Photo Credit: http://pin.it/SNOEQ9r
To honor God with my life. Nothing more or less. This is what I want and what I need. But my body and breath often betray me. The pieces of my flesh – in direct contact with my spirit – create a mishmash of confused decisions that leave me feeling broken and damaged.
The past week has been a whirlwind, which is how my ADHD brain functions anyways (at warp speed), but this week took hectic to another level.
Sunday at church God challenged me to make some alterations in my posture and dialogue. I left church on fire and filled with the Holy Spirit…yet consumed with anxiety.
The anxiety started the week before. My past got triggered and nightmares robbed me of sleep. Shame sat on me like an elephant. So after the sermon Sunday, I decided to just stare it in the face. To look at what was making me anxious with both eyes and give it the what for. Seemed like a good idea at the time…but I’m not certain that’s what God meant when he asked me to change my posture and dialogue.
Lord knows I am a fan of talking about your trauma. I work with trauma for a living. But there is talking about your trauma, and obsessing over your trauma. Two very different things. Bringing it out and processing further could have been helpful, but as my hyperfocus race-car brain does, I could not stop thinking about it. 24/7. Intrusive thoughts. Hello PTSD – I thought I had left you behind – but here you are again. I was unraveling at the seems. All it took was one small drop of redirection from someone I love and care about deeply – and I lost it. I unleashed anger on her in ways I didn’t even know I was capable of. Not pretty. Not pretty at all.
I felt horrible. And because my body was already in full PTSD hypervigalent danger mode – I did what I do…cut and run. Cut the ties. Run away. Pretend you didn’t mess up. Hide. And maybe it will all disappear.
Oh…but then there was God…and his dang word for the year…GRACE.
All night He ran around my head. Don’t run. This is not how you grow. You told me you wanted a challenge. Growth. Healing. Redemption. You told me you want to honor me with your life…well here is an amazing opportunity. But you are choosing to run away…and I won’t give up on you.
I swallowed my pride, rolled up my sleeves, and stepped back in the ring. But the girl that stepped back in was not the girl that ran out.
The girl that ran out was ashamed. She focused on her insecurities, magnified her pain, and saw grace as evidence of her failings. She wanted to use her voice, but forgot the reason God had called her to use it in the first place. She wanted to change her posture and grow – but refused to let anyone show her how it could be done.
And when she went back in there was fire in her tongue. Not her own. But the very breath of God. She might speak of her pain – but in the same breath would be a declaration of freedom and change. She might trip on her insecurity – but would accept the boundaries and redirection others offered her because freedom never comes from doing more of the same. She’s made new alright. Human. But with the power of God not just in her Bible or whirling around her head – but spoken over her life with power and authority.
That’s what God meant when He said change your posture and your dialogue. He didn’t mean give your anxiety a voice both in and outside your head. Or take your lame ass body and try to start running a marathon. He meant acknowledge your pain – but don’t you dare stop there. Tell it where it belongs and where it can go. Get your lame self moving – but also be willing to acknowledge you might need some help re-learning how to stand. Speak life and posture yourself in such a way for things to be different.
You can’t create change by beating the past into the ground. Growth happens under His direction and power for the present. That’s how you honor God with your life. You allow Him to blow the winds of change. You speak life until you run out of breath. And when you get tired, you get on your knees, confess your humanity, and get back in the ring once again.