Hey Adorners, Happy Spring! I pray that this is a season of growth for you all. It has already begun to be a trying time for me.
In the past couple of months, my life was going pretty well. Too well. This is entirely a foreign concept to accept, as something always goes wrong for me! Ask my friends. I always have little, random moments where I shrug and have to laugh and say, "it's just the way my life is set up."
So to go along life without any mishaps was too fishy for me. But finally, the challenges came.
Ever since my baptism last summer, a question I have been afraid to answer is, "am I ready for the trying times?" I avoided the answer to that and decided to stay in my own little bubble and handle things on my own.
Imagine going for a run (and actually being in the mood to do so). You feel great, the light breeze is pushing you along and after you reach the finish line and your heart slows down you have two options: put your sneakers away or keep going. And then to decide to do the same the next day. And the next day. And the next. I was exhausted trying to be superwoman and wanted to throw in the towel but felt like I would be letting people down.
I like being there for those I care about as much as possible. However, my need to always be the go-to motivator, listener and all-around kindhearted model friend narrowed my vision to view my version of selflessness as the sole way to being the "top tier" Christian. The more I aimed to be that perfect Christian friend, the perfect Christian individual, the more I became a yes man. I said yes to everything, ensured I was there for everyone only to burn out. My decisions were always based on "they" instead of myself and I was drained.
Without self-care, I fell down my high. I barely slept, was breaking out, reaching for energy drinks, spent less time with God--my priorities were completely skewed.
What helped? The book of Galatians. It's been guiding me in this season to continue to be faithful in all that I do, even when everything seems to be falling a part. I came across a line in Galatians 4:15, "What has happened to your joy?" My mind was suddenly bursting with answers that I couldn't shy away from.
What happened to your joy?
For me, I went off course and I had to train myself on the new path that I am now on. It's a tangled mess trying to unbind yourself from vines of negativity, bad habits, demanding tasks, uncertainty etc.
I must've subconsciously believed that doing less for myself and sacrificing so much for others would make up for past faults.
As I continued to meditate on The Word, my eyes caught on Galatians 5:7 and I knew God was speaking to me. There was no hiding in this garden, He held the shears. It reads, "You were running a good race. Who cut in on you and kept you from obeying the truth?" In this case, I was the person who was threatening my own happiness, my own peace.
I was running. The field was open, mines for the taking and I tripped on the idea that I could start brand new in my bare hands. Thinking of who I once was, I couldn't imagine being able to experience such bountiful grace.
Through this, I reaped exactly what I sowed. I wasn't harvesting all that was in store for me because I gave up. I knew it but the guilt ate away. I was ashamed that I threw in the towel.
We all know there's no "ideal" or "perfect" Christian. But you have the ability to be better once you cut off the weeds of your past. Even when you're discouraged and feel like you're not bearing the best fruit, fight to be consistent.
You won't love all the parts of the work. On some days, the bloom you mentally prepared for, won't be spiritually ready. On others, the sun will beam you towards experiences that intimidate you. There will be rough patches but you are not alone. Don't think you can take on everything on your own.
Each day, I am reminded that it's never too late to get up again. Forgive yourself, allow the pain to wither away. Punishing yourself isn't the answer.
Believing that you are undeserving takes the sight off what you could have. Be productive, pluck out weeds and allow beauty to grow. When laziness or self destructive behavior takes root it's hard to stop repeating the same mistakes...soon it's second nature.
Open your heart to the blessings God has for you. Gripping on to the stems of what used to be isn't how you win. Some days you'll want to give up but the longer you hold on, the stronger you grow in faith. Instead of backsliding, dig your heels into the ground and stay firm in the word, in love and your supportive circle.
Find a place in each day to take a breath and step into the sun.