Sunday, June 21, 2015

I Am Okay (& So Are You)

Sometimes I have to remind myself that I am okay. I just had my first genuine smile in two days.

*Deep Sigh*

First a disclaimer....I wish I wasn't hotwired as I am. It troubles me (not just you) that I take on the happenings and struggles around me as if they are my own. It troubles me too when my mind spins out, and I have little to no control over my thoughts. It troubles me too when the tears come from deep caverns inside my soul out of nowhere and for no apparent reason. It troubles me too when I feel myself shutting down as I turn my phone off, lock my door, turn all messages on do not disturb, dim the lights, light a candle, and curl up under a quilt. It troubles me too when even words with God become strained and inaudible. It troubles me too when I can't write, color, read, or even watch a movie because everything hurts, illicits pain of some sort. It troubles me too when Gail works on my weary muscles and I hurt worse after than before because every nerve ending is tender and on fire, and I end up contorted for hours afterwards in pain as her magic slowly works its way through my muscles. It troubles me too that even after learning and studying more about what makes me tick, that I cannot control any of this OR even predict it. It troubles me too.

I want to type that this has been a hard few weeks, but since I seem to be typing those same words EVERY week maybe I should try a new approach...clearly I am in a season that I am just now recognizing. I don't have a cute name for it (YET!). I don't know when it really started or nary a clue when it will end. I do know that it feels more brutal than any I have experienced thus far, and I am a little thrown by that as I have had some real doosies this past several years. A girl kinda wants to raise her hands and ask, "More God?! Really?!?!?!"

What I am hoping to document here today is a touchstone so that as periods come again (that look and feel like the past few days), I will recognize them and relax into them because at the end of the day....I am okay.

First, I need to remember that I am a child of God and no matter how far out of sorts my heart, mind, body, and soul feel...he is right there beside me and in it until the end.

Second, stop fighting it. I am a problem solver by day and therefore feel an intense need to be one by night. Have a problem, let Heather fix it. I like that. Hell, I love that. It is my thing. I have to face it, when I am in that "space" (lets call it a space until I can find something prettier to call it), I can't fix it. No. Matter. What. I need to simply let myself feel all of the feelings. All. The. FEELINGS. It is okay, and I will be okay.

Third, I am not a bad person because I need to be away from people for a few hours, days. I need to get over all of the GUILT I feel over it. Those who know and love me, will understand. Those who don't, what do I care?!

Fourth, some people might call what I go into a depression, it isn't, though it carries a lot of the characteristics, but who cares if they do?! I don't. I did, but now I don't. If I am or it is, I have excellent company as a lot of great hearts and minds struggle with depression in various forms. I am not ashamed that I feel depressed when the world feels heavy around me, I would be more worried if I did not as this world is hard and broken....you would have to be heartless to not internalize some/any of it.

Fifth, this is not a statement on my family, friends, or tribe as I was prone to believe for far too long. It doesn't matter if you have a great family or a dysfunctional one. Many friends or one. A faithful tribe or none. You are hotwired as you are from birth, fired like steel by your environment, and pounded like the waves by the ebbs and flows of life. The only person who can control you is YOU and God...and let me just state here that the fact that I still am challenged (and will probably be to some degree the remainder of my life) does not in any way diminish me or my God. In fact, the truth is that it is because of God's good and faithful work in me and frankly, my allowance of such work, that I am able to write about this here today. That the "spaces" last only a day or days and not longer. God is faithful to me and is teaching me more and more about who I am and how I work....and all of that helps. God has done a good work in me, and I am eternally grateful. I once believed the lies that I just felt too much and something was wrong with me, and slowly I am learning to love my oversized heart, my deep thoughts (from a shallow mind...LOL), and my BIG feelings about everything from a Hallmark ad to Haiti to an employee who is struggling....because to me it ALL matters.

Sixth, Jesus loves me. God made me. The Holy Spirit "gets" me. In the end, the trinity is all I ever really need. There is a lot of hope and peace in that for me.

Seventh, joy comes in the morning. Psalms 30 promises us that. I trust in that. I live that. I can testify to it as it happened to me...again...this morning.

@sunshinedreamstoyou

So how do I know I am okay...because last night when I could barely move due to back pain and was still completely in the midst of the "space" that I had occupied for a couple of days, I went searching for good words. I have a Pinterest board entitled Faith Begins & Ends w/My ❤️, and I have learned to go scroll through it when I feel this way...and last night I saved a few of them knowing that while there was no overt JOY in the moment then, I had faith that there would be...tomorrow or soon. One of the ones I saw, read, and saved (IN FAITH) to my phone last night was this one...


...and there you have it. Because the morning did bring me word of his unfailing love. My back pain was eased. I felt touches of joy. I knew the veil was lifting.

The Bible teaches us that David was a "man after God's own heart" so even though Psalms has some of the most wretched lines cross-stitched in with the most breathtakingly beautiful ones. Even though David wrestled with himself and God on a regular basis. Even though David sinned TREMENDOUSLY. Even though...God loved him. God. Loved. Him. God restored David and David loved God....with his whole, messed up, deeply flawed, slightly erratic (am I still talking about David) heart.

What does David's relationship with God teach us about our own? What does it teach me about my own?

David is a gift to me. David's words and laments and praises feel familiar and raw and honest in the face of a world that shocks me...Every. Day. A world that hurts me. Shames me. Wrecks me. Tortures my heart. David's words are a balm to my weary soul that still questions my own worthiness to a God that gave all. To a world that doesn't wholly know him. To this broken person who meets broken people in a broken world...Every. Day. A person who dreams of loving others as she has been loved by Christ. A person who fails LARGE daily. A person who loves too much. A person who feels too much. A person who finds beauty in the growth right alongside the pain in it.

God loves me. This I know.

There is a beautiful song entitled In Over My Head (Crash Over Me) by Jenn Johnson/Bethel Music, and I have provided the link {in the song title} to the video with lyrics so that you can sit somewhere quiet and let the words wash over you and deep within your soul. I want to be clear that even in the midst of a season or "space" that I play music (like this) that I am trusting is speaking to a deep place inside of me even when I am feeling NOTHING of it on the surface. This, THIS, is one of those songs. The words...PERFECTION. I think, I know, that one of my biggest challenges in life, in my walk with Christ, in my walk through this world with others...is my need for control. It is the space deep inside of me where the enemy, to be frank, has me by the proverbial nuts. To say that I am better today would be the understatement of the century, but in that same vein I must acknowledge that the wound where it originated, this need for control, is so deep and rooted that it will not and cannot be dislodged over the course of a spiritual season. It will remain my Achilles' heel for the foreseeable future. To acknowledge that, is another forward motion in growth; I am truly grateful for it too. I do know that I will conquer it as God has promised as much, as I promised him that I would continue to hit my knees and repent when I felt it coming on...again and again. ;) #bless

So....where do we/I go from here?

First, I am okay. Second, I am troubled too when THIS washes over me. Third, I feel the lessons that God is teaching me in these challenging spaces and seasons that he is seeing me through...like the good parent he is. Fourth, while I reside in a broken world, I am loved by a perfect father, and my faith is solely in him...and only him. Fifth, I know that in all of this, he is birthing a unique voice in me. I have resisted it for so long, I feel now I could/should have predicted the painful birthing process for it.

Bottom line...I am not going to be fully satisfied this side of heaven {neither will you}

...and that is okay. I am okay. {You are okay.}

God...come do whatever you want to...I am yours....as I dive into the wave that is crashing over me...Today. Tomorrow. And every day after that...this side of heaven. Amen.

Sunshine Dreams to You ~ Today and Every Day! :)

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