Sometime I look at people and I see their shame. They wear it like a coat that blinds them to the truth of the very things that make them unique and amazing. I see the cloak of guilt that follows them around relentlessly whispering you are less than, you will never be enough. We learn to hide behind the lies that we come into agreement with. We start to believe that we do not even deserve a seat at somebody’s table.
Sometimes I look into the hearts and eyes of people that I love and I can feel their heaviness. Sometimes I wish people could see themselves through my eyes instead of their own. Sometimes I wish there were more hands available willing to lift people up than there are pointing fingers knocking people down. There’s a heaviness on people that we put on one another. It’s not supposed to be this way. We are not meant to live in pain. We are supposed to lay it down. We are not meant to judge and criticize and force our way on somebody else. We are meant to support, encourage and lift up. I pray that eyes are opened. I pray that the truth comes to light. Why can’t people see the angst they cause? Why can’t they see they are the problem when they think they are being the solution?
You are NOT less than. You are more beautiful than you could ever imagine, far more beautiful than a single, flawed human eye could ever see. You are more than. More than who people say you are. More than your choices. More than your regrets. More than your mistakes. You are so much more than you think. I pray someday you discover your worth and no one ever holds the power to define you again. You were made in the perfect image of God and He doesn’t make mistakes. Step into who you are and hold your head up high. You are beautiful and you are loved and there IS a place for you at the table. Just sit down and claim it.
It has been 7 months since one of the hardest seasons of my life. Looking back, I know it was no accident that God strategically placed me in the middle of a beautiful group of ladies who would mentor me in ways that would forever change my life. I didn’t realize that the words I allowed out of my mouth would literally bring death or life to every situation and relationship I would ever walk through. I was unaware of the poisonous negativity that was oozing from my own lips. When I sat in a class that taught me about using my words to breathe life into everyone and everything, my life dramatically changed. At first they were just empty words but eventually those words led to new thoughts and an amazing new confidence regardless of what situation life threw my way. I knew as soon as heard this amazing concept that this was exactly the key that was missing in having a life free of fear and worry. My dream is to pay this information forward and to coach people into recognizing how their words affect every outcome. Awareness is the first step and I am so excited to pass on what I have learned. My heart is so full as I think of the dramatic changes I feel in my heart and mind. I never could have imagined that I could sit here feeling so much joy, gratitude and excitement about my future. But God right? He is so good!
So not long ago, I found myself in the office of a school administrator lecturing my son about character and integrity. I guess it’s easy when you sit in the seat of the accuser looking down on the accused. Life has a funny way of disrupting things so that occasionally the accuser ends up in the hot seat of being accused. How in the world can our kids not be confused and screwed up when the very people who are supposed to be role models and leaders end up being total hypocrites. I’m not judging, really I’m not but it wasn’t easy sitting quietly and listening to my son being judged. Time has a way of fixing wrongs but our words never go away. We must choose them wisely and be very careful if we are to cast the first stone that we walk the walk and never find ourselves behaving in a way we once demeaned someone else for. Encourage. Practice what you preach and always make sure your actions are consistent with your words. That is what makes you relevant.
I read the stories on social media of objects, signs, people and differences of opinion that send some people straight to crazy. I can’t help but wonder how they would withstand some real trauma up against them in real life. Now is the best time to ask yourself, what is your foundation? Have you built your house on rock or sand and are you ready to face the consequence when real trouble threatens to tear you down? If you crumble at the idea of things what in the world will you do when a real threat stares you in the face? It’s time to get real about who we’ve become as a nation, as a family, as individuals. Will you sink or stand? Time to decide.
There are days I question what many around me believe. We seem to live in a society that wants to catch people doing something wrong and then inflict and see through some type of punishment. I come from a different mind frame and it’s hard for me to understand how easily people get caught up in this web and eventually become obsessed. I do not feel that I have the right to point a finger at other people. I have done plenty of things that I am not proud of and just because I didn’t get caught does not make me any different than the guy on the breaking news who did. I do not think there is a single person living right now who has not broken a law, disrespected rules or done something that most would agree deserves some type of consequence. Everyday I drive, people are flying by me disregarding the speed limit. I have accidentally run a red light but when it comes to the law, does intent ever really matter? I think the mistake we make is this. We categorize things by how severe we think they are. We convince ourselves that some things we do wrong are not a big deal while we blow other things out of proportion. I believe that wrong is wrong period. I believe we all make bad decisions and choose to do things we know are wrong so why when it comes to someone else, are we so willing to set a different standard? If people would get honest about their own choices in their own lives and work on themselves maybe we wouldn’t have so much time to throw so many stones at others. We claim to know what’s right for someone else yet we ignore to do right in our own lives. I’m just saying, imagine if we became obsessed with our own lives instead of being obsessed with and trying to destroy someone else’s. Can you even imagine how different the world would be? Put your stone down and stop being part of a mob who is making the wrong kind of difference. Become obsessed with something good and you will contribute exactly what we need to make this world a better place.
Some days blow in like a tornado turning our normal into tumultuous chaos. When the winds fall silent, we stand in the midst of panic, clutching our heart while everything we once knew is left shredded to pieces, barely recognizable. There are seasons in our lives where we are forced to start over in a direction we never imagined and the fear can cripple us until we feel paralyzed. It’s like a nightmare that we cannot wake up from and we have no choice but to see it to the very end.
It wasn’t too long ago I felt exactly like this. I had no idea what the next minute would bring and all I could do was sit on my situation and breathe. Surrender doesn’t always come easy but when my hand is forced, gradually the destruction left behind turns a blank canvas into a blessing in disguise. Blessings come in many forms. Sometimes the old has to be completely torn down to make way for the new. There is a song I love and one verse goes something like this, what if trials of this life are your mercies in disguise? Sometimes I cannot see the bigger picture because I am so focused on a single frame but time puts most things in perspective and I have to remind myself to be patient and take one moment at a time. Deal with today. Sometimes that is the only way to find the strength to face tomorrow. And who knows? Maybe tomorrow will be far more beautiful than I could ever imagine and the peace I find there waiting for me will make all the pain and tears worth the trials I had to face.
Today is my tomorrow and I am here to tell you it is so amazingly beautiful on this other side. Stand firm in the storm. It will pass.
Most days I throw on my armor and I am ready to fight a good fight.
Most days I wake up feeling ready and positive, knowing nothing is big enough to stop me from being who God made me to be.
Most days I inspire and encourage and I use every last bit of strength and energy I have to lift up everyone around me.
Today is not a day I do any of those things.
Today I allow myself to feel tired from being beaten down.
Today I allow myself to cry.
Today I allow myself to lie in bed and wonder why.
Today I get to take the cape off that gives me the courage and strength to be the glue that holds even the most broken circumstance together.
Today I can just be me, hoping tomorrow will not be a repeat of today.