What are you holding on to? Deep down in your soul, what causes you angst? Is it something you cannot change, maybe it’s an addiction, a sadness, or a loss. Or maybe it’s a feeling of being lost and alone.
We all carry things deep in our souls that tend to hold us back from the life God desires us to be living. The life He desires for us is one of joy, connected to Him, growing and developing in relationship with both Him and others.
That type of life is not out of our reach, even though at times for those of us carrying a deep sense of hurt or loss, a life of joy can seem out of reach, too far in the distant future. We may be thinking, oh it will just take time, or if only my circumstances change then life will return to normal, or even when I’m done grieving, joy will return.
I too used to think those thoughts.
As I have been processing living my life tied to a dialysis machine to help keep me alive, i realized I was living for the “when life returns to normal” when I had a revelation, God has some work to do in me and through me during this time that will change me forever. Life will not return to the old normal ever again.
That’s right, God will use even the darkest of circumstances in our lives to help transform us into the child He created us to be.
The question is, am I willing to be transformed during this time, or am I simply trying to get through it? Looking back, I believe I have been living as if I simply want to get through it, not learn and grow, but just push through and past the pain, ignore it and it will go away….right….
Well, not so much. Pushing through is not really a way to live, or not the way I want to live. That is not living, but only surviving. I don’t want to merely survive, I want to flourish and come through the other side wiser, closer to Jesus and more honest and authentic with others.
As I am writing this, I realize how raw it all may sound to those of you who know me. I am so good at hiding how I am really doing. After all who wants to really hear how crappy I feel some days and I really try not to dwell upon it. But the reality is, some days it just simply sucks.
I feel as if my life is no longer my own. But it never was, I belong to Jesus!!! That truth I know deep in my soul. I am grateful to be His and I am learning the relief I feel as I release the striving to Him, the push through it just to survive, and to open my heart to be willing to what it is He would like to do through me and in me.
How can I glorify Him during this time??? How can I draw closer to Jesus so I “feel” His presence each and every moment of my life? These are the million dollar questions.
What does that look like, to not complain and dwell upon my circumstances and to instead dwell upon His glorious face?
How do I become more mindful of both my emotions and the need to release them to the one who can help me to thrive through them?
How do I learn to truly relax in His presence and bring everything before the throne of His grace?
These are the questions I am asking myself as I try to put into practice methods to help me cope. One new practice I am beginning is the practice of Tai Chi. I am learning to listen to my body and my breathing as I do rhythmic movements to relax and refocus my mind on what matters.
I am alive in Christ, my body may be broken, but He is the ultimate healer and in time He will heal me…mind, body, and soul. All three encompass who I am and God is helping me do the necessary work to heal the mind and soul through this process.
Tai Chi provides a release of the tensions I carry in my body which in turn affect the mind, which hurts my soul. The physical slow focused movements lets God in to do the work of releasing what I am carrying into His arms. I needn’t walk this journey alone. I never am alone as Jesus promises to never leave or forsake those who belong to him. God promised this in the old testament in Deuteronomy 31:6 “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” and He promises this again through Jesus when He calls Him Immanuel which means God with us.
What we carry holds us back from a vibrant life and to release the things we are clinging tightly too allows us to be free from restraints to live fully alive in Christ.
What is holding you back from becoming alive in Christ-mind, body and soul?
What do you need to release into the loving arms of Jesus?
As I look outside this day and watch snow falling in April, I am reminded of how many things in life are out of my control and in the loving control of our loving God. Though circumstances are difficult, He is ever-present around me in nature, in others and of course in His Word. He promises to continue transforming me until I resemble Jesus and that will mean some painful growth but also some joyful time together as I discover the plans He has for me.
Yours in Christ,