life, My Faith

Hope in the broken parts

Well it’s been a minute…or several weeks. To be honest, they’ve been trying weeks and existing was enough work. I got sick, had to take steroids (anxiety brain on steroids is bad), and then just had a very challenge week after that (as did everyone around me). But here I am today, not really sure what I’m going to tell you, but feeling I should tell you something.

I just finished reading Get Out of Your Head by Jennie Allen. It releases in January 2020, but I got an advanced copy at IF:Lead. Let me just tell you now, you need it. Go preorder it now. It’s about getting control of your brain. It’s about stoping the toxic thoughts. It’s about choosing instead of your brain choosing for you.

But here’s the thing, I’ve read the book but I still forget. I still am not good at it. I remember after I react that I should have chosen better. I still have lots of times where I react and then beat myself up for my reactions.

Last week I definitely went down that path, fueled by steroided anxiety brain. (Uggg seriously. Anxiety brain does not need to be on steroids; janky lungs however require it occasionally. It’s a hard balance.). Granted my best moments are never going to be before 9am. My best moments are never going to happen after getting beaten up (metaphorically) for an entire 13ish hours, going to bed, waking up and barely getting my eyes open before the beating starts again. But I could have chosen better. In hindsight I should have chosen better, but my brain wasn’t even awake yet.

However instead of calling that evil into this week, I will choose now to recognize it for what it is: a rough situation fueled by lack of sleep, stress and steroids. I will choose to learn from it instead of beat myself over it. I will try to choose better next time. Will I fail? Eh. Maybe. But then I just keep trying.

It’s about practicing I think. I didn’t start brush calligraphy or painting being able to do it well. In fact, sometimes I see some of my first pieces and I’m like yikes. Can we burn that? But instead of looking at how bad that is, a better vision would be to look at how far I’ve come. And I’ve only gotten better through practice. And through guidance.

So too I think to change so many years of bad thinking will take quite a bit of practice. I love that God placed in my life precious friends who will remind me of how far I’ve come when we talk about my shortcomings. These beautiful people walk beside me and remind me that maybe it’s not the moment but the journey that matters the most. They speak truth into my heart when my perfectionist heart wants to just say, well you failed again. Good job. They are my teammates and my cheerleaders.

Then next Monday I see the coach as it were. And likely we’ll break it down and figure out where the misfire happened. Or maybe we won’t because I’ve already obsessed enough. Either way, one of these days I will have fewer and fewer misfires. I can say I’m proud of the fact that last week was the first misfire in a while, and that’s something.

And so we carry on. I am entering tomorrow believing and being fully persuaded that this week I will do better. I hope too that this week itself is better, but if not, I will choose better. I will run it. It will not run me.

***

Yesterday as I was reading in the Women of Courage devotion (from (in)Courage), I came across the story of the Canaanite woman (Matthew 15:21-28). In this story the woman had faith that Jesus could heal her daughter.

She persisted even when it looked like he was not going to do it. She new he could and so she kept going. One commentary likened it to Jacob wrestling with God in Genesis 32 because she wouldn’t let go until he blessed her. And ultimately he did.

She started out with some faith. Through the wrestling and the difficulties, God brought her to a place of great faith.

And maybe that’s what He wants to do for us. When it feels like all hope is lost, when it feels like everything has gone off the rails, hold on. Keep persevering. Keep wrestling. Blessings are on the other side.

My mind didn’t break overnight and it won’t fix that quickly either. I have to stay in the fight, and you do too, friend. We’re worth it. Even if you failed last week, like I did, stay in the fight. Renew your mind. Let’s go after it this week and try to win.

Even through anxiety and struggles, keep fighting for truth and for blessings in the midst of it. I want to be like the Canaanite woman who said even your scraps, Lord, will be enough for me.

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