So my running joke is that I’m broken because I don’t do feelings and I don’t do sappy. It’s soooo not true. I promise you, as I sit here with tears streaming down my face because of the emotions I “don’t do” that did me in today, that I do, indeed, do feelings and sappy. I actually do them quite well some days. Yay, me.
The first quarter of 2017 has, um, “presented a host of opportunities for improvement”. (That’s corporate speak for “it sucked dirty canal water”, just in case you were wondering. I’ll add “translator” to my resume. You’re welcome.) The health just ain’t cooperatin’. The daily grind is stressin’ this mama out. Too many things on my mind. I’m getting good at setting limits, but it’s not always easy because some things HAVE to be done. #AdultingIsHard #WhenIsRecess
In the “old days”, I would grab a smoke, a drink, get angry, and stay in my head. I can certainly hit myself where it hurts. This is not the recommended approach to life, apparently. I’ve been smoke-free for over seven months and grabbing a cigarette is not even something that crosses my mind most days. Weird that it ruled my life for so long and now it’s odd to remember that I used to smoke.
The way I handle things now, while far from perfect, is nicotine-free and working through things in my head. I may still be silent, but I’m not “stuck in my head” anymore. I’m working through the honest feelings, opinions, and actions that are causing my struggle. I don’t attack myself and give in to the urge to convince myself how imperfect I am. The reality is no one is perfect and we are all working through our own issues.
Today, for instance, I am working through feelings of frustration (pain), inadequacy (others’ opinions of me), fear (failure seems imminent at work some days), loneliness (because I do not have anyone who can hold me and tell me it will be ok), and rejection (hello, life).
The enemy can easily use my emotions against me – if I allow it. I never thought ignoring those negative thoughts was possible. It just never occurred to me that I didn’t have to entertain such thoughts. Now, though, I’m starting to understand that the self-abuse is not a mandatory action. I have been granted grace, so maybe I can extend a little to myself, yes?
I was posting on my small group page earlier (it’s a study about rejection) and one of the discussion questions reminds us that Jesus was also rejected. Tonight the light bulb went off on that point. If He was rejected – the Son of God – how in the world could I ever hope to escape rejection? Am I that special? Awesome – yes. Special – no. We are all equal in the eyes of God. The pain of my rejection/shortcoming/frustration cannot compare to the pain Jesus felt on the cross.
When I think this way, I am able to remind myself of these things: 1. we are all in the same boat here, dealing with the same things, 2. we are all loved equally, 3. we are all forgiven, 4. we were spared the horrendous pain of the cross. Point #4 reminds me to have a grateful heart and that, no matter what life is tossing me, someone always has something greater to deal with. In other words, I can tell myself to just “suck it up, buttercup” and give thanks, then pray for the people who are battling far worse situations than I can possibly imagine.
1 Peter 2:24
“He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.” (NIV)
because the Lord has anointedg me
He has sent me to bind upj the brokenhearted,
and release from darkness for the prisoners,a
2 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favorm
and the day of vengeancen of our God,
3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crownq of beauty
instead of ashes,r
the oils of joy
instead of mourning,t
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a plantingu of the Lord
for the display of his splendor.v
4 They will rebuild the ancient ruinsw
and restore the places long devastated;
they will renew the ruined cities
that have been devastated for generations.
5 Strangersx will shepherd your flocks;
foreigners will work your fields and vineyards.
6 And you will be called priestsy of the Lord,
you will be named ministers of our God.
You will feed on the wealthz of nations,
and in their riches you will boast.
7 Instead of your shamea
you will receive a doubleb portion,
and instead of disgrace
you will rejoice in your inheritance.
And so you will inheritc a double portion in your land,
and everlasting joyd will be yours.
8 “For I, the Lord, love justice;e
I hate robbery and wrongdoing.
In my faithfulness I will reward my people
and make an everlasting covenantf with them.
9 Their descendantsg will be known among the nations
and their offspring among the peoples.
All who see them will acknowledge
that they are a people the Lord has blessed.”h
10 I delight greatly in the Lord;
my soul rejoicesi in my God.
For he has clothed me with garments of salvation
and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness,j
as a bridegroom adorns his headk like a priest,
and as a bridel adorns herself with her jewels.
11 For as the soil makes the sprout come up
and a gardenm causes seeds to grow,
so the Sovereign Lord will make righteousnessn
and praise spring up before all nations. (NIV)
*originally published March 10, 2017*