A better way to honor change

Do not let sin control the way you live; do not give in to sinful desires. Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin. Instead, give yourselves completely to God, for you were dead, but now you have new life. So use your whole body as an instrument to do what is right for the glory of God. Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace. Romans 6:12-14

There is something my youngest pokes fun at me any chance he can for saying-“The ‘p’ in pastor doesn’t stand for ‘perfect.’”He repeats it anytime he recalls some slip of tongue in the car in the past at an inept driver, any transgression deemed unbefitting of someone “called” to lead a flock from the past 10-13 years of his life. “I know. I know. ‘P’ in pastor doesn’t stand for “perfect.”

Why have I had to say this so many times until it’s almost some ridiculous mantra repeated at dinner? Because, yes. I struggled with road rage for a number of years, and my children were witness to it. During those moments, a range of 4 letter words would flow, and my kids reminded me they were not appropriate. But what bothered me most? Even after I was “reformed,” started waving instead when someone flipped me off, and stopped cursing when someone cut me off, was that they just never let me forget it. Hence the need to remind them that the process of sanctification, was a process. Even for pastors.

Paul even reminds the Roman church of this in Chapter 6, in his letter to them, reminding them of where “perfection” comes-through their new life in Christ.

But how many of us are like my children at times? Continuing to bring up the used-to’s? The behaviors before Jesus came in and cleaned up that mess, before we fully surrendered, and handed over all those sinful practices to Him? Are we just not willing to let it go? That person whether pastor or not, may have truly decided not to let sin control them-whether it’s cursing or something else, but we won’t stop bringing up their old desire to do so-so we deny the work of the Spirit in their lives, look past what God has done to move them through a process of change, and fail to celebrate the new life that has been born. They start to believe…well, they will just never be “perfect” enough for you.

There is a better way. Paul also talks about it to another church. The church in Corinth, when he talks about something else we view as perfect by the world’s standards-love. In 1 Corinthians 13, Paul describes perfect love-Christian love. He says, this type of love does not keep a record of wrongs (v5). In addition, this “perfect” love, never loses faith and is always hopeful (v7). So, someone loving and celebrating new life, displaying Christian love; would not harp on another’s flaws, but would rejoice in the making new.

Are we walking this better way-with others or even with ourselves? Focused on the making new, in the dead life we were removed from when Jesus called us out of those ways into something better? If we are still holding onto the old, can we let it go, so we can truly help others move forward in the Christ-like “perfection,” and ourselves as well?

Because He certainly did. And He expects us to as well.

Redeemed from the Past

This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! 2 Corinthians 5:17

The past. There are times we look back on the past with nothing but nostalgic feelings of good times. We look through scrapbooks of pictures that show happy faces, memories of places we have been, things we have seen. These memories stir up joy, happiness, and even longing for the times where things seemed easier.

The past. Some are still stuck in it. And not the happier moments. Stuck in the pain of past hurts. Past choices. The person we were before. Some may even be people who won’t allow us to let go of these choices. Friends. Relatives. People with whom we work, and navigate through life daily. Not willing to let go of a person we may no longer be.

You know who else won’t let go of the past? Satan. He knows your triggers. He knows your past sin. And just as some people can’t help but remind us-he can’t either.

There are some mistakes we have made. Some jumps we have taken. Some falls. That we don’t want people to know about. And if they do know about them, we don’t want them to be brought up again. Because they aren’t cool scars. They aren’t the kind that make you feel tough. They are the kind that only remind you of a past you thought you escaped. That everyone had forgotten. 

Until something reminds you again.

And I found myself here in the last two weeks. Triggered by so many things from my past. And it was stupid, little stuff. But it was enough to nag at me, until I started focusing on the scars that the past left behind. My sin scars. Not my grace scars. 

So, first-maybe you are wondering what are grace scars? 

Those grace scars. They are the nail-pierced hands of Jesus. They are the scars that bore the sin we try so hard to hide. Others try so hard to remember, and can’t seem to forget. Those are grace scars. And when the past kept coming back to me, I kept forgetting this grace that was given to me because of those scars that Jesus carries.

Because see, this new scar I now have, I don’t like it. Satan uses it to beat me down and make me believe that I am no longer who God believes me to be.

It is on my right wrist. It’s courtesy of surgery I had to have after I broke my wrist from a fall back in October of 2020. I don’t really like to talk about it much. Falls happen. I have fallen before, never broken a bone. But, 2020…right?

But this fall was also different. A bit harder. It happened during a time when I was really doubting God’s purpose in anything going on in my life. The people in it. The things going on. Nothing was adding up or making sense. I spent more time screaming angry prayers at Him, and asking Him why, and didn’t like any of His answers. Nor did I like any of the waiting. So…I did things my way, and ultimately got in the way. I tried to play God. I forgot who I was. And, well….I guess God knocked me down, so to speak.

So I don’t like this scar. It’s angry looking. And when I look at the jagged “S,” that now lives there, I don’t hear the voice of God. I hear a different one. The one that reminds me of my past sin scars, and not my grace one. That tells me this jagged “S” is for words like “shameful.” “Sinner.” “Stupid.” “Silly.” “Soiled.” Some I don’t care to even mention, just want to forget. It’s like I’ve been branded with a scarlet letter of anything Satan wants to use to help me doubt my salvation or self-worth.

Of course that is what Satan wants me to believe. But His word says in Micah 7:18-19:

You will not stay angry with your people forever,
    because you delight in showing unfailing love.
 Once again you will have compassion on us.
    You will trample our sins under your feet
    and throw them into the depths of the ocean!

Which means-He gave us Jesus. To pay for those sins. To cover all those scars. So God has forgotten. Those mistakes. All of them, were buried somewhere in the sea. We ask for forgiveness, and repent. He forgets. The only one remembering any of it is Satan, and maybe a couple earthly people.

 And when we profress our belief, we hear new words. 

Words like:

Saved.

Set apart.

Seen.

Secure.

Smart.

Strong.

Redeemed.

To others, your scars may be a reminder of your checkered past, but to God they are the a reason He extends to us His grace and mercy. We have the choice to receive it. Are we going to walk in His grace, as one redeemed, or keep letting others remind us of those things He has forgotten?

Me? I choose grace. I choose mercy. I choose to believe the things God tells me that have nothing to do with my past.

I do not own rights to music, lyrics, or video.

Masks of Deception

We refuse to wear masks and play games. We don’t maneuver and manipulate behind the scenes. And we don’t twist God’s Word to suit ourselves. Rather, we keep everything we do and say out in the open, the whole truth on display, so that those who want to can see and judge for themselves in the presence of God. 2 Cor 4:2 MSG

I have spoken about this before here: My youngest has never understood the concept of Halloween. Even in our desire for him to indulge in the holiday festivities; he simply refused to put on a costume. If there was a time he dressed up, he had to be as close to a character he recognized, and would not dare wear a mask. Many years he simply went to events as “Hunter.” His philosophy being-he had no pressing reason to be anything other than himself. Wouldn’t he be given candy anyway? Why “trick” others into giving it him?

From an autistic lens, I began to see his point.

The world has sold us a big fat lie: You must present yourself to it as someone other than who God intends you to be in order to get your needs met.

It’s why we deceive the aging process with fillers, Botox, filters, and injections. Tricking others into believing we are younger than we are, smoother, or that our forehead wrinkles don’t exist.

It’s why we post our “highlights.” So we can trick people into thinking we are happier, have more money, our marriages aren’t crumbling, and our kids aren’t making poor choices.

It’s why we don’t discuss our struggles with other people.

It’s why we wear our masks on every other day after October 31st. These masks may not be the scary ones like evil, murder, robbery, or any other punishable crime. No, these masks look more like skimming time from your co-worker while you post all about your crummy job on Facebook. It’s the hurtful words you say about a friend as soon as she leaves the table to go home. It’s the ways in which you don’t support another person’s success, because they are doing what you wish you were. It’s that plastic smile you paint on, when you feel like crying. It’s that word “fine,” you speak when you are anything but.

Those are our masks. And we don’t need a holiday like Halloween to wear them and to deceive everyone around us. We put them on most everyday. And expect people to hand us what we want.

We deceive others this way. We deceive others into believing that believers have it all together. That we don’t struggle. Our painted on “smiley” masks that hide our struggles can deceive the hurting seeker into believing they have to be perfect before they can have Christ. And on another note, when we paint on goodness, and hide poor behaviors such as gossip or malice, we let others know that maybe Christ isn’t so attractive after all.

Maybe our youngest had a point. Can’t we have Christ anyway by coming to him as ourselves? Can’t we be in communion and fellowship with each other without a mask? Without pretending we are someone else for the day?

Try it. Drop your faulty expectations that you have to have it all together, and come as you are. As God intended you to be. Drop the mask the world expects. That plastic smile, those expectations and disappointments you hide behind, and simply be yourself before others today. Genuine. Honest. Truthful. No deception underneath. Nothing but who He intended.

Blooming in His time

But the godly will flourish like palm trees and grow strong like the cedars of Lebanon. Psalm 92:12

I was a bit of a late bloomer. I am not speaking physically here, I am speaking in terms of where we rate ourselves on how well we are doing based on the seemingly “successful” lives of others. I was never a conformist, so not sure I ever thought God would have intended any path in my life to conform to any “worldly” and acceptable pattern.

This is not to say I didn’t have big dreams. I wanted to go to college after high school, join the FBI (I said they were big), study criminal behavior…my life didn’t go as I had planned. As I had dreamed. It took detours of my own choosing. I took a long and winding path to lead me to where I am today. I bloomed later than most. And that’s OK, because maybe that is how God intended it.

Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails. Proverbs 19:21

When I think of blooming, I always think of flowers. I like to garden, and I have found that there are some flowers that I can enjoy for a season in my garden, and then “poof” they are gone. They bloom super fast. But then they quickly start to lose all their blooms as soon as the day gets hot, as soon as it gets too dry, as soon as any adversity comes. They can’t withstand the long, hot, hard days. These flowers don’t make it past one good, hot summer. They quickly lose their luster.

But then, I remember the story of the bamboo. I remember hearing this story when I was sitting in on a lesson when my oldest was a member of our church’s youth group. Each time I see one of these plants in our local Lowe’s, I feel the desire to purchase one-just to remember the late bloomers.

Enter the bamboo plant

I bought one though…today Lowe’s just called my name a little louder.

The bamboo plant can be planted from seed at the same time as any other plant, watered and nurtured. Provided the same amount of care and love. Yet, that other plant may grow significantly larger and faster. While you see nothing from that bamboo. The bamboo plant won’t start sprouting any leaves until about the fifth year, and then within six months time it can grow between 80 to 100 feet tall.

Does it mean that nothing is happening for four years? That the seed you are tending is laying there doing nothing? That what you are doing is not making a difference? Or that your suffering, or your twisty path, that may look different is all for naught? No-you; like the bamboo; are growing strong roots. Roots strong enough to sustain you for the journey that lies ahead just for you.

God knows that you are not the average garden flower. Not the average houseplant. Not like the rest that can be nurtured for a bit, walk the same path as everyone else, and quickly fall away.

You are the bamboo. You grow along a different path. A different speed. A different schedule. But you grow strong roots. Maybe a late bloomer, but when you bloom, He knows you will be standing tall.

To be known

I walked in the room, knowing I needed to apologize. Dinner in our home is definitely a time of interesting, and fiery conversation. The fiery ones center mostly on the state of virtual school. On any given night, one parent ends up being the bad cop, the good cop, or we both end up just being lame. Tonight, it was me.

I wasn’t “bad.” I hadn’t yelled. We hadn’t had the dreaded school discussion that ends in stomping to rooms, but I hadn’t set a “good” example. Not one sprinkled with grace and acceptance.

I had mocked someone we knew at the dinner table. Judged a situation, and judged the person in the situation.

And any of you who haven’t committed this sin, be the first to cast a stone. I’ll wait.

While I wait…and wait, I’ll explain my apology. If I feel my example has not been one of Christlike-ness; or let’s just say, if I KNOW, because the Spirit tells me it hasn’t, I will apologize. This means I will also apologize to my kids.

Now, I know some don’t believe in this. But, the Bible is clear about how humble we must become to enter His kingdom:

Then he said, “I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven.” Matthew 18:3, NLT

Like children. So I’m not above apologizing to a child. Especially if I know that one is watching and learning from me.

“I shouldn’t have said what I did tonight. Made fun of what happened. It was wrong. I am not going to justify my behavior. I should have explained my thoughts differently. It was wrong. I didn’t set an example, and it wasn’t kind.”

The apology opened up a conversation about authenticity and belonging.

See…I had left a space earlier that day feeling shunned and unwelcome. Like I was an intrusion. And I let it fester all day. To the point that I let the inauthentic response of another trigger me into anger, and a mean-spirited response.

When I should have explained at dinner the importance of making others feel comfortable in all spaces. Allow others to be free to be themselves, so they don’t have to constantly “shape-shift,” and be less than themselves. To be inclusive to all. To make others feel a little less self-conscious, but rather accepted, seen, loved, and known.

“I don’t want you to be 42 years old, and just figuring this out like I am.”

As I sat typing out the words to this post, I reached for my phone to locate a verse I needed and found this…a note I had typed out in my phone over a year ago. A short “letter” I had written to the younger me.

Dear Younger me,

Choose your circle wisely. You should be loved by your peeps for who you are, not for who you pretend to be. If you have to change who you were made to be to fit into a space, that isn’t your space.

And as I read it, I realized…though she thought it “cringy…” I had just said these exact same words, without my even knowing to a pretty spot-on, younger version of 13 year-old me.

And no…I didn’t want her to have to figure all this out in another 30 years.

And goodness, I am still trying to figure out many days who it is that God sees in me.

Because that is what I want her to see: who God sees. Not what anyone in any room she may walk into may see. Because more often than not…they may not see ALL that God has given her. ALL her talent. ALL her gifts. ALL that makes her so uniquely special, and set apart.

And it’s the same for you. There will be rooms you walk into where you may be known by name, but in which people still just don’t see you. You still don’t feel known. You will move in circles with people who don’t know who you really are, because you feel as if you have to cover up the real you. Play pretend. You may waste years and years trying to fit into spaces that will just never “fit” you, and who you are.

Know this. Embrace it today.

You are always seen and intimately known by God. He knows everything about you, and He still loves you. He has a place for you, and you never have to pretend, cover up; nor will you feel all alone.

He sees the real you. The broken you. The insecure you. The too loud you. The shy you. The you trying to fit into spaces that make you cringe.

He knows your name. He sees you. He loves you. He accepts you. You are known. You belong.

The Messy Middle

There is a place I dread visiting these days. For anyone navigating this stage of parenting, you must know this place. It is hidden behind a door in our home. I know who is there. Problem is…I never know what is there. Meaning, I never know what mess I will find. Are those clothes on the floor clean? Are all those cups necessary? Does an actual person live in here? I want to spend time with my teens, but does it have to be in here? Does it have to be in the middle of this mess?

And all the parents of teens said, “Amen.”

Yet…messy teenage rooms aren’t the only messes we hide from.

We run from the messy middle of our own making. Of life’s circumstances. Of the things we just don’t want to discuss, or even deal with all the time. We even run from the messes of others, because we aren’t comfortable carrying them. Or simply don’t know how.

We dread going through the mess of life, like we dread going into our kid’s rooms, and in our dread we hide. We hide behind masks. We plaster on plastic smiles and happy faces. Pretend that everything is “a-ok” so that the outside world believes that all is good up in our heads, and all in our heart.

Or we retreat. We may run and hide. We may shut ourselves out from the world so no one sees us. So we don’t have to explain away our suffering. Or because running feels like pretending to us. Escaping.

We all have messy we don’t want to address, so we dress-up under our masks. We may hope our mask will “pretty it all up.” We fix the outside up, because that masks the pain we don’t address inside. We fix the outside up, because if the outside looks good, and everyone can see it, then life is all good, right?

Sometimes we even mask up by numbing. With whatever mask we choose to hide away behind when we can’t manage to pretty up the outside. The numbing that takes place in the only way we know how to manage that pain on our own. Binge watching. Eating. Gambling. Drinking. Dating. Sleeping. Or just plain running.

We pretend until we have managed the pain on our own. And we have come out of our mess on the other side. Seemingly clean and unscathed. Or so everyone thinks.

We miss something when we mask up. When we run and hide and shut others out. Or numb it. We miss out on showing others what it looks like to live through the messy middle. What it looks like to truly surrender ourselves to our pain.

To survive it.

Because we can’t just pretend it didn’t happen. That we go through it unscathed. Not bruised. Not changed in some way.

No. We went through it. We didn’t put on a mask. We felt it. We couldn’t just numb it. It was painful. We couldn’t hide.

There is something to learn from those who pour it all out, and wade through the mess before them.

Who don’t search for potions, magic elixirs, and people to help them hide from it all.

Who do the work to get through the messy middle stronger, braver, lighter, and more ready to love than ever before.

Anyone can hide.

It takes a warrior to wade. To fight. To muddle through. To pray on knees, and cry hot, hot tears of defeat, anger, or bitterness. Sometimes all of them at once.

To not hide from messy, but to let it hang out in the open. To open doors that are scary to venture into. To have conversations that are uncomfortable. To admit that the mess was of our own making. To take ownership, and get to working on the clean-up, instead of ducking under the covers, and waiting for someone else to come from behind the door to do it.

To admit that through the messy middle, you doubted you would even see the end. Had lost faith in God. Saw more darkness than light. And yes…those prayers? They were definitely more angry than praiseworthy.

It takes bravery and courage to wade through the mess that way.

It’s not comfortable. No. No, it is not. But it is possible-together.

Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. 2 Corinthians 12:9

Yes, we make mistakes. And we can admit them to each other, and get through them…with Him-together. But we have to be willing to release our desire to cover up. To cover up when we stumble. To hide when we fall.

In the messy middle, there is no place for masks. They don’t help. They only hurt. They don’t heal. They only cover up gaping wounds with bandaids that actually require stitches.

Be brave. Open the door. Wade through the mess of the chaos lying at your feet. Sit down with someone you trust, and share your messy middle. Because this…our mess. None of it can be waded through alone. It’s in the mess we see the love of God. It’s in our mess, someone else can, too.

Maybe you failed…but a failure you are not

I failed today.

I had all these things I set out to do. And I didn’t do a single one.

I prayed last night that when I woke this morning, I would remember that “mercy was anew.” I did remember it. For a moment. Until that car pulled out in front of me. That child yelled at me. That co-worker snapped at me. And I forgot all about mercy.

I failed to do the laundry.

I failed to put down my phone.

I failed to meet my deadline. I failed to be patient. Spoke harshly. Was a little too snappy. Let my frustration show through my tone and actions.

I failed today.

I failed to cook dinner.

I failed to play that game with my kids.

I failed to spend time with my husband.

I failed.

I failed because the world says I have to keep up with everything that is thrown at me. I failed because the world says I have to have it all together. Be everything to everyone, all with a bright smile on my face. Check everything off my endless to-do list with everlasting cheeriness.

And if I keep trying to measure up to the standards of the world. Rating myself on whether all my check boxes are filled, I will always feel like a world-class failure.

And I am not. I am not a failure.

I just failed today.

And I can try again tomorrow.

And so can you. You can cross off one more thing from your list you didn’t get done tomorrow. Or next week.

You can spend 10 less minutes on your phone, even if you hoped it would be an hour.

You can simply sort the laundry, and wait until tomorrow to actually start a load.

And still be successful.

Because you are not failing.

You are human. Sure you have some tough days. Sure to want to throw out your check list. Sure to feel that all is going wrong. And everything is crumbling. Sure to feel like you have failed a time or two. Or three.

But surely….never a failure.

We all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Romans 3:23

Please don’t ask me to drink

Sometimes you can be the loudest, funniest, and coolest one at the party, and at some point still feel all alone. Still be the one feeling like “Baby” stashed in a corner, behind a plant…trying to figure out where you fit in. Hoping no one asks if you want a drink. Please. Please don’t ask if I want a drink.

That was some random thought I had written down. At a party. Where maybe one or two folks I actually knew were present. Where the majority of them were on the dance floor. Drinks in hand. All seeming to be having the time of their lives. While I sat behind a plant. In a corner. Wondering if a drink would make me feel like I belonged.

I wasn’t always this way. I was for a good part of my late teens (yes…late teens) and well into my early 30s the one dancing. With drink in hand. Maybe even on a “good” night, two in hand. And…if I was really slick. I could hide them just enough so any picture taken? Yep. No one would know.

I was the mom who downed a bottle of wine before her kids were off the bus. Knowing I had enough time for the buzz to wear off before the hubs got home. Figuring the kids were too young to notice.

I broke things after drunken wine festivals. I justified my long days spent “out” to my love-“I’ve got a lot on my plate.”

I planned entire weekends around my next drink. And my Sunday’s around the bathroom.

I needed to escape. I wanted to fit in. I wanted to forget all the junk. Even if for just a little bit.

I was the life of the party, because for those moments I could forget about all that was life.

I was the life of the party, yet still so lonely.

And so I get it. I get why people become drawn to food. To booze. To drugs. To drown out those feelings of loneliness. Inadequacy. Overwhelm.

They are the reasons I started drinking. They are also the exact reasons I stopped.

Because I didn’t want alcohol to be the fuel that drove me to make a connection with someone. Because I didn’t want my social interactions to be obscured by cloudy judgment. Because, if I’m honest…my inability to feel like I belonged in those spaces made me overcompensate. I was downright obnoxious. Loud. And rude.

I didn’t want to feel like I needed a drink to be accepted.

I didn’t want to numb feelings that would still be there when I woke.

Because I finally started to see that the end of the bottle was not the end of all my problems.

And it took me some time to get to the point where I can walk in a room, and own the place. Water bottle and all.

Yet, there are still times I don’t. Still times I feel so, so lonely.

While my choice to not partake makes me seem like a prude to some. May have people looking sideways at me because, my goodness…you don’t have a cocktail after those crazy days you have??? (Nope. Nope. I don’t). May have others believe I am silently judging their choice to do so.

It’s simply not good for me. And what’s not good for me shouldn’t leave me feeling lonely.

So, keep inviting me to your parties. To happy hour. To your wedding with the open bar.

Just be OK with me if I decline, because the temptation to take the edge off the “social jitters” may be too much. Or if I show up and only order water. Please don’t convince me to have another drink. Because I know I can’t stop at one.

Please help me to feel accepted in that corner. Behind that plant. While I tap my foot, just trying not to dance.

Please invite me out on that dance floor.

Just please don’t ask me to drink.

The One who sees you

It seemed to be like any other Sunday morning. I got up. Made my coffee. Sat down to read my Bible. It seemed like any other morning. Yet, it wasn’t. That coffee wouldn’t go down as it usually does. That Bible remained unopened, and something inside of me was just unsettled.

And I spent the rest of that seemingly, normal Sunday morning sobbing on my bedroom floor. That urge to sob remained as I went through my normal Sunday motions.

Until: “If today you feel unloved, come pray.”

So I did. Because in the core of that unsettled spirit was that belief.

I felt unloved.

Overlooked. Unappreciated. Disrespected. Insignificant. Like nothing I did was ever good enough. Simply expected and undervalued. And I’ll admit…I was thinking it sure would be nice to hear a simple “Thank you!”

But as I sat (once again, crying) at that altar, I was reminded of this:

While others may not accept my love, or even return it-I am never far away from His love.

I wasn’t overlooked. He saw everything I was doing to take care of my family and countless others.

I wasn’t insignificant or undervalued. In fact, He reminded me that He thought I was so significant that He offered me grace, a new life, and talents only I possessed-even if they were not appreciated by others.

So today…I want you to know: Even if others make you feel like you don’t belong. Don’t measure up, or simply forget you.

Even if you never hear an earthly, “Thank you.”

You belong. You belong with Him. You have talents and gifts that are immeasurable. You are not forgotten.

You are seen. You are appreciated. You are loved.

Life goes on. So will I.

I remember back in the early 90’s a family sitcom called “Life Goes On.” The show chronicled the life of a family dealing with the challenges of raising and supporting a family member with Down’s syndrome. A sister who had to learn to accept her brother, while trying to be accepted by her peers. Navigating a relationship resulting in grief, until we find in the end they all grow up. They all navigate and move through life with all its up and downs, and that life really does go on, just like the theme song for the show promised.

But, sometimes in the midst of it all, you are forced to put life on hold for a while.

In order to be reminded that life does go on, but so will you.

Life was actually going pretty good. I had finally let go of some junk. Had a routine down that kept me balanced. I was happier. Had more joy. And I could count on only one hand the number of times I had cried at work this year. I didn’t dread the commute. The day. No longer cried on my way home. I felt like I was in a balanced place.

In fact, the moment that all would turn for me, I had been doing what I had been doing daily-laughing. I was finally, after more than a year, feeling like myself again.

Until I wasn’t.

And in a matter of hours, I began to shift back into that irritable, cry at the drop of a hat, negative thought having woman of old.

And life had to stop. Or, well it really didn’t. It went on. Without me.

I was the one forced to stop.

I couldn’t do anything. The girl so used to going, couldn’t go. I couldn’t even pray in the same way. Moved to my seated position in my closet to laying down. All to keep the world from spinning.

I felt alone. I felt like I had no idea who I was. Fear that life was going on, just as it should.

And it did. Life went on. Continued to spin on its axis, just like my head.

Life went on…and so did I?

For a moment I was lonely, until laying in my closet floor, surrounded by the prayers I had placed on the wall, I saw this:

You are with me; your rod and your staff comfort me. Psalm 23:4

God was there on that floor with me.

While I may have been a little fearful of my prognosis. Of what others would think (or even not think) of it, I was reminded over and over in my doubts:

Tell fearful souls, “Courage! Take heart! God is here, right here, on his way to put things right And redress all wrongs. He’s on his way! He’ll save you!” Isaiah 35:4

And though I couldn’t see it at first, he was giving me power once again. Reminding me that life goes on, and so will I?

Giving me words to write (well, transcribe) when writing became too hard. Giving me time for much needed rest. Giving me fresh new ideas I hadn’t thought possible before. You know, back when I thought my life was balanced. I could see that I rarely gave myself time to even think of my purpose, and all the ways my talents could be used for His glory.

Until I was forced to step away from life for a bit.

To learn that I will go on. That just like last time, I’ll get through this with His strength. I’ll feel like the “me” He desires me to be me once again.

Obladi oblada life goes on, brahhh Lala how the life goes on

And so will I.