These are the areas in our lives where the enemy tries to attack:
Affection: My heart, what I love
Adoration: My mouth, what I worship
Attention: My mind, what I focus on
Attraction: My eyes, what I desire
Ambition: My calling, what I spend my time seeking
Action: My choices, how I stand firm
It’s important for us to be aware of the places in our lives over which the enemy tries to gain a foothold. This awareness is enhanced when we arm ourselves with God’s truth. Using God’s truth as our fighting words will not change what we see, but it will absolutely change how we see.
God is unchanging, always true, and never fails to follow through on His promises. He is never late, never untrustworthy, and loves me more than I could begin to comprehend. He is to be trusted, and I will rest in Him.
Sometimes the only right decision is to stop making decisions.
When we’re in a state of crisis, we often try to fix things with certainty. We want answers.
But this state of being is akin to quicksand: The harder we try to climb our way out, the lower we sink. The only way to survive is to make no sudden movements, to get comfortable with the discomfort, and to find peace without answers.
We can never glimpse the end of a path, but if we squint hard enough, we can see the next step. We squint by being still and quiet for a few minutes every day, through prayer.
We ignore the big decisions, knowing that they’ll make themselves, and we focus on the small ones. The ones right in front of us.
Crisis comes from the word meaning “to sift”. During times of crisis, if we let it all fall away, we’re left with what matters. What matters most cannot be taken away.
And maybe what we don’t know, we’re not supposed to know yet. More will be revealed. So we just do the next right thing, one thing at a time.
“Balance is created by equal forces pressing in on an object.”
This is well known in yoga where we practice balancing our bodies.
So what can we learn from our bodies?
Often, we try to find our balance by eliminating the pressures on our life. The demands of work, friendship, and family can all feel so heavy.
But what if all this pressure isn’t what’s throwing us off, but actually what’s holding us steady?
“Everyone is God speaking.
Why not be polite
and listen to Him?”
Life is much too important to be taken seriously.
Learning to sit with conflict and uncertainty is a skill, much like riding a bike.
When you feel like you’re falling, steer into the fall. Lean into it instead of away, and you’ll be alright.
Have you ever tried making decisions when you’re upset or uncertain? It’s extremely trying.
Sometimes, the best thing we can do for ourselves is to stop making decisions altogether. To learn to just sit and listen to the still, small voice that’s says don’t run. Don’t lean away. Take each day as it comes. One at a time. Lean into the not knowing. Carry on, because everything is going to be okay.
Why does God let us hurt? Why does He bring us people or animals to love when He knows we’re going to lose them?
Maybe because we don’t love people or animals simply because we’re going to have them forever. We love them because loving them changes us. It makes us better, kinder, healthier, more real. Even if people leave us, or animals die, loving them still makes us better.
So we keep loving. Even though we’re going to lose. Because loving teaches us and changes us, and that’s what we’re here to do. We’re here to become better lovers and to learn how to be loved. So when we get to heaven, we’ll be prepared for the place where everyone loves each other perfectly.
Recently I have been reading, Carry On, Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing some of my favorite passages from her book, ones that I find especially wise and/or inspirational.
The below is paraphrasing but I think her point remains.
“When you start to feel, do… When you start to feel unloved, go find someone to offer love. When you start to feel unappreciated, go find someone to appreciate and acknowledge. When you feel unlucky, make yourself write down two recent blessings.”
The point is, to not let yourself wallow. This strategy of, “When you start to feel, do” is fascinating and new to me. It seems to be based on the underlying premise that we’re all connected, a belief which I hold dear. It makes sense to me as a concrete and tangible way to sidestep wallowing and overthinking ourselves into despair.
When you start to feel, do.
I don’t believe in advice. So when someone comes to me and says, “I need advice,” what I think they’re really saying is, “I need love.”
And offering love looks a lot like being quiet, listening, empathizing, and letting someone talk long enough until he/she discovers that they already know the answer they’re looking for.
The thing is, we each hold the answers right inside of us. Sometimes, people simply need a safe place and some time to discover what they already know. So I think offering advice is essentially just trying to hold that space and time for folks in need.