Learning to live slow, y'know?
I think we all go through phases where we’re suddenly filled with this sense of urgency, like we need to be doing a heck of a lot more, and right now. That what we’re doing and how we’re living isn’t enough, and we need to step it up and get everything done in two seconds, or else we're wasting our lives. I'm constantly downing myself and thinking it's not enough.
I’ve learned that being kind to yourself doesn’t mean focusing ON yourself. It doesn’t mean treating yourself and giving yourself everything you want right now. It doesn't mean thinking about yourself all the time.
It means giving yourself time to do things. In my life a good example is church. I know that the Lord has called me to be part of a specific church community. But I don’t know when or where or how, and I’ve been trying for over a year to be a part of one, and I still haven’t found one and I was getting stressed and frustrated about it. A friend told me to give myself a break and not put so much pressure on it. Some things just take time. And the Lord is working all the time, even when it looks like nothing is happening or changing.
It means you stop saying negative things to yourself, like “I can’t pull that off. I can’t do that. I’m not good enough. There’s something wrong with me. I’m not enough.” That's not humility. You shouldn't be saying any of those things if you are living in freedom. What do I mean by freedom?
It means you realize the truth, that you are a sinner, that you can do nothing good except through God, and only by believing in your heart and confession with your mouth that Jesus is Lord will you be saved from eternal damnation.
It means you start claiming the truth, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
It means you start claiming the truth that God takes a personal interest in your life, and sees everything that’s happening.
It means you start seeing yourself through the Lord’s eyes, and learning to love yourself so that you can love others. There was nothing you did, nothing you're doing, nothing you could ever do to deserve or earn what God has done for you (covered you in Jesus' righteousness). So stop trying and stop worrying and stop beating yourself down.
Because truthfully, the way my heart is sometimes – if I started living out “love your neighbor as yourself” right now, in this moment, then I would be telling my neighbor "you can't pull that off, you can't do that, you're not good enough, there's something wrong with you, you're not enough." And that's not right. That's not love. Love is many things, but it is not disparaging, discouraging, disabling. Do you know what love is?
" Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance." That's 1 Corinthians 13:4-7.
Thanks for listening, because this is where my heart is coming from. I love all my readers, whoever or wherever they may be. Thank you for reading and listening, and taking a little peek into my personal and spiritual journey!
On a lighter note, I am SO EXCITED for this new year. It is chock full of ideas, projects, people, colors, traveling possibilities, and I can't wait to see what God brings.