Allowing God to Work in the Uncomfortable Spaces
Your wound is probably not your fault, but your healing is your responsibility.Meg Byrnes
Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.Proverbs 13:10
Keep vigilant watch over your heart; that’s where life starts.Proverbs 4:23
“Dive into the Uncomfortable” seems to be my unintended mantra for 2019.
Whether I’ve liked it or not, that is where this season of life has taken me.
There have been days where I haven’t questioned God’s presence as I see Him working through this transition. He’s mending old wounds and re-wiring me to understand what love truly looks like and how it’s demonstrated. I can see Him shaping this difficult journey into something worthwhile, a beautiful blessing at the end of the road.
Then there have been days where I’ve begged for a break. I have cried into my pillow as my body has shook with rage, fear, or sadness. My mind has raced to find answers for the meaning of this change and heartache, and I can’t quite put it all together.
I’ve needed to remind myself…
It’s okay that everything isn’t “okay” in this season of life.
It’s okay to not have all the answers.
It’s okay to rest.
It’s okay to reset even if that’s not what everyone else is doing.
Truth is slowly being revealed through all of this change.
It’s been hard putting my life out for God to truly take a hold of and shake it out- relationships, work, where I spend my time, what my priorities are, where I’ve been feeling too comfortable…
Trust and stepping out in faith and obedience have been such a big part of 2019 already, and I can feel more pulling and more change ahead. In order to create space for reflection and change, I have had to let God into the parts of my day that have been on autopilot.
Allowing for uncomfortable silence.
In our culture, it’s so easy to self-medicate how we’re feeling with distractions. When we feel lonely, we check social media. When we feel sad, we turn on a show that makes us laugh. When we feel bored, we scroll through our phones or delve into work or projects.
Without allowing time and space for reflection, evaluating how we feel, and why we feel that way, we’re only lengthening a problem. We’re not allowing ourselves to address feelings, old habits, and wounds. We’re pushing them aside in the pursuit of a pain-free, surface-level existence thinking that if we move on to another distraction, it will go away or maybe we’ll forget the pain.
But in the pursuit of peace and a painless existence, we perpetuate the problem. Our old wounds surface in a new or similar situation, and we deprive ourselves of true living and true freedom. When we allow a loving and holy God into every aspect of our lives, He directs us to true peace and healing that is indefinable in this world. He gives us true freedom in life that only comes through Jesus.
As I take on this time of reflection and stepping back, I plan on being intentional in the following areas:
- Ask for Help. If I’m truly going to reflect and healthily grow in this season, I need to ask for help. I need physical help in watching my children, spiritual and psychological help as I seek guidance and wisdom, as well as emotional rest by finding time to enjoy life and relax when needed.
- Turn off the Wi-Fi & Screens. Yes, I’ve actually started doing this already and it’s been weird. When I’m not using my phone, I turn off my Wi-Fi. Every time I pick up my phone and make a search or check my e-mail, I have to intentionally turn it on. I then have to question if why I’m on my phone is really important or is it a distraction. It’s also been incredible turning off my Wi-Fi at night, as I don’t get as many alerts which I had no idea was so annoying until I turned it off. I’m not sure if I’ll still be blogging in this time, or if I’ll just be journaling. Writing is always therapeutic for me. I just don’t think I’ll be on social media as much.
- Be Vulnerable with Trusted People. It’s okay to share your mess. This has been good for me; it’s been healing. God has put some essential people in my life that have been such a blessing. We pray for each other, stay regularly connected, and respect one another in this hard journey. We weren’t meant to be isolated (at least not for long)- God created relationships. It’s been a long road to get to this point in my relationships, but I am allowing God to work on me in this area. There’s already been some healthy and wonderful growth. Through sharing wearisome and difficult circumstances, I’ve grown closer to some friends and family, and we’ve been able to pray and check-up on one another more intentionally. Even on the days where I’ve felt so alone or stuck, I’ve had to be intentional about reaching out to these people. I’ve never regretted it.
- Spending Time in Nature. God put this 365 Mile Challenge on my heart for a reason this year. Nature has been so therapeutic for myself, my husband, and our children. Over the past couple of weeks, my husband and I have already gone on two nature walks where we had some really deep and needed conversations. We even had the kids with us for one of the walks, but they were so distracted that we could actually talk without a date night. It was great. There’s something about nature that relaxes our hearts, souls, and minds and connects us with our Creator. I can’t quite explain it, but the distractions of being in our home or other errands weren’t there. We were focused on each other as we hiked outside, and that’s what has been needed.
- Connecting with God Throughout My Day. This includes spending time in His Word daily, but more importantly for me, I need to be connected with Him throughout my day. It’s easier for me to wake up early to read my Bible than it is for me to stop and pray. I realize I can talk to God throughout my day, but I often get stuck in my routine and don’t think about Him until well into my day after that morning time. God continues to nudge me in this area. Relationships are about investing time and energy, and that’s what I need to do with Him. It’s easier for me to pray for others, but once again, being a mom, I forget to talk to God about my concerns and needs. He’s always there and wanting to connect with me. I just need to stop my thoughts and make that connection.
With any true reflection, there’s always a struggle as God works. There’s the desire to return to what is comfortable and what is “known”. Following through with self-reflection will allow me to see: Am I living free in Christ or am I continuing to be bound by something or someone else?
As I continue this walk, I’m thankful for the love that surrounds me.
There is freedom in the truth.
“So, since we’re out from under the old tyranny, does that mean we can live any old way we want? Since we’re free in the freedom of God, can we do anything that comes to mind? Hardly. You know well enough from your own experience that there are some acts of so-called freedom that destroy freedom. Offer yourselves to sin, for instance, and it’s your last free act. But offer yourselves to the ways of God and the freedom never quits. All your lives you’ve let sin tell you what to do. But thank God you’ve started listening to a new master, one whose commands set you free to live openly in His freedom!”Romans 6:15-18 ESV