I have found myself of late within a series of difficult events, fighting new battles within my mind. Throughout, I have navigated the rockiest of shores with a wide range of careful triumphant precision and something akin to trying to wrestle a live goose into a large pot of broth while blindfolded while crying like a chef who has just chopped no less than 100 raw onions. So, somewhere in the top!er coaster that has been me, I blew by my giftedness and focussed on, well, me. Disturbed by narcissists worldwide, I realized I was in very real danger of becoming one. So, what I can only call a revelation from God, just entered my mind. I have two things to use as tools in not becoming someone I hate or worse God cannot use. One is the biggest most powerful tool in the universe… the power and wisdom of the Holy Spirit, God Himself. Amazing! Grasping my problem with a firm grip and shaking it loose from me with a ferocity that rivals a lioness protecting her cubs is God protecting me when I ask. He is my powerful Heavenly Father after all. I am His and He is mine. Second tool is the gift of perspective of a sound mind naturally seeing the big picture. My innate zoom out camera in my mind. I had borrowed a friend’s attention to detail and fixated on the little nuggets that I generally, when true to self, would never have given the time of day. I had let go of who I was, the crazy, zany, wise one I was cut out to be who rises above the now and easily breathes in the big picture. I saw how tiny my own problems were compared to thousands being martyred and worse now, politicians as corrupt mob bosses of old, morality being plunged to negligible levels in the country I love the most, and so many other problems worldwide. My little issues are tiny specks compared to these things. Yes, they still matter to me. Of course, I love very very big and am passionately tender hearted so feel the recent losses in my life vehemently, but I cannot live there for there is much to be done. There are many hurting. If I live in my own hurt and get stuck there, who will be there to help others who are hurting? And who can help them best than someone who intimately understands and can empathize with their experiences? Oh how I would tie my own hands and God’s work through them if I gave in to sorrow and depression? What good would I be? Who would love these other hurting people? Whose hands would God use to heal them if not mine? And it hit me, I had given in to the temptation of selfishness and distraction and I refuse to give up my freedom to such petty things. So, here we are, arriving together at this momentous crossroad in my life. No doubt prayers uttered on my behalf brought it to fruition so I thank you dearly for them. And off we go, me with jobs to do, taking care of my family and home, serving others with my kids, visiting shutins and bringing them joy, being a part of the world again. No more protect and preserve mode. I have better things to do. I will save my tears for the onions.
Moment by moment, the soul protests
The giving away of a great thing attests
To the lack of some semblance of fairness I see
And the realization of what will not again be.
And I pause. And I pray.
Moment by moment, the Spirit interjects
The giving of blessings I cannot forget
And it amazes me so how the bad masks the good
Until I demand that thankfulness be where it should.
And I pause. And I pray.
Moment by moment, I’ve much to enjoy
The day to day workings of my girl and boy
And my family and friends and dear husband too
Remind me that God is so very very beautiful through.
And I pause. And I pray.
I have experienced quite a few good time Charlie’s in my days. In general, these are people who are fun or funny, generally full of it and entertain you and wish to be entertained in return. They are all about a good time. And when a good time is made for them, they thrive! It is amazing really. However, once some bad news comes down the pike, some sadness or some difficult situation or emergency arises and it is amazing how fast they disappear. Houdini has nothing on these folks. You will not even remember seeing them go, wonder later whatever happened to so and so. And when the dust clears and happy has come out to play again, they return as if nothing happened. It is extraordinary and they are very reliable with this disappearing act. You can absolutely bank on not being able to count on them. And these folks used to entertain me mightily. I love to laugh and they allow that to happen. However, I find myself now that I am more ahem mature, shall we say, I have less and less patience for those who I can not counting. They vex me now. Irritate me. I find I would much rather have a handful of friends I can count on (and they know of course they can count on me) than a million good time Charlie’s. The value of a friend is in their ability to journey through life with me and I with them, through amazingly beautiful terrain and really murky moors. All of it is life. Sometimes we need each other. Encouragement is a blessing I do not receive lightly. It is good to have a hug when needed, to spend time together in good or bad times, to help each other, to exchange blessings. Friendship takes on a whole new meaning when the friend loves back versus taking and running away at the first smell of danger. So, to all the good time Charlie’s out there, keep on making people laugh, honor your gift but until you learn to be a friend through hard times too, stay clear of my path. I have enough to carry with my true friends than to have to trip over you with your head in the sand. Peace!
Memories are the best things in life to hang on to when things get tough, putting a warm smile or jovial laugh on your lips to feel better about life. Or. Memories can claw your eyes out. Because our brains can not choose to store good memories only, they store everything. And if your life has been champagne wishes and caviar dreams and only amazingly happy and healthy, why, that is a wonder. For most of us in the real world, a different reality has been chosen by us making some pretty goofy or scandalous bad decisions. So on death days (when friends or family members die or people walk unexpectedly out of our lives), those bad me ories tend to rise up and try to steal our joy and kill our peace. They wrestle with us. They are tools of an enemy seeking to destroy us. However, when God is asked in, those bad memories’ power is deeply undermined by the superior Wrestler of all time. God can pull out the good memories and put them on the forefront of our minds. We usually are not so objective when so wounded. We need help. And if not strong enough at that moment, sometimes our friends hug and help us, pointing us to God and sometimes interceding for us. So, taking a lot of pictures of good times and glancing back at them is amazing for visual props. Some of us are so visual and need that. Some memories are still so vivid in our mind that we just need to focus and relax to recall them. But focusing on good stuff is a great tool. The other is worship.
With a few exceptions when the weight is too much to bear alone, my tendency is to be strong and just take it all, wearing a smile or a laugh or an encouraging word. I always feel God would not have made me so strong and capable of doing so much if He wanted me to burden everyone else with it. I burden Him only, for the most part except a few very close friends I that love me and I love and can count on. And God is, well, God so there is nothing a burden to Him at all. And sometimes He trusts me with more than I can bear at that moment and I need prayer support of my people or a listening ear. Sometimes I just can’t even get to the phone in time before I completely lose it and weep unmercifully. And then God answers my cry for comfort and He hugs me and dries my tears and strengthens me for another go round. And I smile and I laugh and I encourage and hang with my people. And there are so many living like this. I never knew how many until I opened myself up to blogging about it and we are not alone in the struggle. But the very cool thing is this. God is big enough to help us all and we are never alone or without strength.