Monday, March 19, 2018

THE TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE

A couple of weekends ago, John and I attended a conference at our church that was excellent.  I was only a teensy bit distracted by cookie inspiration while I was there, because I had been booked to provide cookies for their celebration lunch last week.

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Cookies aside, I came away from this weekend with a lot to mull over.  I think it is safe to say that, for me, I've been mildly depressed lately.  A lot of the hard things in life have seemed to hit me at once, and I *may* not have been dealing with all the feelings associated with those things.  If you saw my Instagram stories a couple of weeks ago, you'd know that I ate more than my fair share of chips dipped in Nutella (and also managed to set the Nutella on fire, which did not prevent me from eating it.🤦🏻‍♀️)

It was as if every meal was a surprise - and laundry?  Forget about it.  I did ask John to get more white shirts so that I will feel less pressure to get them clean and put away.  True story.  I write all of this to give a clear image of my mental state going into Dwell.  It was not great.

On Friday night, Aaron Keyes (one of the speakers) made an interesting point.  He said that if it is the truth that sets us free (John 8:32), then it is lies that are keeping us trapped.  We went through an exercise writing down the lies that we are believing about ourselves and our lives, and these sprang to mind so quickly for me that I realized they have been on repeat in my head.

1. I cannot do hard things or make real changes in my life.
2. I will fail my children.
3. I will never enjoy life again.

Obviously, none of these are completely true.  But, it did help me put words to the feelings that seem to have taken me captive over the past couple of weeks.  The truth is that I truly cannot do the hard things in front of me without the Lord - it is only in his strength and power.  And he has strengthened me, and I am capable of far more than I often believe.

I will fail my children, but I do not need to be wallowing in "Mom guilt," because by and large, I am doing my best and showing up and loving well.  Not perfectly, but I am not a mom failure.  And I cannot let my children's behavior at certain moments be the measure of my mom success - can I get an amen?

As for enjoying life - this is a tricky one.  As a rule, I am far too focused on enjoying life.  (#enneagram7)  Some of this is helpful and can bring joy to myself and those around me.  Other times, my expectations for continual fun and constant comfort lead me to loving this world far more than I should.  Slowly, ever. so. slowly., it is dawning on me that this life is but a blink in eternity.  The temporal pleasures of this earth will not satisfy, and I cannot put all my stock there.  Instead, I have to set my eyes above and on things with eternal value.  The hard things we have undertaken here on earth are WORTH EVERY BIT of the work and sacrifice.

Little by little, I'm fighting the lies by leaning into the Lord.  Honestly, just recognizing them for what they are has been helpful.  The entire conference was excellent, but this was definitely my lasting takeaway.

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