My friend Michelle posted this verse on Facebook this morning. Thank you!!
I’ve been stuck. Mentally and emotionally stuck. I look around me and I see people stuck. I read this verse and several random thoughts that have been bouncing around in my head swirled and combined into one fuzzy thought… that starts with a whisper…
You are a child of God and with Him, all things are possible.
My transformation was inside out. In 2009, it took a lot of stress and a little trauma to get my head in the right place – I was too far from God. I did several things simultaneously to get my head right. I’ve documented about the exercise and nutrition work I’ve done in this blog. What I may not have emphasized, and probably should have mentioned, was the spiritual reading I did at the time. I obviously grabbed my Bible – always a good place to start. I tried to read “The Purpose Driven Life”, but it wasn’t working for me. You see, my problem wasn’t that I didn’t have a “purpose”. I had nothing but “purpose” – wife and teacher. I was a guilt-burdened-workaholic who needed people to need me to feel worthy. I gave everything I had away. I felt empty because I was empty. I was miserable and depressed. Internal stress built up and my health started going south. My reflection in the mirror was just a reminder of how far away I drifted and how miserable I felt. I knew – KNEW – that I didn’t have too many years left on the planet unless I did something drastic. Needed to do a big 180 turn. I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t “have time”. I didn’t “have money”. I didn’t believe I had the right to invest in something so selfish as “getting in shape”. (Back then, I didn’t think of it as ‘self-care’.)
I think one of my students told me about this book, so I got a copy and read “The Shack” by William Paul Young.
It’s a very interesting story with unique perspective on the Trinity. But I’m not reviewing this book. What I’m saying is that sometime during the reading of this book, I finally heard the message I needed to hear.
I am a child of God. God gave me the miracle of life through this body. Why am I neglecting it? Why am I not caring for it? How can it be selfish to honor this life?
All these thoughts and feelings rushed back to the front of my brain and spilled over into my heart when I read Michelle’s post this morning. I needed this reminder today because right now, life is pretty stressful again and I’m losing my optimistic nature. I’ve been cranky. I’ve been disillusioned. I’ve been preoccupied with worry and frustration. It’s started to shut me down. When I speak, my tone is sharp and negative. I haven’t been able to write because all I’ve wanted to do is vent for the sake of venting. For me, that’s a signal that I’ve drifted. I have not been reminding myself often enough that I am a child of God and with Him, all things are possible. My optimism comes from Him. Always has. And that is how I chose to live when the transformation began back in 2009. That is how I chose to live for the last 178 weeks of my life. And that is how I choose to live now.
I still have guilt about what I am not doing well in my life. That didn’t go away and I don’t think it will. But I know for a fact that I’d be a sucky wife and teacher if I were incapacitated with poor health. Or if I died too early.
From the perspective of self-care, Zechariah 4:10 can put your head in the right place to begin making self-care a priority. Many people feel guilt for spending time and money doing what they need to do to practice self-care. That’s normal, but also unnecessary. Your loved ones want you to take care of yourself. God rejoices when you honor Him by taking care of his child. Small steps count.
But it’s not easy. Results won’t come fast and they won’t come if you aren’t consistent. Each day is a new day. Make a promise for just today and keep it. When you wake up tomorrow, do it again. And then do it again. It’s not theory. It will work. Check out the other bloggers I follow or who follow me. We are all in this process. We are strangers who support each other and have become friends on this journey. Mistakes happen. Maybe it’s not about “each day”. Maybe it’s about “each hour”. Didn’t workout this morning? OK. Do it later. Take a 10 minute walk – three times. Just don’t break your promise for today.