So I’m on chapter 14 and I probably should’ve finished this book months ago. I must admit I’ve been prolonging it a tad because I really love Lysa’s writing style, the way she thinks and forms her words. They really resonate with me. Oh yeah, I’ve also been rejected…more than I care to admit but this book has caused me to heal. Well, at least, begin to heal. It has definitely been a process and speaking from someone who is still in the process, I’m attempting to fall in love with it. What I mean by “falling in love” with the process is to accept that it will come with ups and downs and know like the Bible says that in the end “everything will work out for my good.”
As Americans, we can want things or processes to come and go like yesterday; never taking the time to stop and experience the moment whether it be filled with pain, joy, excitement, love or even fear. For example, as a single person I look forward to being in a relationship and beyond that being married and even further, having children and growing old with that person; but what about now? What about dating and getting to know someone? So, why do most of us automatically start at the engagement or wedding? Why don’t we “love” the process of getting to know someone? Better yet, why don’t we love the process of being single and being prepared for that someone? I have nothing against weddings but it amounts to a hill of beans if the right person is not the one waiting at the end of the aisle for me. So why skip such an integral part of the process? Because it’s work, because society romanticizes the wedding and let’s keep it real, after a certain age, it’s frowned upon if you remain single.
So if that place of uncertainty is skipped then you automatically go to a place of acceptance and for whatever reason that’s when we tend to have vision. We can imagine our wedding day and maybe even what our lives would be like afterward, but what are we gonna do until that happens? I think that’s why many of us loose hope in this season. We need to stop, I need to stop! The truth is, I have become the person equipped to handle that next step in the process in the interim of the promise and the fulfillment . I’m not equipped unless I go through it because there’s experiences that shape me while I wait and I can’t throw the baby out because they poop their pants. Nope, but we do it all the time. No, you clean the baby and realize that the poop comes with smiles, giggles and relief as well. Maybe you see this as a speed bump to your destination but the speed bump helps you slow down and actually causes you to live your best life. You can’t live your best life constantly trying to get to the next thing. #YouCantHaveRainbowsUnlessYouEntertainTheStorms Unfortunately, rejection is apart of that “storm.”
So if experience has taught me anything, it’s that I can’t handle all of the storms by myself but wisdom has taught me that I may be able to handle some on my own, I don’t want to. I want to lean on God, I want to depend on Him because He’s the only one that is truly dependable. I don’t want to try it on my own and then come to Him like He’s my sugar daddy so that He can clean it up.
There’s a saying that says “The church is for sick people.” I can take this so many ways but just keep an open mind for a minute. If everything is always great and I never go through hard times, why would I call out to God? I wouldn’t, I would never need God because I could fix it in my strength, being self sufficient. Sick people realize that they can’t help themselves, they need a savior, not a sugar daddy. We can make it so complicated at times, in the natural, when we are sick we go to the hospital so that we can get a diagnosis. When our cars are broken and the indicator lights come on, we go to a mechanic for a diagnostic. So when I feel emotional pain it’s an indicator that something is wrong and it means I need…you guessed it, a diagnosis. Crying won’t fix it and complaining often times makes it worse. You have to figure out what’s causing the pain and fix that and I think it makes sense logically, especially when I use the car and the hospital as examples. Unfortunately, folk don’t run to the church when they need a diagnosis. The church is not a building. The church are believers who have gone through and know where their help came from and can show others how to get it for themselves. I hate to say this, but I guess it must be said, the true church has to do better. We have to be a better representation of the Lord because we should have the answers that mankind needs in order to “get better.” Often times though, when an issue arises we aren’t thinking logically and instead of running to the source of the pain to figure out the malfunction, we run away and we trying to avoid it at all costs, simply because it doesn’t feel good.
We must feel the pain to heal the pain. (TerKeurst, page 173)
The pain is a gift to let us know that something is wrong. It motivates us to action when we would’ve otherwise kept going in the wrong direction, entertaining the wrong people, places or things. It’s inspiration for us to fight through to get us to the other side of healing.
And in the in-between? Pain is the invitation for God to move in and replace our faltering strength with His. I’m not writing that to throw out spiritual platitudes that sound good; I write it from the depth of a heart that knows it’s the only way. We must invite God into our plan to help us survive the desperate in-between. (TerKeurst, page 174)
You know the “in-between.” Don’t fake. In between fear and faith, in between the valley and the mountain top, in between the promise and the fulfillment, it’s a tiring place. You start out with so much energy and joy. After awhile of nothingness, trials, lies, no money, people taking about you, seeing everyone else get what you yourself desire, not hearing God, while trying to keep it together you forget the promise, doubt comes in, you forget why you’re even in the position you’ve allowed yourself to be in, tempted to curse the promise and wanting to turn and go back…that’s the in between she’s speaking of. I’ve experienced this. The only thing that has kept me holding on has been remembering the promise, being connected to people who can remind me of what God said about me (the church) and the vision. Don’t get me wrong, some days it’s not as clear, but I still see it. One of my favorite sayings when I feel like giving up is “He didn’t bring me this far to leave me.” In that, I find strength knowing that He’s with me and if He’s with me, then I’m on the winning side. That’s the mature Brittany. Young and emotional Brittany couldn’t see the trees for the forest.
Running from the pain causes us to self medicate to drown out the sensation. We’ve all self medicated with men/women or alcohol or shopping or drugs or rebellion or something else to numb the pain. Numbing the pain only puts off the issue that will inevitably catch up to you. It’s a momentary band aid. It does not heal the wound. Numbing is a coping mechanism birthed in fear. Stop it! Put on your big girl/boy draws and deal with you. Fear cannot live where faith is. Faith cannot live where fear is. So face your fear. It’s not easy but take courage and fear not. Lysa prays Psalm 91. I put on Fred Hammond to get in some praise and worship, not to self medicate but to build me up so that I can deal with it. It reminds me that I am not by myself and because of that I can face my fears knowing that this too shall pass, knowing that I have victory. It frees me up so I can face whatever is in my way. Sometimes the words escape me and I can’t pray but a song will pierce my heart and cause the callousness to fall away. I really like Lysa’s idea though because you don’t have to figure out the words, because it’s the Word and your words that changes things but most importantly, it changes you and your perspective. She also journals with the scripture she uses to pray, which is super cool because she’s able to take her focus off of the issue while still using the experience to teach and train her and when the situation comes up again she has a reference point. What are some methods you use when dealing with your issues? Let me know in the comments.