Fair warning, this is not your typical New Year happy go lucky, let’s get it post. As I was driving to work this morning all I could think about was how I cannot shake this funk and how this is not the correct or strong way that I am supposed to feel.
It is now about 11am. And I have self-talked, self-doubted, self-encouraged all morning long. Welcome to my head, all of that in about three hours’ time. I have went from one extreme to the other. Mostly because I feel maybe about 2% motivation and 98% unmotivated. I am very familiar with this place. I have visited here before.
I have spent a little over a month taking so kindly to my pj’s. I can stand in a crowd of people with a big smile on my face all the while clinching my fists wishing I could click my ruby red slippers and be back inside of my home. I often wonder if other people struggle as I do. If we are all often in attendance of a great big Masquerade Ball, publicly showing expression without revealing one’s true identity. These balls were designed for a specific, prominent class of people. They were originally formed as a celebration of marriage but throughout history often turned into an ungodly affair of untamed emotion.
These days I often find myself in positions that it is incorrect to express when you are downtrodden, feeling despair or even fearful. It could possibly be frowned upon or pinpointed as weakness. I often hear speeches in regards to fear, anxiety and depression. I often hear that we must “speak” these things out of our spirit or even pretend like they do not exist and somehow this makes them nonexistent. Many times I wonder if these people who proclaim these things has ever dealt with true depression, anxiety or fear. If they have ever been awaken out of a dead sleep feeling as if their heart would explode? Or have they ever had to muster up enough strength to place two feet on the floor to get ready for the day? Or maybe they have never felt despair in a way that took their breath away? Maybe they have never had fingernail prints in their hands from clutching their fist so hard just to make it through a conversation? All the while speaking to that mountain to be moved. Many times, men and woman shame these real, true emotions that real, true people deal with and in turn create a room full of masks with hurting people behind them.
In all honesty, this does work for a moment in time. But at night, after the party is over, the mask laying on the floor, the truth becomes evident and must be dealt with. Too many times we leave people with the impression that they must have done something wrong, or have a mental disorder, or are incapable of handling hard things because they struggle with these issues. Eventually the Masquerade Ball turns into the great fall.
Today, I would like to scream out “FREE PEOPLE FROM THE FACADE” so they can heal. Give them answers, instead of a mask to join your club. Truth is I am tired. I do fear Covid, I do fear the vaccine, I do fear for my children and grandchildren, I do fear our country’s state, I do fear how people will react to whomever the next president will be. Somedays, as much as I want to be strong enough not to gather with people of like faith, I fear the day it may not be possible. I do hope that my walk with God will endure social distancing but truth is I miss laying on the alter. I am tired of feeling ashamed or weak for longing for what I was taught to love and depend on as a child.
So, finally, after three hours of SELF talk I decided to read The WORD of God. Mask off, nope I did not start there. I googled, nope I did not have my Bible with me, mask off….I googled scriptures about rest. The very first one was one of my very favorite passages.. (Matthew 11:28-30) “28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am [f]gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” And all I could do was read and reread. If I have been taught any one thing it IS that THE WORD of God is like breathing new life into your bones. My eyes began to tear up. My heart beat began to ease up and I could breathe.
His Word shows His understanding for our state of mind. There is no shame in this passage there is just instruction and a promise. If you take the time to learn of me/HIM, if you bind yourself to The Father, you will find rest. Maybe just maybe you are like me, you have attended church many years, said many prayers, learned much scripture and maybe just maybe you still struggle. It’s okay. But I challenge you today to remind yourself. Pull out His Word and remind yourself of who He is. He is the Alpha & Omega, the first and the last. He is the Way, Truth and the Life. He is the Rose of Sharon. He is the Bright and Morning Star. He is the good Shepherd. He is…..(Isa 9:6) “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”
So every single time you find yourself trying to muster strength just to breathe, remind yourself of who Jesus is…to YOU! The Word of God is true and amen. Nothing can change it and absolutely nothing can separate you from that love He so freely gave to you. He understands your make up. He knows you by name. You never have to wear a facade with Jesus. If there were no need of a savior, there would be no Jesus, if there were no need of a counselor, we would not have a Jesus, if there were no need for peace, we would not have Jesus. The sooner you release yourself from your mask the sooner your face will glow with His mercy, not your ability.
I am so thankful today that He loves us. I am thankful today that there are instructions and great provision for each of us in His Word. The answers do not lie within our own ability but in the ability of our God, after all He is as close as the mention of His name to each of us and still yet the creator of the universe. We may fear within our own hearts from time to time but when we learn to yoke ourselves with Him, the burden does become light. It does take an effort, more than just self-talk or positive thinking. It does take digging in the Word of God, learning of Him. I am convinced you never stop learning His ways. Every single time you open His Word you will be enlightened, amazed and renewed. That is a promise. Keep your eyes upon Jesus, He is going to see you through.