Nothing Else

I went silent with public journaling/blog posts, because I needed to redirect my focus. Earlier in 2022, my health was getting worse as I attempted to edit my second book manuscript in preparations for my editor to do her first round of edits. I thought I had prayed a lot. I know how to trust God, yet I got lost and distracted in the adversities and challenges. Dragging my feet felt like my new running companion. My first reactions were a far cry from what God had taught me over the last forty-four years. 

The pressures of trying to get book two published in 2022 took its toll. I put pressure on my warrior tribe when I failed at getting my part done in March. I passed on the baton in May, which was two months from the original deadline. It made for some unnecessary stress.

I have taken pride in running miles for my stress-relief, yet it was taken from me during my rebuilding program—no running allowed. I had to detox and dedicate my focus to a daily schedule involving water intake, supplements galore—four times a day, and being strict on my diet. Food was not enjoyable any more. It felt like a curse. Protein shakes were a safe haven. 

I hadn’t truly let myself own this year and acknowledged that it was a different kind of hard. Everything to this point had been measured by my loss of Lilian Grace. Nothing could be harder than losing her. Right? Wrong! Life is hard. Adversities are the very things that cause us to dig deep and trudge forward. These challenges show us where we are right now. I know I can do hard things. If the house is on fire, I’m your person. I’m not as great at the normal, mundane things, though.

I’m listening to Cody Carnes singing “Nothing Else” right now and it’s bringing things full circle. This year was full and chaotic. It brought great joy and hardship. I’ve been burnt out more in multiple areas of my life. I felt like I failed people more this past year than any other. I wanted to give up on book two of my Journals from a Warrior’s Mother series, because it kept being too hard. My thoughts at times were distasteful and hurtful to myself and others.

God reminded me of one of the biggest lessons I could ever learn. Nothing else matters, but Him. When I am stripped down and there’s nothing left, it’s just me and Him. I don’t deserve His presence. I haven’t earned the right to demand goodness or grace—even mercy. When I close my eyes, I imagine myself at His feet, sitting like Martha. She knew that His presence was enough. She didn’t need anything else. She didn’t have anything to prove. 

I find myself grumbling and seeping with negativity. I am sorry for those who I get sideways with. I am sorry, God, that I get caught up. I don’t like when I am being 100% human. I just want to be who You need me to be. I don’t care about anything else. I want to live in Your will while trusting that You will make pure goodness and change for others in Your timing. 

I need my expectations of time to fade away. Nothing else matters. I don’t ever want to leave Your side. As book two gets released before this month ends, I pray that I will get out of Your way. I want to remain caught up in Your presence. I am a mere vessel that desperately wants to let Your light shine. 

I am happy to say that my second reaction, where I pray and see God working, has become my first reaction. I can’t unsee God. When trouble comes, I pray immediately. Nothing else will take His place and the peace He provides. I just want Him. I want what He wants. To be in His will has and will always be my favorite part of this ride. 

I don’t want to do any of this life without Him being in the driver’s seat. I can’t control anyone, but myself. I decided to react with Him first. I don’t need anything else, but Him. I’m grateful for His reminders. My roots are growing deeper and I feel His unconditional love pumping through my core. I accept that life will happen. I have the greatest weapon to protect me—God! Get caught up in His presence and know that His timing is perfect. The blessings pour out when He leads. 

Be ready! Book two is almost here. I poured everything I could into this next book. I pray it brings people to Him. It’s about the rest of my first year of grieving. When I was going through the book proof for the hundredth time, God prompted me to stop. I read the entry and the flood gates opened. I needed the release. I try to be too strong for too long. His presence that night was felt. He reminded me of how far we’ve come. 

In the entry, I discuss getting to see a video of Michael and Lilian Grace dancing. My heart was filled with joy then and now. Seeing them dance together was heavenly. How lucky am I? I’m blessed beyond what I deserve. We weren’t promised any time with her, yet I have hundreds of pictures and videos displaying life, love, laughter, joy, and peace among the worst ride of my life. We knew she wasn’t going to be here for long, yet God taught us to live anyways. 

If you find yourself unhappy or discontent, look to God. Throw your arms up and ask Him to take you back to the start. Open up your heart and mind to Him. Let Him renew and rebuild you. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth the outcome. God will provide!

My sister-in-law, Kristen Cooper, posted a beautiful reminder this past week. I’m choosing to praise God that thorn bushes have roses. It’s a glorious perspective. Thanks for the reminder. Lilian, Piper, and Daphne have given me pure joy wrapped in lessons with uncomfortable and failing moments, yet I’m smiling! God uses it all! Nothing else matters, but God!

Published by Chrissy L Whitten

Chrissy L Whitten is a mother who wrote what God placed in her heart to share while her first daughter fought for 103 days. Her first book of four in the Journals from a Warrior’s Mother is available on Tuesday, May 25, 2021 in eBook form. Black & white paperback and Collector's Edition paperback (full color) are coming soon.

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