Hello, Kettle! My Name Is Pot!

Have you ever heard or used the phrase, "talk about the pot calling the kettle black"?  Where do such phrases originate and more importantly, how do they catch on?  I really have no idea.  What I do know is that sometimes I feel like that pot.  Those of you in the ministry (whether it be preaching, teaching, singing, writing, blogging, and so on) know how difficult it is to spread messages of encouragement when you're discouraged yourself.  Or to teach about the recipe for peace when that very same peace seems elusive in your own life.  Or to assure a brother or sister in Christ that God is working all things for their good when you're struggling to believe that's the case in your own life, even though you know it's true.

I feel like I've been in a valley for far longer than I'd like to admit, but recently, it seems that the valley has grown deeper and darker.  This may be in part to a medicine mixup that has wreaked havoc on my emotions.  I hope that's the case and that things will steady out soon now that the medicine has been replaced.  I honestly don't know.  All I know is that my current state is an ideal battleground for spiritual warfare.  And the battle is raging!

Yesterday, as I read through some of my older blog posts, I realized just how much I've been discouraged.  I was able to see how God used my painful circumstances to give me the words to encourage others and remind them of God's care and control.  But as I read the posts, I wasn't encouraged by my words or God's ability to use them.  Instead, a single word raced through my mind over and over again:  hypocrite!  On the heels of that accusation were questions like the following:

How do you expect to help others when you can't even help yourself?
Why don't you take your own advice and follow the plan you set forth in your blog?
If you really believe what you've written, why are you feeling this way now?
What gives you the right to try to encourage anyone?  Just look at you, weeping away at nothing!

Talk about the pot calling the kettle black!  I wish I could say that I was able to set the voices straight and tune into the only voice that matters, the Voice of Truth.  Unfortunately, the voices continued to haunt me all evening.  They even had the gall to follow me to church, and they brought along their friends disappointment, discouragement, frustration, cynicism, bitterness and discontentment.  As you can imagine, I found it difficult to focus on much else during the service.  Even now, the voices are still there, though thankfully, they are quieter than they were yesterday.  But as I sat down to write today's post, I found that I couldn't write a typical post without feeling like the world's biggest hypocrite.  How can I tell people to trust God when I'm obviously not doing that myself?  How can I assure people that things will turn out okay, when I'm not certain I believe that's true of my own life?  What could I possible say that wouldn't make me feel even worse than I do now?  Then, it hit me.  I could tell the truth.

Honestly, it's a bit embarrassing to admit that I'm not the perfect little Christian.  It's humbling to pour out my heart to you and bare my many faults.  And as I type this post, I can't help but wonder how many of you are rolling your eyes and saying, "What's her problem this time?  Does this girl ever have a good day?"  I admit that I have such a dark cloud hanging over me right now that I'm trying to figure out how to get away from myself for a little while.  I can only imagine what my poor husband is going through trying to put up with my foul mood and cantankerous words.

All that being said, consider today's post a request.  You know I don't ask you for much.  But today, I am pleading with you to lift me up in prayer.  There is something wrong in my spirit, and I don't even know where to begin in getting it fixed.  I don't ask this lightly, but I believe there are some real prayer warriors out there.  My prayers, when I can actually think of words to mutter, seem to be bouncing off the ceiling, even though I know they're not. Still, the Bible says that the effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.  I need your help!  Will you pray for me?