Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Pushing Forward and Looking Inward


Good morning sweet readers.  I'm waking up this morning with a little bit of a headache and after a not-so-good day yesterday.

But with some items on the To Do list, I threw back the covers, scratched the puppy's head, and stumbled to the kitchen to make my coffee.

And thus, made my way back to my bedroom desk to sip and read.  Imagine my surprise when Jesus showed up and said, "Today, we are flipping this around to look at you."

"Um, what did you say Jesus?  I am the one that needs healing here.  What words can you give me today to help in the process?"

"No my child.  Today, we are going to look inward."  Insert this emoji ⏩😬

This morning, I am waking up feeling more of a peace than I have felt the last 11 days.  I feel the grace of Jesus and I actually feel like extending it outward.  At this point in my journey, I have no idea if that is the right thing to do - but I think Jesus wants me to meet people where they are, not drag them to me.

In case you are struggling, let me share today's reading with you.  I know it was intended for an outward action, but Jesus applied it to me.  I hope I am getting it and hearing Him like I should (emphasis by me):

What will happen? That’s the big worry, the great unknown: you don’t know what will happen when you finally admit that your family is in trouble. 

And when we don’t know something, we can be afraid of it. So if you have a fear of admission, you’re in great company! 

But the crazy thing is—and I’ve seen this over and over—once you admit your problem, that very same problem gets easier to live with. It’s much more work to keep your family’s secret a secret, while the benefits of admitting your family’s struggles far outweigh the hassles of tamping it down. 

For one thing, when you admit your problem, you’ll suddenly find people crawling out of the woodwork to say, “Me too!”. It’s crazy to find out how many of your coworkers, neighbors, friends, and fellow churchgoers have gone through the exact same thing. 

Admission also provides a great opportunity to learn from those who’ve been through it. Why bang your head against a wall when someone can come along and show you where the sledgehammer is? 

You’ll find the willing arms of a community of people, a network of shoulders to cry on, hands to hold, and knees to hit in prayer

And who couldn’t use more of that?  

Before we can come to grips with dealing with our children’s addictive propensities, we need to take a personal spiritual inventory. Once we have looked inward we can better deal with the social and cultural taboos of assisting our addictive children. Indeed, coming clean with the dirty, little family secrets is a huge step toward healing. 

I admit that I have struggled with having an addictive child while believing I “practiced what I preached.” 

When we own our shortcomings as parents, and trust God with our kids, then we are able to lay the choices of our children squarely on their backs. Then and only then can we admit that we have some family issues

Of course we would all do some things differently as parents, but addiction is an illness, and hiding the illness serves no purpose. It would be paramount to feeling ashamed that our offspring has cancer.

There is a tendency to refuse to admit our struggle with hurts, hang-ups, and habits. We are prone to say, “I’ve got this thing,” Sometimes God sends other people into our lives to help us see those blind spots. This is called an intervention! These are hard, painful experiences, but we must be willing to hurt someone’s feelings in order to help them. 

Even God has dealt with some of His children through interventions, like Isaiah, who said “Woe is me… I am a man of unclean lips,” or Paul: “Oh wretched man am I, who shall deliver me from the body of death,” or Peter: “Depart from me Lord for I am a sinful man.” These are men who came to face to face with their faults and admitted them after God shone upon them. 

Remember: the first step to healing is to admit that you have a problem. 

Wow.  Maybe that doesn't hit or effect everyone like it did me a few minutes ago, but I heard it loud and clear.

While I do feel a bit like Peter and Paul from my failings and fall in my relationships, I do also understand that admitting your weaknesses and failings allows others in the body of Christ to say, "We love you" and wrap their love around you.  That's what I have experienced over the past 11 days.

"Coming clean," so to speak has allowed me to breathe and say, "Here is my struggle and how it affected me."  It allowed others to say, "I struggle with that too!" It allowed my friends to say, "We love you; take my hand."  It allowed, most importantly, Jesus to say, "I love you; I hear you.  Now, here's what I need you to do going forward."

So, short and simple this morning.  Phillipians 2:3-5, "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit.  Rather, in humility, value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.  In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus."

I'm learning to breathe.  I'm learning to take baby steps.  I'm learning to turn myself inside out.  I've taken a lot of baby steps this weekend - driving two hours away by myself to a friend's funeral; going to a church service by myself to see a friend and her husband sing; going to one of my best friend's homes to make pizzelles with her in-laws.  Things I probably would have said NO to before and shrunk away from to stay home, where it was safe and in control.  But those baby steps came with renewed friendships, new friendships, and amazing memories.

Thank you Jesus for holding my hand and showing me the world isn't as scary as I thought it might be going out by myself.  I am so grateful for a Jesus that loves us, forgives us, and teaches us new things every day.  I can't wait to see what today has in store...

No comments:

Post a Comment