How could I miss the warning signs?

When I read Chautona Havig’s review of Waiting for God, I couldn’t hold back my tears. She referred to Waiting for God as a feel-good book! A feel-good book?

She went on to describe her perspective of my spiritual journey. Her encouraging words blessed my weary soul.

After writing Waiting for God . . . after interviewing the brave faith-warriors who inspired me to remain steadfast with my gaze on Jesus . . . one would think I wouldn’t even try to do things in my own strength.

One would think I would recognize the symptoms of being a “do-it-yourself” disciple.

But I didn’t.

After the recent and tragic death of my friend’s son, grief overwhelmed me. I still break down when I think of him or pray for his beautiful mother . . . my friend.

I battled mental, emotional, and physical fatigue and fought discouragement as I forced myself to just get through each day. Then, my sweet pup started having digestive problems. For the last couple of weeks, we’ve been trying to help her get back on track with the vet’s help.

Getting up in the morning began to feel more and more difficult. So many people were hurting around me. So many situations were hard. So many things went wrong.

I started falling behind . . . barely making it at work . . . at life.

I even failed keeping up with the daily posts on the Waiting for God blog series.

A few days ago, I hit a wall.

I got tired of being tired. I shared my ongoing fight for energy and my dip into despair with my husband and a few praying friends, who encouraged me and prayed for me.

“I know what’s wrong,” I told my husband. “I’m not leaning on God. I’m not spending enough time letting Him refresh my spirit and strengthen my resolve. I need a spiritual retreat.”

I’d become so overwhelmed by the emotional turmoil invading my heart and mind. I’d become so frustrated with the physical depletion of my strength caused by my excessive fatigue and continual issues with pain management. I’d allowed myself to buckle under the weight of busyness, determined to check tasks off my list in a timely manner.

I’d slipped into do-it-yourself disciple mode without even realizing my mistake.

The Lord used Chautona to bring me back to chapter 8, the chapter I was working on when I fell behind on the series. (God’s timing is so perfect, isn’t it?)

When she shared a quote from chapter 8, I sobbed and thanked God for bringing me back, for adjusting my perspective, for renewing my prescription so I could see more clearly.

I had ended chapter 8 with the following verse:

Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith. (HEBREWS 12:1–2, ESV)

We can run with Spirit-empowered endurance, no matter what the path ahead entails, when we keep our eyes on Jesus, our hearts surrendered to Jesus, our ears tuned in to Jesus, our hearts saturated in the words of Jesus.

Jesus is the founder and perfecter of our faith, a faith we cannot have without Him.

After reading Chautona’s review of Waiting for God, after reading through the verse I had shared at the end of chapter 8, I read the end-of-chapter prayer one more time.

The weight of burdens God never intended me to carry fell from my shoulders.

Please join me in praying that prayer today:

Faithful Restorer and Deliverer, thanks for reminding us that we can do nothing—not even believe you—without your help. Please reveal when we’re trying to be do-it-yourself disciples and forgive us for falling into the temptation of self-sufficiency.

Please help us surrender to you as an act of faith in your unchanging character and your ability to do all things.

Help us come to you daily, so you can refill our souls with your heart-transforming Word before we’re physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually drained.

Give us the courage to kneel before you and bring our hurting loved ones before you with certainty in your limitless power.

We believe, Lord. But we confess that our faith is often weak. We know you are the one who establishes the foundation on which our faith is built. Only you can help us with our unbelief.

So help us, Lord. Enable us to live like we believe everything you say. Give us all we need to live like we know your promises will come to fruition as we trust daily in your perfect plan and pace.

In Jesus’s name, Amen.

(excerpt from Waiting for God, Xochitl Dixon, p. 48)

To read Chautona’s review, enter for your chance to win a free signed copy of Waiting for God, a copy of God Hears Her, and a $25 Amazon gift card, please check out what the Lord is doing in and through Chautona’s writing on her blog.

Reflection Questions

1. In what situation are you trying to be a do-it-yourself disciple?

I shared my story in the blog post above.

2. Why does it seem harder to surrender and rely on God when we see no end to our suffering?

Weariness has a way of planting seeds of hopelessness in our hearts. Looking too far ahead, focusing on how hard life is, and griping about how hard the road feels, makes us forget that walking by faith requires us to take one step, one breath at a time as we rest in the surety of God’s constant presence . . . in the present! It’s hard to persevere when I’m overwhelmed by my weaknesses instead of submitted to God’s limitless strength.

3. In what area of your life do you need to cry out to the Lord and say, “I believe; help me with my unbelief”?

Every area! Lord, I need You. Period. I am Yours. Do what You will, Lord.

Oh, how I needed to declare that truth again as I deal with daily struggles in every aspect of my life. Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

P.S. Thanks for helping me get back on track, Chautona.

Please share your thoughts in the comment section below the original post on my website.

If you’re just joining the conversation and would like to share your thoughts on the previous chapters, I’ve posted the links below.

End-of-Chapter Questions

Chapter 1 – The Weight of Waiting
Chapter 2 – It’s Not All About Me
Chapter 3 – Holy Vision
Chapter 4 – Just Say the Word
Chapter 5 – Resting in God’s Refuge
Chapter 6 – Enough for the Wait
Chapter 7 – F.R.O.G. Faith

*** Thanks for joining me to discuss the Waiting for God end-of-chapter questions. Please remain focused on what God is doing in and through your life and refrain from sharing full names or negative comments so we can keep this blog family a safe place to share. All comments will be monitored and modified to maintain a loving and encouraging atmosphere that is glorifying to the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I look forward to growing with you.