I mentioned in the last post about the Tuesday morning Bible study I've been going to. It's been REALLY great for me to be a part of that group. Getting to share, open up, be vulnerable. It's been so cleansing and refreshing. And empowering! I found myself today drawing so much strength from what I've learned in that group. For the last week, I've been allowing myself to get caught in a trap of guilt. Guilt is something satan uses often with me to get me off track...divert my attention from the goal Jonathan and I are pressing towards. He knows full well that when he pulls the guilt card, my button is pushed. It works nearly every time. It's a downward spiral. He puts thoughts in my head, words in others' mouths, boulders in my path. And once he's got a foothold, he stops at nothing to keep me from digging out of that pit. He even goes so far as to use people close to me to pummel me. That hurts the worst. Don't you think? I know there are probably LOTS of you reading this right now and thinking of a very specific time that you've experienced that in your own life. So in light of that, I'm going to take the advice of so many and take a step back. Go a little further than arms length. Because I can't keep feeling like this. Guilt is NOT of God. It is NOT a feeling that comes from Him nor does He condone it. It is not a feeling that brings us closer to Him...it only draws us farther away from Him. So in an attempt to stay as close to His loving embrace as possible, I have to guard myself and walk away from relationships that cause me pain. Trigger that guilt. That shame. That low self worth. Because I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that my Jesus does not want me to keep fielding those daggers. Turn the other cheek does not mean stand there and get your butt kicked time after time. It means receive the blow, don't retaliate, and remove yourself from the situation. Learn from it. So I am learning that I am better than standing there getting smacked around. I'm pulling the escape cord and getting the heck outta there. Because nobody can make me feel inferior without my consent. I've been giving consent thus far, but I'm finished being kicked when I'm down. Or, for that matter, being dragged down when I'm on the way up! I'm going to cling to the things that remind me of what an amazing blessing I've been given in a beautiful island to live on, a wonderfully loving and compassionate husband, and dear close friends and family who will hold me up.
I believe whole heartedly that this is a HUGE part of God's plan for my life. I'm supposed to be here using my time and energy for His Glory. I'm reminded, though, that the path to glory was not a nicely paved one for Him. So why should it be for me? He never promised it would be easy, He only said we'd never walk it alone. The road to Calvary was walked carrying a giant cross while bearing a crown of thorns and being mocked, ridiculed, spit at, beaten, and bruised. But since He walked that road for ME, I can press on for HIM. I'm quickly reminded of my trek down that cliff today. There were moments when I thought, "You know what, I'm not sure I can do this." But I kept moving forward. One treacherous step at a time. I stumbled, I fell, I got knocked down. But in the end, I got to experience this stroke of pure genius! Created, it seemed, just for me today:
Gorgeous right??? The picture doesn't do it justice. There will be more soon, but I just had to get at least one up tonight. I wanted to share that breathtaking view with you! Thank you SO much to all the girls that went today and all the women here in Dominica who have been such an amazing well knit group for me. You are all great women and I'm honored and blessed to get to share this experience with you! And to those of you who are my unfailing safety net. My touchstones. My support system. The ones who've been through the thick of it with me, fielding my frantic phone calls and texts from so far away, thank you a million times over. I am reminded daily of the Mighty God we serve when he brings each and every one of you to my mind! Here's to taking the bull by the horns, not taking no for an answer, scaling those mountains, and becoming better for all of it!