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« Does Anne Shirley give us unreasonable expectations? | Main | Bible teacher or biblical teacher? »
Friday
Oct052018

Battling the Distraction Demon

Last fall, right when school started, I started to experience a worsening of my GERD symptoms. It was not anything major, but it was frustrating, because I was taking medication daily. In the midst of getting started in school, my mind had to start pondering food triggers. What was it now? I went through the rounds of herbal teas (which, I'm sorry to say, all begin to taste the same after a while: blech) and increased my water intake and basically eating bland foods. Nothing.

This was annoying because I wanted to focus on my first few weeks of school, not wonder whether or not I was going to have start eating differently. Eventually, however, I went to the doctor and had a chat with his physician's assistant (whom I love). She was not sure what was going on, but ordered a gastroscopy and took some blood. My blood results came back with being positive for the H.pylori bacterium. Easy peasy solution: take some antibiotics, which I did. Gastroscopy came back clear. Distraction over. My GERD is no longer an issue. In fact, I've been off the meds for almost a year now.

This fall, when school started, there was another distraction demon. This one came in the form of some family issues which have surfaced over the past four months. These involve my extended family, including my parents. These are issues which I see now have been one of the most significant contributions to many of my own struggles, especially as it relates to trusting other people.

I don't want to think about these things right now. I recognize that I can't change the past, and that in all likelihood, there is no solution except to lean on God, to find my strength in Christ. What better place to do that than in seminary, right? Nope. The distractions still come. They come on the hour long ride to and from school, as my mind wanders. They come when I'm feeling tired and it's harder to concentrate. They come because these are family issues, and you can't get away from who you are. 

One of my friends suggested to me once that such distractions in the midst of seminary is a spiritual attack. Satan does not want me to be in seminary. It's much better for me to be obsessing about the past and dealing with struggle in the here and now. Satan does not want any of us to succeed in knowing God more.

I know I am right where God wants me to be. Being in seminary is the one place I actually feel like I belong. Last Thursday, I had a wonderful conversation with a fellow student as he shared with me his thesis research on the atonement. He spoke to me like a colleague, not like a silly little woman who was only at seminary because she needed a hobby. Talking to people about the deep things of God is enjoyable, and when I'm doing that, the other problems are far from my mind.

So, I'm going to keep praying for the distractions to stay away, and I'm going to forge ahead. 

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