I was talking with a friend the other day and I apologized to her that the past few hang outs together I have unloaded a lot of heavy stuff on her. I mean beyond just being vulnerable - and more like obsessively complaining.
I recently went through a tough season and found myself complaining about everything. Completely discontent and unsatisfied.
One afternoon while I was talking complaining to my husband, I stopped in the middle of a sentence and said, "I'm just going to be quiet. I am so tired of hearing myself complain. I really don't even want to be complaining. I'm really okay. I really do trust God's timing and plan but it's like I feel like I'm supposed to be complaining and I can't stop, I just keep talking ... so I'm going to stop talking right now and just shut up!"
I had hit my limit.
I feel like we're conditioned to just spew negativity and talk about our problems ... but I don't want to. I do trust God. He has never let me down but my sour attitude started to dictate my thoughts and my conversations. Sometimes you just have to tell yourself to shut the heck up and just be quiet until you can say something good.
The friend that I was apologizing to the other day made a great point. She said, "It's almost like we feel like we have to complain because it makes us seem so vulnerable and enables us to connect."
I do want to be vulnerable, real, authentic, and all that jazz ... but I am a child of the KING! Aren't you too? We are in good hands. We can trust Jesus, cast our anxieties on Him, worship Him and be joyful as we journey through this life regardless of our circumstances.
"Don't let the thing you battle become the thing you worship."
This quote popped in my head the other night. It hit me like a ton of bricks.
I was taken back to 2011 when I was battling anxiety and depression. I was battling hard. I mean completely had my feet taken out from under me. The paralyzing anxiety started on March 1, 2011. It consumed me. It was the hardest season of my life. Literally life or death.
I woke up thinking about anxiety, all my conversations consisted of me talking about how I felt with anxiety and the thoughts that rushed my mind constantly. I ate and thought about anxiety, I showered and thought about anxiety, I drove and thought about anxiety, I went to bed thinking about anxiety.
You get my drift?
The thing I was battling became the thing that I focused on 24/7. It became the object of my affection in a really twisted way.
Jesus said in Matthew 22:37 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.'
I couldn't do that when anxiety filled my heart, my soul, and my mind.
One day while I was talking to my husband (months after I started to experience anxiety), sharing my thoughts, feelings, etc ... and he turned to me and said, "You're going to keep experiencing anxiety because it's all you talk about. You have to stop talking about it."
I felt stupid.
I felt trapped.
I felt like I couldn't share my feelings with him anymore - like I was getting on his nerves.
But he was right.
I talked about it All. The. Time.
Every conversation would somehow find its way back to me talking about anxiety.
And not just with him - with EVERYONE.
The thing I was battling became the thing that I worshiped. You cannot function this way. I started to discipline myself to limit my talk about anxiety. It was hard. Really hard. But just like recently when I was complaining to my husband. I was tired of hearing myself talk. I forced myself to be quiet. Instead of complaining to the people around me, I privately journaled, talked with Jesus, read books about God's faithfulness and spent more time in the Word.
In this recent season I actually got so annoyed with myself that I went into my prayer room, threw myself into the arms of Jesus, and said "Look! I ain't leavin' this place until you change my attitude. Apparently I can't do it on my own or I would have by now. Remove this critical spirit from me, and create in me a heart of gratitude."
I was for real. I made a pallet in the floor, turned the light off, and laid there in the presence of God, refusing to leave until he changed me.
And He did.
Y'all - He hears us and He answers. It may not always be when we want it ... but He always comes through in His time, the perfect time, without delay.
So what are you battling? Is it consuming you? Does it find its way into all of your conversations?
Are we not more than conquerors through Jesus? Are not all things possible with God? Is His power not made perfect in our weaknesses? Is He not the same today, yesterday, and forever? Do we not grieve with hope? Are we not called to love our enemies - and even forewarned that folks are not gonna like us and persecute us for carrying Jesus' name? Are we not told to take heart if the world hates us because it hated Jesus and he overcame the world?
When is what we say we believe gonna make its way from our heads and into our hearts??!!
Let's not believe because mama and 'nem believe and we gather for church on Sunday and Sunday dinner.
No! Let's believe because we have had a life altering encounter with Jesus Himself! Because we were lost, but now we're found! Because the thing God hated most (sin) was placed in what he loved most (us) - and in order to bring us back to him, he traded Jesus, the innocent lamb of God, who was mindin' his own business - to die the sinners death, so that we could be FREE and reconciled back to God.
Jesus did not die so we could be slaves to the silly things of this world. If that was the case then he died for nothing. Why would bystanders want to know 'this' Jesus when those who claim to know him are living in bondage?
So they hurt you? I get that. Been there. Done that. Been the victim. Got the hugs and the t-shirt. But guess what? The blood of Christ covers that. You can now move on. I give you permission. No more talking about it and giving life to it. It is finished.
You can't stand your job, your coworkers, your boss - you're not paid enough, appreciated enough, or living your purpose? I get that. Been there too! Nothing like bonding with coworkers over talking about silliness and temporary work stuff. Guess what? The blood of Christ covers that - and have you ever thought that maybe God has you right where he wants you to develop character for where he wants to put you in the future? He's not going to put you where your character can't sustain you. He loves you more than that. No more! No more giving life to dead things. It is finished.
Do you worry obsessively? Been there! Fell deep in the pit. But guess what? By His stripes YOU are healed! The blood of Christ covers anxiety, depression, fear, worry, panic attacks. Stop giving life to it. Do it afraid. Everyday do the things that scare the crap out of you! The enemy loses his grip every time you push forward and trust God.
Get help if you need to! I suggest that everybody and their mama go get some good Christian counseling. You don't have to be struggling with 'extreme' things ... but get your mind right. Go talk to someone who can help you sort some stuff out. It is finished, my friend! You are no longer a slave to fear if you're a child of God.
Obviously the list can go on and on. Fill in the blank with what you're battling and ask yourself - 'am I giving more attention to this thing or to God?'
Be honest. Be quiet. Refocus. Repent. Receive forgiveness. Move forward.
I pray that we, as daughters of the King, would fix our eyes, hearts, and minds on Jesus alone. That we would rise up as healed individuals that truly live out what we're claiming to believe. I pray we would shake off every chain that the enemy has tied around us, dig our heels into the ground, arm ourselves with the Word - The powerful TRUTH, and stand together as a force to be reckoned with.
It's not the truth that sets us free ... it's knowing and believing the truth. That's what sets us free.
I pray we would be unshakable women of Christ, who are not complaining anymore, who are not sinking in drama and gossip and silly stuff that hinders our race and throws us off course- but mighty warriors who are seeking God first and winning souls for the Kingdom.
You are that woman! Rise up, my friend!
In Jesus' wonderful and beautiful name - Amen.
Rise up sisters.
PS - For local women. I'll be hosting a monthly group (one Saturday out of the month starting in April) for chicks that are really fed up with mediocre living and serious about their walk with God! It doesn't matter where you're at in your walk, as long as you're dedicated to running the race- let's do this! Message me and let me know if you're interested in the monthly meeting and I'll add you to my email list. email@example.com