Maybe It's Okay - Part 2

A couple of weeks ago, I shared a little about my health regarding my heart. During the earlier part of this journey, I bought an Apple Watch with the EKG function. I admit I became a bit obsessed with capturing my heart arrhythmias to prove I wasn’t insane. To understand my body, I researched normal versus abnormal EKGs and got pretty good at reading them. There are P waves, and S waves and T waves, and R waves, oh my! My thought process was that it would give me peace of mind that I wasn’t having a heart attack. Unfortunately, I think it just made me hyper-aware of every offbeat and did nothing for my peace.

Focusing on what I really couldn’t control allowed me to slip from human desolation into spiritual desolation.

In human desolation, which is brought on by circumstances, health, etc, you remain centered on God. But if you aren’t careful, it can be easy to slip into spiritual desolation where God is no longer the anchor. The enemy loves this space because it’s where he gets you to believe lies like “God isn’t really powerful because He would fix you if He was” Or “if you loved Jesus, you would be doing more and not moping around feeling sorry for yourself.” Or whatever you struggle with, I’m sure there is a lie about God that goes with it.

The keys to not slipping into spiritual desolation are keeping consistency and being prepared with easy to reach tools. This can look like simple morning routines to start your day or an anchor verse posted around your living space. What I found in my most recent experience is that having regular practices each morning and reminders on my shelves made God’s voice more discernible.

One Sunday morning, during worship at church, I sang along to a song about God being in charge of the waves. About the third verse into the song, it became clear that God was sending me a message. I trust Him with the actual waves of the ocean or even the metaphorical waves of my life, but when it comes to my physical heartbeat, that’s where doubt takes the wheel.

That moment, Jesus reminded me of His sovereignty. The same God who moves the ocean waters is the same God who causes my heart to beat. And with every beat, irregular or not, He holds it in his hands. That is the Truth I hold fast to now.

The disciples were absolutely terrified. "Who is this man?" they asked. "Even the wind and waves obey him!" - Mark 4:41

So whenever I feel one of those “irregular” rhythms, I say a little prayer and thank God for knowing my heart and allowing it to continue to beat. **

**Confession: a sweet friend of mine prayed that I would get to a place where I could thank God for these off beats. I did not want that to be my prayer. I just wanted God to fix it. But there is something beautiful in those abnormal moments that connect me to Him in a way I would never have without all of this.

  1. Choose simple. I would wake up each morning and read one Psalm. Some days it spoke to me. Other days it fell a little flat. But I trust that God’s Word will never return void.
  2. Pick a line. Find a poem, song lyric, or bible verse and write it all over. When you are in a hole, you need the quick reach tool to help you re-focus.
  3. Take a walk. Movement is medicine, and fresh air does wonders for your state of mind. Go it alone or invite a friend. I can’t tell you how many times this made a difference in my day.


JL McCarthy

September 2, 2021