Monday, May 4, 2015

Arms Wide Open

A friend asked me recently if my blog was growing.

Weeeelllllll, I said slowly, not wanting to give myself away completely. It's plateaued.

Sometimes the other two people have to take a break from reading it, too.

I'm just kidding. I can tell you that more than two people read with me, can relate with me, can identify with me--which is exactly what I've wanted since this blog's inception. No one needs to stay stuck by themselves when there are others out there who are going through all the same things. But I'm not one to put myself out there--which was also a major player in the downfall of my Mary Kay career--and I would never want people to think that I thought my blog was so wonderful that they should read it. Every day or at all. Either way.

I think your blog is that wonderful, she told me. I didn't know what else to say besides thank you, because that is one of the highest compliments anyone can pay a person who writes in her journal everyday and has the cojones to call it a blog. Not to be crass, but really. It takes cojones for me to write the stuff I do, because I would rather suffer with a secret insecurity or two (or 50) than let the world know I'm anything less than the three c's: Calm. Cool. Collected.

Except you obviously know I'm not, especially if you know me at all, (especially the cool part, yall--we've already discussed ad nauseam my nerdy tendencies, and I embrace this me). I recently described myself to a good friend as a person with a penchant for waving my arms around in the air and freaking out when I'm up in arms about something--which in my life, can happen quite often, resulting in, if you can visualize this, a person who runs around waving her hands in the air with her head thrown back, coming slightly unhinged--perhaps not unsimilar to a chicken with it's head cut off. (Ew. Gross.Sidebar: I was invited to farm several years ago, as I became more interested in supporting local (do it, the end) and healthier lifestyles, where I could then PICK OUT my own chicken, have it KILLED, help with the plucking and the ew parts, and then take it home. Um. NO.)

Anyhow, when Mary told me she likes my blog (Hey! She likes it!--LIFE cereal commercial, anybody???), I was encouraged, and maybe even felt a little emboldened, to put myself out there a little more. (Which consists of posting to FaceBook, and trying to figure out the whole Pinterest deal, but if yall want to actually share what you read, then hey, go for it.) I pray over the words that are written and I pray over the people who might be reading, and I pray that we might share a bond over the internet air waves (is that a thing?) that would help us to grow together, to recognize hurtful or negative thinking and change it, to recognize hurtful or negative habits and also change them, and ultimately recognize that our identity can be found in one single source: God our Father. Trust me, I know what it's like to search creation for that elusive thing called identity. And also purpose. And there is not one single solitary thing on God's green earth... (noticing it's not so green anymore, as I was complaining to my friend about another stupid hotel/condo/mess going up on the side of what used to be a green mountain, resulting in landslides and basic T-R-O-U-B-L-E, and can I just say that I was a little bit smug when the walls came down? They've been fixed since then, since nothing can stop a developer who wants to make money, but I was all like ha. Ha. HA. To nobody. But it made me feel better anways. And P.S. do not mention to me that my entire neighborhood is built on what used to be beautiful woods and greenery. It makes me uneasy. Plank. I'll also not go into how much I love luxury and convenience, as neither are green. Enough green talk. I recycle. RRR.)

SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO...as I was saying, there isn't really anything else that is stable enough for us to put the weighty, like, neediness of identity on. Sometimes I feel like this entire world is a house of cards, waiting to come tumbling down. Things are fragile right now. Is it really smart to look to that fragile state for something as paramount as one's identity? Yet we do, daily, because we forget His great power and get distracted by the mess that is shoved in our face. (Beauty/weight/plastic surgery ads, I'm looking at you.) Hey, I know. Life isn't easy. Maybe you think I'm making it sound too easy to look to God and forget about the rest, but I know, I'm walking along side you. It's not easy to tear your gaze away from the mess and look to Him, but I've found out through trial and error that it's the only thing that works. I promise with my whole heart that I would not lead you astray on this one.

So my challenge to you is this: to walk with the Lord today. To look to Him every time to you feel lost or challenged or scared or unsure. To ask Him to renew your thoughts, and to give you the identity and the purpose you've been searching for. I can't promise that within the hour you will be a completely new woman or man, but the process of trusting Him has started, and that is a beautiful beginning. And sometimes, as is the case with me, there are many, many layers that have to be peeled back before the core of the issue can be addressed and--get this--healed. Not temporarily touched up. Not stitched. Healed. As in complete freedom. So I no longer have my arms up in the air, waving them as I frantically run to and fro, but I have them stretched toward Him, head back, in complete surrender and freedom.  Bringing the shattered pieces back together, but not as the same person, as a new creation in Christ. Made beautiful and whole and free in Him.

Image result for arms wide open
I wish I took this picture, but no, google images had it for me. Sigh. One day.

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