Where do I start?? This is a long overdue blog. I am sorry to my faithful readers; I struggle with keeping up. I am looking at that totally different tonight however. The bible study that I am doing is called "UNGLUED" Making wise choices in the midst of raw emotions. One of the quotes I find intriguing is this "Labels are awful. They imprison us in categories that are hard to escape. Those labels start out as little threads of self-dissatisfaction but ultimately weave together into a straitjacket of self-condemnation"
In this study one of the exercises we explore is to evaluate our labels meant as lies to tear us down....
Then find the reality to that label......
The lie about that label........
and the truth about that label.......
After self evaluating I realized one of the common labels I have imprisoned myself with is the "I'm always behind" label which leads to "Ugh I'm sure a failure" which leads to "I"m always playing catchup" and on and on and on!!
According to Ephesians 2:8-10 "For it is by grace you have been save through faith-and this not from yourselves it is a gift from God-NOT BY WORKS so that no one can boast. For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do"
I have read and reread that verse during this study... I find it reassuring knowing that we are God's workmanship!! He is creating us.. Even in our raw emotions.. Our raw emotions is a reminder of what he is doing in us to make us who we ought to be according to his good works.
Another exercises we had to do is to think about a few of our past efforts to make personal changes. And then we were to label how we made progress...
At first I choose the picture that looked like a jumble mess; because again I often times feel as if my life reflects that.. .but after pondering on the label of my progress I thought about picking the up and down arrow.... I started thinking that the highs were mountains and the lows were valleys... We all go through high times and low times in our lives.... I believe God brings us to experience the mountaintop so that we can get through the valley.... I also believe that our life is a balance of good and bad times as well... Even when we think everything is falling apart!!!
Every time I experience something in my life that makes me feel defeated or something that brings me down; God gently reminds me of his grace and love for me and overflows his blessings on us. It may come in small amounts but maybe large amounts... We received a very large blessing last week... (well, last week officially) It came in the form of a 2002 Suburban, that my daughter proudly named Shelly!!!
All the while I've been battling these emotions. For quite some time now I have been praying to overcome my anger and my frustrations of "feeling behind" The cycle continues... I feel behind, I get frustrated, I get overwhelmed, I get angry... I become a volcano and explode!!! Who do I explode on.. non other than my FAMILY!! They really see the true colors... The colors that are not so inviting, the colors that could ruin your testimony in an instant... You know who else sees your true colors... GOD, himself!! Yes, the almighty One who desires a relationship with us, even in our ugly colors.. He says... Come just as YOU ARE!!!
You mean in my Rage? Yes
You mean in my ugliness? Yes
You mean in my state of feeling behind? Yes
You mean in my sadness, shame, guilt, depression state of mind? Yes
You mean in my I don't even feel like worshiping or being close to God right now kinda mind? YES
Because in that moment of time is the time where God embraces us; even though we are not worthy, and picks us up, loves on us, cares for us and shows us what true mercy and grace really is!!! It's that time when you have nothing left to give, or no prayer to pray, that all he wants his for us to sit in his presence in the throne room and feel the peace and comfort that comes from someone who loves us right where we are!! In these times is where God wants to show us that it is not our strength we need to rely on but it is HIS strength and in his alone. If we were to just give up that control.... Open the hand that holds so dearly to the thing we don't want to let go.. God will use that hand to free us from the bondage of emotions that makes us feel stuck.
While doing the exercise the truth to my lie is the very thing I preach about... It's setting the priorities!!!! I need to post this for MY Own good and LISTEN To my own ADVICE...
When we get up in the morning and offer our FIRST FRUIT to God, not only do we give him our first, but we also give him permission to order our footsteps in the way they should go.. It allows God to be in the center of our day allowing the things that need to get done in the order of importance.. It gives us the freedom knowing that our priorities will align with what the word of God says... The reality behind my label is this....
My priorities need to be
Ministry, Friends and everything else LAST
The truth behind my label is this.....
I'm not behind ALL the time, I am not a failure.... I am a godly women who at times looses her focus and forgets her priorities causing a feeling of "behind" however that godly women has a MIGHTY Father who gently whispers and reminds her that she is EVERYTHING that He has made her to me; and as long as her priorities are right, has a Father who will gently carry her along the valleys of life especially when the enemy is making her feel defeated!!!!!!