How's your heart today? Is it open to goodness? Is it rusty from pain? Is it wrapped in bubble wrap to protect it from past hurts?
It takes a whole heck of a lot to undo heart damage. Trusting. Feeling. Enjoying life despite the situations. How are you going to do it anyway?
It tells us in the Bible so many times that God will provide the way for us. It also tells us that worry and anxiety aren't feelings God wants us to have. It also reminds us that we matter. You may get out of bed with perfect intentions to lead a more joyful life. You may get out of bed and promise to undo the mistakes of yesterday. You may get out of bed and promise to serve, to be kind, to be generous with your words. What happens though, if instead, you keep blundering and doing the same thing you did yesterday? Let me encourage you to keep on moving; to keep on trying.
At one point, you will simply say you have had enough. Enough self loathing, enough self-criticizing, enough worry, enough apologies, enough hurt. What are you going to do when you get to that point? I got to that point a few years ago only to realize just how comfortable I was with my own story I had created. I felt comfortable in my worry. I felt comfortable simply being on the edge of joy but never actually experiencing it. It took a lot of work to acknowledge that I was letting my self be defined by the worry, defined by the denial of joy, defined by the fear.
Let me get to my point of today's blog...
This morning, I was sitting around cutting out little paper Jesus figures for our church Sunday School class. Several other women sat around the table with me. We were smiling, we were helping, we were experiencing joy.
Around the table, at that very moment, I knew there was a widow mourning her late husband and his birthday today. I knew there was a woman who has survived three strokes this year alone. I knew there was a woman experiencing sadness with her own personal struggles. In that moment, Gods strength was shining through their weakness as well as my own. They were women trying to honor their Father and serve in a way they knew how.
I don't know what the rest of their day looked like but I do know that for a moment today in their lives and in mine, there was laughter, productivity and community. There was a moment where the worry fled and the joy emerged.
I want you to know, as always, that you are not alone even in times when a smile or joy is the last thing you want to or know how to experience.
Let Him be your strength. Let Him lighten your heart. Allow yourself to feel something new today. I encourage you to open the Bible, to read a devotional, to highlight things you "hear" and to write a letter to God. I encourage you to wonder what the opposite of fear would look like, what the opposite of worry would feel like and I would like to encourage you to be kind to yourself and allow yourself to breathe in some joy, even if it's uncomfortable.
In Him. Be Free.