Honest inventory

Written by Rachel Denison
Published on February 26, 2021

Our lives are messy and full. Most of the time we are operating past a healthy capacity. I have been feeling the fatigue of unhealthy limits lately. It leaves me cloudy, confused and unclear. By the grace of God, he helped me snap out of it. Oftentimes my path to clarity begins with an honest conversation, either with the Lord, or Craig. After I spoke up, we came to the conclusion I simply lacked vision for this new season I was on the brink of.

It’s funny how God made us. Our hearts are so aware of the seasons we’re encroaching upon, even if our minds don’t realize it. I knew something was up. I could feel it, and it weighed on me heavily until I acknowledged it. Once I did so, it occurred to me I was at the very end of my maternity leave. This means lots of things. I would have to start working again, I was finally getting the hang of caring for Wes, and my time of rest was coming to a close.

I felt antsy and ready for something new, and this explained it all. However, I wouldn’t have come to this realization had I not done something I do regularly when something doesn’t feel quite right: take inventory of my heart.

I cannot overemphasize how important this simple discipline is. To think some people go their entire lives without it blows my mind. But honesty is scary, and it requires us to step outside of our comfortable, stagnant lives. Usually I’m pushed to taking an honest inventory through a conflict with someone or my own horrible attitude. But what is amazing about it is, it almost always explains my behavior and gives me clarity to step forward into greater abundance, purpose and joy.

Feeling stuck turns into a blessing if we’ll allow it to propel us into having an honest conversation and taking an honest inventory of our hearts. It begins often by acknowledging icky, undesirable feelings with God or someone I trust. This time I started with the following realities: I feel bored with my life. I don’t know how to move forward and muster up excitement about anything. I don’t feel like being around people. I don’t feel like spending time with Jesus. I don’t even know what I want. And this really scares me.

As I validated and accepted these fears and feelings in my heart, I finally felt real. The fog lifted, and I felt like I could relate to others again. My apathy subsided long enough for me to hear and see God. And in his kindness he reminded me of where I’m at: the brink of a new season with endless new options and opportunity. The peace of God showed up and made me feel safe. Philippians 4:6-7 was made manifest in my soul!

Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.” (MSG)

A sense of God’s wholeness truly came and settled me down. And my anxiety about my “okayness” turned into hope for the near future. I want to encourage you if you’re struggling today with a foggy mind and cluttered heart to stop and pull your journal out. Have a brutally honest conversation with yourself and God. Then go to a confidant and have that conversation again. Clarity and peace will be the result. Everyone gets stuck, everyone. It’s just part of being human. But taking an inventory of your heart will get your heart beating again and clear a path for you to thrive. We all need a little jumpstart, and this always seems to get me there.

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Rachel Denison

Rachel Denison writes to help others draw near to God in every season of life. She and her husband Craig live in Dallas with their two boys, and spend their days enjoying their kids, cooking, watching the Office, and leading worship together. You can find more of her writing and worship as companions to a free daily devotional on First15.org.

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