Congrats! You’ve made it through the first half of the year. This is a good time to reevaluate those yearly goals and get on some of those goals that you’ve been putting off. Most importantly, give yourself grace if you are not where you thought you would be! Create your plan going forward to make the second half of the year count!
In the first half of the year I shifted my mindset by being intentional with my self-care, which also included new my fitness journey, and I now no longer view self-care an indulgence but the core of my well-being. One of the biggest self-care techniques I have learned is spiritual self-care, connecting to a Higher Power and finding a meaning for my life. As I began to purposefully connect with God more, He began to review my resume with me. Basically he wanted me to update my resume to get an accurate account of my (life) experiences to make sure I wasn't omitting anything needed for that perfect job (my calling).
The problem was he started examining “jobs” I had omitted from my resume… intentionally! Have you ever tried something and it turned out nothing like you wanted or expected it to? To the point where you wanted to just throw the whole experience away? Like forget it ever happened, block it out your memory, and never want to mention it again?
When unexpected life experiences happen to us, we can do a few things:
Drown in it – Wallow in it, complain, and let it win.
Ignore it – Try to mind-over-matter it.
Battle it – Try to have this picture-perfect existence.
I did them ALL!
When the reality set in that the relationship would not work out with the father and I would be a single mother, I DROWNED. Like drowned to the point I didn’t want a life jacket, a boat, or even a float. I didn’t even want the Lifeguard – God – to come for me. The only lifeline I was willing to accept was the father being ready to do this family thing! I wallowed in it, complaining to my friends because I never imagined this to be my life. #ThrowtheWholeExperienceAway
After I let the situation win for a while, I developed a daily coping mechanism of “mind-over-matter”. I pretended like the situation had no affect over me. Yet, every time I had to go to parents’ night out alone, every year there was a “Donuts with Dad”, or when I needed a mental break, the reality would slap me in the face. Ultimately it caught up with me and when it would, it would send me back into an emotional whirlwind! #ThrowtheWholeExperienceAway
Instead of acknowledging God is in control and seeking Him, I tried to manufacture my own peace . I created my own picture-perfect existence by only focusing on the good parts of life – family, friends, career, material possessions, and predominantly, my son! I coped by creating the life I desired, hoped for, or imagined in the areas I COULD control. I wasn’t hiding my life. I just wasn’t tackling it in the hopes of healing from the disappointment. I pulled the breaker in the heart-valve switch to the pain. For years, I managed by numbing myself.
Funny thing is, all of these imply I am in control, not God. I was coping daily instead of using my one-time escape, God. I was spiritually numb… wondering where I was in life, how did I get here, and where was God!!! Above all, I was stuck and didn’t know what to do next. I had no idea what His will was at this point – at the most vulnerable point in my life!! Day after day, sermon after sermon, prayer after prayer, I was discouraged and frightened by a widening gap between my desired life and my real life.
The more I talked to other Christians, the more I realized seasons of spiritual darkness are common — even when many pretend this is an anomaly. We go through some heavy-duty stuff in our lives, and historically, what most people do in response to their pain is go numb or develop a shut-down heart. Whenever some of our parents and grandparents experienced pain in their lives, they would just turn the switch off. It seemed like a good response at the time, but in the long-term, it is deadly. Consequently, how many of us have been thoroughly equipped on how to deal with pain in our lives? Are you humbling yourself OR numbing yourself?
God honors us when we are humble, in part, because we are open to His guidance. It’s only then that He can show us what is right and teach us in His way (Psalm 25:9). I humbled myself by acknowledging my need for Him and allowing Him to rebuild me in a healthy way. I started with repentance then prayer asking God to help me turn the breaker back on. This gave God access to my pain.
Things I had to remember:
God was not angry with me. I did not let God down because I had a baby out of wedlock. In Christ we receive grace. I just had to accept it. Not accepting it produces shame and causes us to stay in a condemning state. (1 John 3:20) (1 John 4:10)
God had not forgotten about me. (Isaiah 44:21)
God will never leave me. (Deuteronomy 31:6)
God rewards humbleness and faith. He tests then blesses. (Matthew 23:12) (Hebrews 11:6)
God sometimes works in silence. He was working it out for my good when I was doubting Him the most! (Romans 8:28)
Times like this build our Spiritual Stamina.
I had to intentionally resist the urge to isolate myself and instead go around friends that prayed, encouraged, and helped me. My circle was so good at consistently ministering to me. (Acts 16:17) (Matthew 18:20) ). Shout out to them... they know who they are! 😊
I was numb because of my emotions (which change all the time) when I should have been holding on to His Truth (that never changes). (Psalm 46:10) (2 chronicles 20:17)
I stopped talking to God so I had to remind myself He wants to hear my requests. I also had to get to a point that I was speaking God’s Truth/Word to myself. (Psalm 55:17)
I had to learn to nurture and encourage myself to bring myself back to life when I was going through the struggle. Positive self-talk was crucial.
The more I did 1- 10, the more my perspective changed and my healing started. Humbling myself allowed me to remain teachable (adding experience to my resume) and grateful. God used this experience in ways I would have never imagined and I learned survival instincts then that are helping me now. So, if I #ThrowtheWholeExperienceAway I also have to throw away the lessons and the strength I gained. #KeeptheExperienceforMyResume
I was afraid to start my blog because of my non “picture-perfect” life but then God told me that is not what He needs. Just like when a company is looking to hire you for a job, they look at your experience and hire you based off that. Our life experience fighting the devil and handling troubles is what God needs, along with our willingness. Willingness only comes when we humbly acknowledge God and His grace in every aspect of life.
My past didn’t alter my qualification! God knows my experience and basically said, “Tasha you’re still hired”! The same is true for you! Go back to your old jobs (your experiences) and humbly put in your 2-week notice (start healing). This way you don’t have to worry about altering your resume (hiding your story, acting like it didn’t happen, living in shame, staying broken, etc.)! Document ALL of your experiences because you will need them later. Those life experiences have a purpose for your purpose! You are more than qualified to do what He has called you to do!
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