(Flickr Creative Commons - Evil Erin)
To read last Thursday's post, Unglued Blog Hop Week 2, click here.
I should have known participating in this study would have consequences. I'm thinking a warning label is appropriate.
WARNING: This study may cause "Unglued" moments to arise in your life.
In my small group yesterday, our fearless leader, Christa, asked the question:
What carnival ride comes the closest to describing your experience of progress?
I am normally a very even-tempered person, with an occasional exploding or barrier building moment. But since beginning this study, life has been interesting. There have been bumper car rides, big, slippery slides, scary drop towers, dizzying roller coasters...you get the picture.
But hey, practice makes
Without going into details, I have had many, many opportunities to apply what I've been learning...most of which have revealed areas still needing lots of work.
Lysa states, "Raw emotions won't sit quietly awaiting further instructions. They'll move - outward if we explode and inward if we stuff."
Learning to recognize triggers (things, situations or people) and the "whys" of our raw and sometimes negative emotions is a huge step in the right direction. Why does this person make me feel this way? Why do those words hurt so much? Why do I want to run away, cry, stomp my foot, or pull my hair out when ____________?
Certain responses from people (or no response at all) can leave me feeling rejected and alone which in turn lead to more negative feelings and emotions. But there is a bigger issue and something I need to deal with deep down on the inside.
This statement from Lysa has been a great tool for me: "Feelings are indicators, not dictators." I do not have to act based on my raw emotions and feelings but it is my responsibility to acknowledge and deal with the root cause.
A wonderful piece of advice (and reminder) for us is found on page 62. "Do not check in with the screaming demands of the world before you exchange whispers with God."
When I am prepared and built up spiritually, I can hear God speak and recognize when the Holy Spirit is trying to do a work in me. Moving to the next level or into the next season God has for us may require unearthing past hurts still tender from physical or emotional trauma, digging deep to remove false beliefs about ourselves, discovering areas of unforgiveness or sin, and other painful paths to healing and growth. The good news is God does not ask that we do any of this alone. His grace and mercy are constant companions if we allow them to be. And He gives us wisdom and prepares the way for victory if we remain teachable.
One of our memory verses for this week is found in I Peter 5: 8:
"Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour."
And devour is exactly what he does in that moment of raw emotion when we are not prepared.
Some synonyms for devour are: annihilate, destroy, exhaust, ravage. Have you ever felt destroyed and annihilated after an unglued moment?
But when we are spiritually prepared, we are more alert and aware and able to practice the spiritual fruit of self-control. And Lord knows, controlling self is our greatest challenge. With supernatural help and impartation from God Himself, we are able to prevent this prowling, roaring lion from devouring us.
We don't have to be exhausted or ravaged or annihilated or destroyed.
God has a better plan. There is a purpose for everything we must walk through. And there is a masterpiece underneath all those hard places.
Can you see it taking form?
As I said last week, I'm so thankful He loves us enough to not leave us where we are, but gives us the opportunity to change and grow and start over again and again.
As I press forward, I continue to "hear the clink of the Master's chisel."
I am tuning my ears to listen, opening my eyes wide to see, and preparing my heart to say yes.
And I choose to call it all grace.
Praying for all of you, today, my sweet sisters. God loves us more than we can ever imagine. He sees the masterpiece in us. And He calls us His.
For further reading and personal invitations inside of some beautiful women's hearts and what God is doing in their lives through this study, please click on the picture below to visit Melissa Taylor's place, where I am privileged to link up today.