Words come slowly to me as I think on and am impacted by not only my own decisions-but the decisions of those around me.
With what seems like a growing understanding of different influences in my life, I feel as if the tainted way that my past colors my perception of my own experiences slowly becomes less and less. The influence of my past to pollute the situations I’m in seems to become less over time.
I am amazed at those times when I get to be celebrated and when I get to celebrate those around me. Oh my gosh, when I spend time with certain people I feel like I’m in some sort of accelerated time warp or something! Time with them goes by so fast that hours can rush by and not only does it feel as if I have only been with them for minutes but my time with them feels like a complete and utter blessing where love, joy, understanding and peace pours over me like the warmth of the sun in the middle of summer…
As I think about how great those times are-
There are occasions when time feels like it slows down to a crawl. When the hurt or disappointment or pain of circumstances around me feels like it draws out seconds to minutes and I feel like time is suspended in a perpetual slow motion of heartache and tangible tenderness.
Today happens to be an odd combination of both and those are the times when I have to willfully make a choice. I find that I long and think of those beautifully joy-filled times and that at the same time, I am feeling deeply the impact of the damage and tremendously saddened about how the choices of others affect not just me but my daughter. Truth be told, I’m angry. I’m angry that there is a need to protect my daughter and myself from people who harm and abuse with their words and actions. I’m angry at the deliberate choice of those who have the ability to bless tremendously through their position or role (and who I have seen do just that) and choose instead to hurt others in a seemingly arbitrary manner. Instead of being a blessing to others there is a extension of pain and frustration.
And the sad thing is…I can put my finger on times when I have behaved or lived in the same manner. I know I have felt that thread of corruption in my heart and I find myself wallowing in the mud of shame and guilt…standing still because it feels like so much work to move.
So today I have to choose. I have to be intentional about the next things that I do and say. I have to be aware of the things that I think and give my energy to…
Instead of moving away from people, as I feel would be most natural right now…it means that I find refuge in those places where I find Jesus. It means to walk toward those who speak words of love, encouragement, empathy and understanding. It means texting those beautiful people and asking them to pray for me. It means that I need to be willing to be vulnerable and show up with what’s on my heart and mind with those who can see the unfiltered me and still love me. It means that in my weakest times I cling to the promises given in the Word. It means that I find refuge under the shelter of God’s loving grace and divine mercy. It means that I trust and believe that God has the best in mind for me. It means I take a knee and remember that God has a greater plan than the one my feeble mind can see at the moment.
It is there where I gain the courage to love-and the harder thing for me-the courage to be loved by others.
It is there where I understand that God’s grace is my supply and my provision.
It is there where I can admit the truth of my tainted heart and with a more honest and loving perspective.
It is where I can let go of my desire to be right and instead choose to honor others in relationship.
And it is there where I see that the only place where my pride is brought to a loving submission of the will of God.
God help me to focus on you and see you in every situation. Help me to have the courage to welcome others into my places of rawness and vulnerability. Help me to stand on what is true and right and not waiver with the circumstances around me.