Heart Action

“Martha, Martha,” the Lord replied, “you are worried and upset about many things. But only one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:41-42 (NIV)


We can be honest, right? I’m just not feeling it. Maybe it is the pandemic, midlife stress, the single-mom load...we are all in recovery. My weariness has me often losing hope for the future. My faith is still strong; I still have joy, but I can’t see what’s ahead. For someone gifted with prophecy this is unfamiliar and even unsettling. And, I am not alone in this temptation.


Many years ago, a friend experienced indescribable hurt as her pregnancy ended in stillbirth. A second pregnancy was terrifying for them. Her closest friends, including myself, decided to stand in prayer by fasting for nine months. I gave up my daily go-to drink. When a healthy baby arrived, our fervent prayers were answered. I stopped at the store on the way home from the hospital to finally indulge, but the Lord stopped me. I sensed Him asking me to fast for another week. I thought, “Lord, the baby is here! We can rejoice!” Yet I heard 'one more week' in my spirit. I set the drink down and committed to seven more days out of obedience. It wasn’t in the first nine months that God revealed what He wanted to teach me. It was in the final week that clarity was gifted. And to think I could have missed it because I "just wasn’t feelin’ it".


He showed me that my gratitude was dependent on my friend's outcome when He had already done so much for me. My grateful heart for God alone could remain prevalent and consistent no matter the outcome.


I chose to be the picture of positivity on the outside during those nine months. Yet, had those motions seeped down into my soul? I usually DO the right thing. You probably do, too. But I realized that God doesn’t only want my obedient action; He wants my obedient heart. I whispered right there leaning against the stove in my kitchen, “Thank you! Thank you, Lord.” I chose to surrender my circumstances to Him and be grateful despite the possibility of a devastating, life-altering situation.


For many years, both professionally and communally, I held roles in pastoral care and often admitted that I didn’t know how the future was going to work out. I counseled those in my care to look backwards and remind themselves just how often God showed up and how often all was well in the end. So I’m taking my own advice and will hold tight to the mundane and miraculous moments God has seen me through. I’m going to remind myself to simply BE. Stay present. How is each circumstance going to work out? I don’t know! But, I KNOW God. When I slip because I can’t see my next step, I will look behind me and see how far God has brought me.


Let us take comfort in knowing the Lord goes before us (Deuteronomy 31:8), holds our hand (Isaiah 41:13), and prays for us (Luke 22:32). What more do we need?


Your fellow Able Mom,


Nicole Astra


Lord, thank you for being near us and holding us tight so we can release what is in our grip. Move our hearts to action.

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