Monthly Archives: November 2016

wholly alone

The image that introversion often brings to mind is a lone person. Just one. Alone. With her own thoughts. And it’s true. Being an introvert means that I am generally very comfortable with just myself. I rarely feel the need to surround myself with people (by rarely, I mean never.) I keep my own counsel, often living in my own thoughts. But there are times when even an introvert needs people. When even the most private of beings longs for someone to listen to them, to hear them, to understand and help process their emotions and thoughts and dreams.


I’ve found myself in that position recently. What happens when you find yourself at odds with the one person you usually confer with? When the relationship with that person is the reason for your thoughts and emotions? Where do you go then?

As an INFJ, I really dislike sharing my struggles with other people. Not because I want to hide them. On the contrary, I am pretty transparent. Masks and smoke don’t serve a purpose to me. What keeps me from speaking is the fear that whomever I would be speaking to would feel that I am complaining. That I only focus on the negative and never the positive. But it’s the negative that I struggle to process. To understand. To handle.

It’s during these times that I find myself spending more time in prayer. Sharing those thoughts with the person with whom I know I can say anything and not be shrugged off or sneered at. Scripture tells us time and again to run to God, to “cast our cares upon Him”, to find rest in the shelter of His arms.

So that is where I will find my hope. He is where I will hide my face and ask for comfort. From whom I will seek counsel and encouragement.

I love that we are told that God is holding tightly to our right hand. That He will not allow us to fall. I just long for the day when I will physically feel His grip on mine. When I can physically bury my head in His arm. For now, I simply imagine how comforting that will be.

an abundant life

I love Timehop. It’s an app that pulls from all your social media accounts to give you an “on this day in your history…” It’s fun to see pictures of my babies.
Not as much fun to see pictures of myself sometimes.

Today it reminded me of a field trip I had taken with my kids 3 years ago. As I looked at the pictures, I didn’t really remember what we had done that day or the joy that my kids had found. I remembered how tired I felt. How I put on a decent face for my kids, but in reality all I wanted to do was sit down and rest. And I remember wishing that I liked drinking coffee because maybe if I did I could feel more awake and involved. And I remember feeling like this was just the way things were going to be. Tired. No energy. Always hungry. Living from nap to nap.

Unfortunately, I think a lot of us have subscribed or resigned ourselves to the idea that we will always just feel badly. It’s like we’ve just given up on feeling the way that God really did intend for us to feel.

Strong. Healthy. Invigorated. Joyful.an-abundant-life

And honestly, I thought that. I just assumed that my chronic pain and overweightness and exhaustion and stomach issues and overwhelming emotional swings were just who I was. But the thing is, that is not how God designed us.

 

The Scripture tells us that God has given us life and abundantly.

We can’t live an abundant life if we’re always dragging. If we’re always feeling sorry for ourselves. If we are always telling ourselves that it’s a sacrifice to eat well and to take care of our bodies. But it shouldn’t be that way. Taking care of ourselves should not be a sacrifice; it should be what everyone expects. If you’re telling yourself (and others) that you’re proud of yourself for making good food choices because it’s hard to make good food choices, then something is not right. If you’re telling yourself that it’s hard to be active and present and so you deserve special props for doing those things, something is not right.

Our bodies are designed miraculously by God. Will there be struggles? Yes. We live in a fallen and broken world. But on the whole, we should be living abundant life. We should enjoy eating the things that God created for us for nutrition and sustenance. We shouldn’t be tied down to those things that God did not design for us to ingest. We should be enjoying God’s creation and enjoying being with the people that God has given us. We should not be thinking of that time a struggle or a hardship or a challenge.

At what point do we say, “That’s it. I’m done with the thief. I want to do things God’s way.” For me, it happened two years ago next month. Now, when I look back on those pictures I’m sad that I had allowed myself to believe the lies. I never want to go back to being that mom and that wife and that friend.

Jesus himself said, “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” (‭‭John‬ ‭10:10‬)