It’s been a different week for me so far. Circumstances/routine haven’t chanced a bit, but something deep inside my heart is different. I took notice of it this morning as I walked down my now “normal” hallway to my classroom at my now “normal” time, and I just, noticed. And then I moved on to the “next”…
While grabbing an opportunity to run (in a circle, many times) at our local YMCA while our youngest was in the pool swimming laps, I had a chance to ponder this thought a bit more. In the midst of making mental lists anywhere from Christmas shopping needs, to groceries, to lesson plans, I paused to take a little internal inventory.
Does this ever happen to you? In the midst of life’s little “norms”, do you ever pause and wonder the meaning of this rat race anyway? Perhaps it was on my brain as I felt like a hamster in a squeaky wheel, running but going nowhere 🙂
This week has been different because… I feel lighter. Not in a physical sense (Lord knows those Thanksgiving leftovers are still hanging around), but a lightness in my spirit. Our weekend was filled with family gatherings, people grazing around our kitchen island, Christmas decorating, and even afternoons rests. And in this, my body was granted the precious chance to recover. I had no classes to attend, zero sporting events, and a much needed powerhouse worship on Sunday. My mind could allow itself to “be” in the moment, and yet, a sense of heaviness still remained as to the uncertainty of making the right choice in regards to my next teaching experience.
To an “outsider”, perhaps a simple decision. To glimpse “inside”, one would see an endless barrage of questions, inquisitions, attacks at my character, suspicions of priorities out of line, and a complete lack of confidence in my abilities and/or hope for any change. Ever been here? One can go literally out of their mind, reel, and spiral in a downward fashion faster than lightning.
And part of me wants to avoid, and part of me wants to dwell. This sickening state of bondage can actually become a place of familiar comfort if left to the “norm” in one’s day. And it’s Satan best tactic. And I’m one that slips into this. And the longer I entertain him, the longer he stays, and lingers, and the more my mind is distracted from living in the moment, and my body is physically weighed down, and my spirit is depressed. And he’s won.
Or has he…
1 John 3:20
If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.
1 John 4:9
This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.
1 John 4:4
You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.
God is greater than my circumstances. He has plans that will prosper me, not harm me. If I keep in step with the spirit, than I realize He has never left me.
And I think I feel lighter because I have chosen to walk through this process of lifestyle change with honest and openly raw emotions and feelings (the good, the bad, and the ugly), and now can let go. I processed first with HIM, and then I lovingly reached out to him, my heart-mate. I’m letting go of my old “normal” and accepting (on my way to embracing) my new “norm”. I think I was simply holding on until I could get back to my old “norm” in some psychological fashion. I was surviving. I was putting-up-with. I was claiming thankfulness and clenching a bit of the bitter root. I longed for parts of my “old” norm, and appreciated the other side of the green grass. I desired to reach this point of acceptance, but didn’t know how to get there.
And then. It happened. Naturally. As part of the “seeking” process. And I see it as refinement. And while the “furnace” is hot and uncomfortable, even a bit painful, you hope that the finished piece of pottery will be worth it. And it is. It’s just hard to realize while you’re “in” it. Yet we can trust it. The process happens for a reason. And though my “reason” is not yet crystal clear, I’m here to write through the process, and one thing I know – you have to cross the road to get to the other side.
And the best part – I now know more about my Lord than I did before this process happened. Why? Because the “hard” gave me a reason to press in harder, to keep moving forward when every ounce of me wanted to jump ship. Even more importantly, the fire burned off more of my dusty (ugly) corners, so that brighter light could shine through.
Though I’m not always cheerful about it, I am thankful for this process. It ALWAYS brings about great results. If we can only endure, joy comes in the morning!!
…Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away.
For a great new resource on this said topic of (ahem) control, check this out! This humorous, yet thought-provoking book guides you as you discover for yourself the freedom and reward of living a life ‘out of control,’ in which you allow God to be seated in the rightful place in your life. Armed with relevant biblical and current examples (both to emulate and to avoid), doable ideas, new thought patterns, and practical tools to implement, Let. It. Go. will gently lead you out of the land of over-control and into a place of quiet trust. A companion video-based study for small groups is also available.
Feel free to check out Karen’s blog! It’s one I often frequent! Have a great week enjoying this upcoming season of joy!