God gave me the theme of single mindedness this year – focusing on Him and keeping Him first. He wants me to simplify, slow down, and stay there. I have found some progress in this area, but the “staying there” part is hard! Distractions keep pulling me away – or I start searching in vain for the next “best thing” that will make my life better or fix it somehow. I must chose to remember that I already have enough. I have Jesus living on the inside of me. The closer I stay to Him and that truth, the closer I will stay to what He is calling me to do: Simplify, slow down, and stay there.
What is God calling you to do right now? Slow down to listen, obey, and then make the choice to stay in it…as long as it takes.
I have the above saying on an index card on my bathroom mirror. When I get thrown some negative experience or I am struggling with depression, I sometimes feel hopelessness creep in. When I start to feel hopeless, I start to believe that my situation is, in fact, hopeless. We must remember in our life and recovery that feelings are not facts.
All individuals, whether or not they have a mental health diagnosis, will struggle with cognitive distortions at some point. Cognitive distortions are negative, distorted ways we tend to think about the world and what is going on in our life. Our thoughts are not in line with the reality about what is going on (or what God says about us, in fact). Those suffering from mental illnesses tend face cognitive distortions more often. Cognitive behavioral therapy can help aid in re-framing these negative ways of thinking. Here is an example of re-framing a cognitive distortion.
Emotional reasoning is a common cognitive distortion that says “if it feels true, then it must be true.” So, “if I feel hopeless, then my situation must feel hopeless.” For me, hopelessness is a place that I can still sometimes default to after a negative experience or during a depressive episode. Simply having the statement on my bathroom mirror that there IS hope even if I feel hopeless reminds me in those difficult moments that there is, and always will be, hope. That hope is anchored deeply and securely in Jesus Christ. Nothing is too difficult to handle. Nothing that has happened to us cannot be redeemed and used for God’s good.
“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.” Hebrews 6:19
May you experience God’s hope today no matter what you are facing.
Always wanting to do more. More work. More friends. More activities. More commitments. More health and healing. More time with God. More. When is “more” enough? When will “more” ever be enough? How can I enjoy life now if I never have/am doing enough? What would it take to let go? What would happen if I let go, actively trusting God to give me the true more that I need? What is the true more?
As I ponder this question, that true more comes in satisfaction in Christ, what He has given me already, and who He says I am. Not the stuff, activities, or what I do.
I have come far enough. I have put enough in place in my life. I am healed enough. I have done enough. More life will come. But the time is not now for that “more.”
“More” productivity, success, goals, activities, achievements. Now is the time to rest. To celebrate. To breath. To soak in God’s goodness and presence. Discover. Create. Fellowship. Let go. Surrender. Let in God’s love and blessings – see and appreciate all that He has already given you. HE has more for me and you – and that’s the more I want to be after. The rest comes into place. Trust HIS process, not the frantic process of this world.
God, please show us the more that You have for us now. Thank You that You are working behind the scenes to bring forth our desires and dreams. Today, help us to see the blessings and answers to prayers You have already given us. Thank You for “the more” we have in You.
My heart wants to create. My mind wants to escape.
My heart cries to come alive. My mind seeks to shut down, to die.
My heart is meant to connect with the Creator. The only common denominator.
Heart, come alive. Heart, live. Heart, be nourished. Delight in the Creator.
Heart, seek out. Heart, don’t doubt.
Hear the Creator shout. Victory over you.
Come, meet Him in the Upper Room. It’s an invitation of what you long to do.
The flesh must come and die, so the heart can come and dine – and stay alive.
I was thrown a major curve ball a couple months ago. My therapist, who was on maternity leave, had to refer me to a new therapist because of complications from her recent child birth. What another opportunity to practice radical acceptance (see my last post)! I experienced a myriad of emotions, from shock, sadness, relief, anger, peace, and eventually, acceptance. I had had some time with God that morning, thankfully, which really helped me to stay grounded as I processed the emotions of grief surrounding me. (Note to self: spending time with God grounds you and helps you respond well to difficult situations).
Two months later, things have smoothed out, and I am with a therapist I like a lot. It seems as though this “disruption” was actually a “divine redirection” for what God wanted for me in this season. We truly can trust that when He closes a door, He does, eventually, open another one. Just stay open – it might not be exactly what you expect!
It dawned on me through this experience the importance of holding things loosely. Nothing in life is guaranteed. NOTHING! Yet again, through this experience, God continues to work on my heart to not place my security in anything but Him alone. As a friend recently told me, there is so much wisdom in holding things loosely. You won’t be tossed to and fro by your circumstances. God remains the same, and as we remain close to Him, we experience His shelter from the storms of life. That being said, it is healthy to grieve and feel our emotions in order to process losses in life. And if we stay engaged with God through the process, we can find deep comfort through Him.
Stay close to Him today, and ask Him what it looks like for you to hold things loosely in your life.