Punishment, blame, having to ‘do my share’ or else … ‘you get what you deserve’ mentality, self-inflicting, deserved pain … never quite making it. I wrote those thoughts down a few years ago. But they were not my thoughts, they trickle in from time to time, but it’s not the truth and thank God that when attacks come I can usually recognize the lies.
Seeing those words reminded me of an exercise we did in our women’s Bible study quite some time ago. We wrote down all the things that hold us back, our burdens, and gave them to God, tearing them up and standing on a cliff overlooking the sea, holding them out, praying, before dropping them in the ocean. I remember standing there for so long before I let them go that my arm started to ache. Everyone had gone inside to celebrate over lunch. Why did I feel the need to punish myself even then? It was as though I was hanging around, to prove I could even help him, instead of leaving my burdens with God in peace. It may have been a coincidence but I began having shoulder issues after that! I have come a long way since then. My arthritis lingers on …
My church just finished a 6 week study on Ephesians about being Fully Equipped. It addressed and helped my thinking and how I express myself in many ways. It is liberating to be reminded that “we are seated in heaven with Christ and that the issues we face are ‘no big deal’ when viewed from the perspective of eternity and Jesus living in us”. We are so conditioned not to believe the truth about us, and having to succeed based on not letting others down. Most good things come out of failure which is so foreign to this age of ‘make or break’. As my good friend, Pam Coke-Hamilton, said in her speech about ‘failing spectacularly’ to the graduates of University of the West Indies last week, ‘it is when you experience that kind of failure that shakes your foundations that you also come to the end of yourself. And it is one of the best places to be. Those are called defining moments, for friendships, your core beliefs, your identity and the essence of who you are. In those moments …..with just you and God, you will realise that it is enough’.* And it is enough, more than enough. When God shows up he will take you higher than you’ve ever imagined.
I have been there, but I had to be at my lowest point where I could not fix, or be strong anymore, I had to let go and let God in, and when I did, my whole life changed.
*( for full speech go to http://www.carib-export.com/go-change-your-world/)
Today is Day 21 of Prison Break of Thoughts – 31 Days of Inner Release