT important?
“Why do things seem to work so easily for everyone else?” my mind grinds on and on. “If God really loved me wouldn’t He make a way in the wilderness and help everything my hand touches to prosper?”
I know. I know.
The sunlight peeks in for a brief moment…April, do not despise the day of small beginnings…the still small voice says.
But how many beginnings do I have to have? How many more can I endure before I just give up?
I remember when I started my Life Coaching practice in 2010 my business plan was simple, “Help people.”
How naive I was!
I remember calling David Essel in a moment of discouragement and saying, “When will my business take off?” and he said, “Businesses take 3-5 years to really get started…”
I accepted the reality that I was going to have to hustle, BIG TIME. Back then I was relying on my own strength. Not a prayer was uttered. Not a moment of thought given to God. I can do this all on my own and I did the best I could for years.
Looking back on it now, I see that if any of those ideas from the books I wrote, to the Happy Mom Conferences I put on for hundreds of moms, to the University of Moms platform I developed and a partnership with Dr. Shefali Tsabary (Oprah’s parenting expert) to the online courses I created and stint in network marketing which produced a best-selling book, had skyrocketed to the moon, I wouldn’t be where I am now.
Stripped down. Vulnerable. Bare and broken. Needing to recalibrate and refocus my attention on God.
Sure there were a lot of successes along the way. Sure I helped people. Sure I have learned more in the last 8 years than I ever thought I would back in 2010. But honestly, I don’t care about those times at all. I have forgotten.
Yes, the stubborn, self-willed April, that is a hustler and a competitor refuses to surrender. Those brief moments of success and the more recent moments of spiritual clarity and God’s grace which helped me walk through the doors of a 12-step program over 2 years ago and which moved me to write The Ultimate Love Affair (in just 40 days!) have evaporated like smoke.
I’m back to the hustle. Sell the book. Help more people. Create the right Facebook ads. Track the numbers. Tweak the images. Cracking the whip on my own back and then berating myself for feeling the pain. I’ve slipped back into the mode of wondering “what else do I need to do and what’s wrong with me?”
I guess I’m not too different from the Israelites. In both Deuteronomy 6:10-12 and a few chapters later in Deuteronomy 8:10-20 they are cautioned not to forget God or else their hearts will become proud and they will think that their prosperity was wrought by their own hands. But always remember it is God who gives you the ability to produce wealth and prosper.
And I guess I am very different from God who says even though a mother may forget her child, God will never forget us. I can’t even remember my friends’ birthdays sometimes…and my kids swear that I have the worst memory on the planet (mostly because I am often distracted and not listening). So why does God remember me when I so often forget Him?
So the reality show continues.
God’s love never fails. Our love is fickle. God never forgets us. We take the credit and forget God. God’s faith in us never waivers. Our faith in God is fleeting.
We turn our backs and put our nose to the grindstone forgetting all the grace we’ve been given. Forgetting the miracles of the past. The near misses and the divine conversations. The late night ideas and the early morning spirit whisperings. The times we have been extended grace when we didn’t even ask for it. We forget that we are children who need help and can ask for it at any moment.
I am honestly tired of circling the mountain of self-sufficiency and riding the horse called Amnesia.
God help me to remember you. God help me to slow down and recount all the ways you have loved and remembered me even when I didn’t love or remember you. I am so quick to walk away. Forgive me for not asking for help. Forgive me for again relying on my own strength.
I don’t know how to let go. I fear trusting you 100%. I feel like I am a slacker if I don’t keep producing more content, doing more work, networking with a fury to make the right connections. And I can hear you laughing…saying “Go ahead and do it if you think it has worked before and you are happy in the hustle…”
…I know I am not. Yet I continue. Maybe like Paul, this self-sufficiency falls into the category of doing what I don’t want to do?
And that is the thing I love most about You. You just smile and allow. You let me choose when I want to get off the horse called Amnesia. You let me gallop around the mountain again and again and again, you watch me repeat the same old shit and suffer the same old results. You don’t get frustrated with me. You know that when I have suffered enough I’ll come back.
The question is have I suffered the pain of Spiritual Amnesia long enough? Am I willing to get off that horse and let it ride off into the sunset?
I hope so.