Deep thoughts at 6 am…
How many days have we spent wondering where we went wrong in a certain situation, or relationship. How much effort do we put into pleasing those we love, only to realize we are not, nor will we ever be, enough for them. Going to sleep each night feeling inadequate for what tomorrow may bring, well, it kind of sucks. I constantly struggle with feelings of inadequacy. I worry about everything! Honestly, I never used to be like this, so it’s a lot to deal with for me. If I’m with a friend and she/he gets quiet, I wonder what did I do wrong? Did I say the wrong thing? Maybe I’m too fat, not pretty enough, tall enough, smart enough?(blah blah blah) These are just some of the thoughts that spiral through my head on a daily basis! It’s like grand central station up there on most days.
Just yesterday, and for no apparent reason, I found myself crying and feeling like I don’t matter. Without going into too much detail, I fell asleep on the couch and basically had a dream that I was unwanted.(silly, I know, at 32 years old it makes me feel ridiculous to be experiencing these things) I woke up shaking, and feeling worthless. In the past year, I’ve noticed that my mind really enjoys playing tricks on me! I do NOT like it at all. Sometimes I can simply shake it off, and keep moving forward. Then there are times I mull it over for days in a funk, sort of like drowning in quicksand.
I did a little research on sinking sand and here’s what I learned:
There are two big reasons why people die in quicksand.
- They panic and thrash around irrationally… It’s the same principle with the human mind. If we allow our brains to wander around with the panic and worry, it will consume us. How do we stop it? Oh how I wish there were a simple answer. For me, I pray, simple as that. When I feel like I don’t matter, I remember that I matter to God. When it feels like my prayers are bouncing off the sky, I pray anyway. There’s a casting crowns song that has spoken to my heart from the very first time I heard it. Basically the singer says to God, “If all I had was one last breath I’d spend it just to sing Your praise, Just to say Your name, if all I had was one last prayer I’d pray it ’cause I know You’re always listening. If I could live a thousand lives, bind the hands of time I would spend every moment by Your side ’cause I, I know You’re there, I know You see me, You’re the air I breathe, You are the ground beneath me, I know You’re there, I know You hear me, I can find You anywhere”. I’ll admit, unlike the singer, I can’t always feel God. I want to, but for reasons unknown, understanding if life’s quicksand moments don’t always come at the time I think they should arrive. Sometimes the understanding never comes, then we are forced to sink or pull ourselves up out of the muck and let it go. I don’t want to spend my entire life chasing after answers that would shed darkness on a bright future. If understanding is hard to find, maybe there’s a reason. Maybe, just maybe, we are meant to trust God and not our own small minded perceptions of why things happen the way they do. Proverbs 3:5-6: “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”
2. They’re scared to move at all, and stand there hoping for help that never comes. So how does one escape from quicksand with no help from outside sources? I’m going to paraphrase here, but basically “chill out”! That’s right, Calm down my friends! The instructions are to let go of anything that could possibly drag you down.(it’s just stuff anyway, not as important as your survival) Then you lean on back, like you don’t have a care in the world. You’re feet will rise up, and you can slowly, the key word being slowly, paddle YOURSELF to safety.
Getting yourself out of a rut, or through a tough break, is often a slow process. I believe this happens for a reason. Through it(hopefully) we learn to seek God, and use what He has given us to persevere. We learn to trust Him and our own selves once again. When we are finally able to let go of the baggage, only when we truly give it over to him. My friend Sarah has started at least a thousand conversations with, “You just gotta lay it down…” over the past year. I honestly don’t even know why I call her anymore(just kidding SARAH) I pretty much know what she’s going to say. The part that really upsets me though, is that she is usually on point, and she knows it!(I purposely scooted around the words “she is right”)
Figuring out how to “lay it down” without trying to carry it all over again can be a tricky process. After reading this blog, maybe you will start to think of the burden as sinking sand. If you try to hold on, you WILL go down. You can’t rise above with a bunch of dead weight hauling you three steps back, for every two you take forward. Chances are, it was all stuff that would have hurt you in the long run anyway. I’m learning that when something is ripped out of your grasp suddenly, seemingly without reason(with a few exceptions), it is most likely for your own good. It may not seem like it at the time, but you can very much RISE. Recently, while on a road trip, my traveling partner shocked me with the suggestion that we get tattoos, not mentioning any names…
I searched for hours trying to decide what to get. For me personally I need it to have great meaning if I’m going to have it permanently on my body. I stumbled across a poem by Maya Angelou called, “Still I Rise”. In that moment, her poetry expressed exactly how I had been feeling for months. Needless to say I have, but still I rise… now permanently embedded on my side to remind me just what I’m capable of. The t’s are little crosses to remind me where my capability comes from.(I know a lot of my friends disagree with tattoos, I have heard your reasoning and respect your standpoint. All I ask is that you, in turn respect mine.)
I’m just going to leave this here for y’all to watch. I don’t know the rules for linking in youtube videos, so I hope this is ok.
As a general rule I try not to find my validation in the eyes of others, but it’s hard not to sometimes. We humans, are quite judgmental. (It would do us all a bit of good to remember the little word, grace. I’ll stop with one sentence because I feel a blog about the degrees of sin and what grace really means coming on soon.) We’ve been stuck in our judgmental ways for so long, we do it without even thinking. It just comes naturally to us. I’m not saying we shouldn’t offer reproof where it is needed. There are definitely some things to consider before approaching someone to tell them what we deem to be so wrong with them, that we just couldn’t wait another minute to broach the subject. I would start off by examining my own heart, and reasoning behind the upcoming confrontment. I most likely would find in myself so many things to work on, that I wouldn’t have time to worry about your sin.(but that’s just me) Then I would remember that you don’t have to tell a chubby girl, “hey, you’re chubby”. If you need to lose weight, you most likely already know, me reminding you would just add insult to injury. Just like you, if I’m doing something wrong, I know it. I’m most likely in the process of figuring out what to do about it, and how to better myself. Keeping all this in mind, I will say that awkward as it may be sometimes, I’m thankful to have friends that will try to help keep me grounded in my faith. Just remember that it isn’t on y’all if I mess up, and it’s not your responsibility to fix it. I was thinking earlier, about how people have said to me, if you’re going to be a light for others you can’t be doing that. Well, truth be told, I probably shouldn’t be doing what ever it is. That being said, this is my quote of the day…
“If I wait until the day that my life is a perfect picture of my beliefs, and I am sin-free to tell people about my God, I will never get to tell people about my God.” -Crystal Pickett
If you want a perfect picture of what Christianity should look like, don’t look at me. Now if you want to see a hot mess of epic proportions, but someone willing to constantly grow and change, feast your eyes upon this girl! Do I always make the right choices? NO WAY!!! Do I realize when I’m wrong? Yes and usually without having it pointed out by anyone. This specific journey is not meant for anyone to walk but me, if you see my life and it changes you, then it was meant to be seen by you.(<–Sarah quote right there) I get the honor of being a light through many outlets. I consider the gifts that God has given me something that should, and will be shared with others. Just imagine if I stopped trying, or sharing with y’all because of every mistake I make. No one would have ever known I could write.
I know without a doubt who the ones that I love most in this world are. Some of you have been there all my life. Some of y’all have waltzed into my life unexpectedly and just so happen to be my kind of crazy.(you know you’re crazy) With all the pressures of everyday life, it can be easy to lose focus on what(or who) is important to us. If there is someone out there who wants to point things out to me, remind me of this please. When you see a shaking sobbing mess, remind me that no matter how alone I feel at times, if God is my focus I’m not alone. Love those who love you, and as for those who hate you… love them too! One of my favorite names for God, is the Jewish term, Immanuel.
Matthew 1:23- “And they shall call his name Immanuel, which means God with us.”
Just because there is a smile on my face, doesn’t mean my life is peaches and cream 24/7. It simply means I’ve decided to let go of it all and choose joy!