30 on 30. (Excerpt)

The following is an excerpt in celebration of my turning 30 years old this year.
Full post to come March 2016.

 

When you feel you may have lost your mind.

Are you a perfectionist who does not like to hear the word, “no”?

I am. I have an intense need to maintain order in my life. It is what helps me sleep better at night. Freshly cleaned clothes folded neatly in their drawers. A kitchen cleaned thoroughly after every meal. Raising a kid who always cleans her room. People who do what I expect them to do.

Oops.

There is a very thin line between order and the unhealthy pursuit of control. For the past decade I have seen emotional scales dip, while my world spins violently out of my hands. The conscious, rational thing is to let it all go. Let life happen and do what is necessary to cope. But that is rarely my answer for when things begin to change.

A friend told me once to accept life with open hands. You will attract good and pleasing things–but you must also accept the bad. Unfortunately, my heart does not want to accept when the plan deviates off course. I am stubborn. I will fight. I will let the whole house burn down around me because I do not want to be saved.

When we make choices against ourselves–there are a few ways it can end. There are times I spent so much time looking back at what I lost that I did not realize what I was neglecting in the present. My 27th birthday, for example, was spent in bed mourning the loss of a relationship I had no business being in from the start. In those dark days, I could not believe I was being rescued from my self.

But time often reveals the mess you created in your mind.

It is time I stopped letting everything in my life drop as my knee-jerk response to my mistakes. Will I linger in the mud, or will I choose to drag myself out of the pit–permanently? The measure of true maturity is what you do with disappointment when it touches your life. Cause let’s face it, failures suck. No one wants to lose their job, their love, their comforts in life. But adults do not throw tantrums and continue floundering on the sidelines.

Adults suck it up. They keep moving forward. They do not give up.

And in time, your failures will give you the opportunity to finally get it right.

 

 

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Get Ready.

How can you “know” someone without seeing them completely?

I will not pretend to be innocent or naive. I am a difficult person to comprehend.
This does not make me a victim, it does not mean I am meant to lose.
It only means I am telling the truth.

Exposure feels awful.

It takes a lot to let new people into old wounds. They want proof of your healing.
But, some scars were inflicted internally.

How can I prepare you for a trigger, if I have no idea where it originates?

We all have something deeply rooted that we pray we can properly set free.
Will you come clean about your disasters?
Or, keep another guessing?

We are familiar with the question of “How”, but “When” is more significant.
People think healing is an IKEA book of instructions.
Clear and easy to read.

No, healing is more like the instructions for a toy car.
It’s the wrong model and you are missing major pieces…
Put one thing back together, something else falls apart.

Do you really want to get well?

I ask myself this question while preparing to retake the latest test I failed.

Healing begins with acknowledgement.
Be strong, but do so intentionally.
Make the decision to wring out the pain, once and for all.
This will mean, uncomfortable transparency.

This means hurt will have to take a backseat to faith.
This means bad fruit will have to be CUT OUT of the tree.
You have to hold on tight and focus on the little voice inside.
Pride and emotion have no dominion over your life.

You can choose to stay broken…

or #GetReadyToFight.

Pursue Peace.

Words and thoughts don’t always align.
This may sound like a contradiction–
but many people only carry peace on the outside.
Peace is not transient.
It does not work well with your pride.
Peace wells up with purpose inside of you.
It sustains you when emotions get high.

So in what have you put your peace?
Where is your ultimate truth?
People are forgetful and messy.
And peace will not compete with you.

Me at my most egotistical will never be content if I insist on being in charge of my life. I struggle often, in my attempts to not give in to temporary feelings. Wave after wave of emotion crashes over my ability to think like levelheaded human being. But if I choose to take a moment–eventually peace will catch up with me. And peace, will always help to push irrational emotions aside.

The problem is emotions flood in fast and powerfully. It takes more than a little discipline to manage them productively. Emotions are influenced by our sinful nature and therefore, can be indicative of our spiritual immaturity (James 1:20).

One of the best things to do when you feel out order is to reflect on a few basic things:

  • Stop.
    -Before you act, stop. Do nothing. Emotions often scream loud and feel unbearable. Raw emotions need to be examined before making a move. Sometimes emotions are grounded in the spirit of truth, but they can also be based on false premises.
  • Check.
    -Check in with your heart. Why do you feel this way? If you waited awhile, would your feelings change? Out of the mouth, the heart speaks. We are meant to experience emotion, but we do not have to do what they tell us to do (Ephesians 5:15-17).
  • Proceed.
    -Bringing our emotions to God gives Him the opportunity to do His work in us. When we submit, we are effectively saying, “Lord I need your help. Show me what to do.” God comforts and will direct us in the way we need to move.

Management of emotions is possible and necessary to experience growth in our pursuit of God. Faith comes with many tests and trials (1 Peter 1:6-7). But we are to be transformed by the renewing our of minds (Romans 12:2). Seek to know more of God and share your heart openly in prayer. Mediate on what is good and true–put what you learn from the word or received through the Holy Spirit into practice (Philippians 4:6-9). Then peace will follow you.

No one who seeks the peace of God, will ever fail to find it.”