I WENT THERE
I shouldn’t have. I knew better. I did it anyway. Now, I regret it. All I did was look with my eyes and my heart simply followed. Consider yourself warned, that’s how it happens. It happens quickly and it’s harder to get back once you are there.
Proverbs 4:23, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” NIV
I was scrolling through the camera roll on my phone. I saw a face I recognized. It was mine. It is not the same one I saw looking back at me from the mirror this morning. Then there were pictures of activities: bicycling, zip lining, snow skiing, boating, running, swimming, climbing, hiking and even hammering. I hammered chicken wire onto a small house being constructed for a poor family in Mexico last spring. A woman was needed to serve on the construction team in Tijuana and I was the obvious choice. I’m pretty sure it was the biceps. Well, that was another body, another life. You are welcome to join me on my nostalgic trip through the camera roll, but only if it makes you smile.
I could feel sorry for myself. A pity party would be completely justified. I think I missed my quiet time this morning. I lost my focus. I need to tell you, just in case you know exactly what I am talking about. Actually, I did open my Bible this morning to look up a reference about Elijah. He sat down under a broom tree and wanted to die. I have never been there. I don’t have a broom tree. I’m not really sure what one looks like. But I think maybe that set the tone for the day.
Lamentations 3, “I am the man who has seen affliction…He has caused my flesh and my skin to waste away…He has walled me in so that I cannot go out; He has made my chain heavy…So I say, ‘my strength has perished, and so has my hope from the Lord.” NASB
I AM NOT STAYING THERE
I dish out a lot of advice. I write it down and I share it. Today I had to read it back to myself. More importantly, I had to follow it. I am glad I did. Ever noticed it is easier to talk it than walk it?
More Lamentations 3, “Surely my soul remembers and is bowed down within me. This I recall to my mind, therefore I have HOPE. The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease. For His compassions never fail. They are new every morning. Great is Your Faithfulness. The Lord is my portion says my soul. Therefore I have HOPE in Him. The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the person who seeks Him.” NASB
That’s the difference. It’s the reason I’m not staying there. I won’t complain. I know the way back. I’m going now.
More Lamentations 3, “For if He causes grief, then He will have compassion according to His abundant lovingkindness. Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that both good and ill go forth? Why should any living mortal or any man, offer complaint in view of his sins? Let us examine and probe our ways, and let us return to the Lord” NASB
My mom recently took me to Crystal Bridges Art Museum. Wherever we go, it’s necessary for me to be let off at the door because I have myasthenia gravis and I can only walk short distances. The day was a cold and windy and I waited outside while she got the car. Sitting on a metal bench, I watched her try and figure out how to navigate the circle drive. Frustrated, she finally drove in the wrong way sending the attendant into a complete tizzy. When I got into the car she said, “I knew it was the wrong way, but…” Yeah, me too.
PLEASE DON’T ENCOURAGE ME
You will feel compelled, but that’s my job. Let me do it. I want to encourage you. I take it very seriously. I have always been a cheerleader at heart. Really, I am doing very well. I just have to be honest. I had a moment. The stages of grief are real. I have experienced denial, anger and bargaining. I am hoping these few hours count as depression and I’ll move on to acceptance. I share this so you will know I am not just writing this, I am living it. I am not pretending either. I invite you to follow my personal journey, maybe we have something in common. If not, please feel free to share it with someone else.
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