Have you had those moments - days or weeks even, where you feel that those around you have let you down so profoundly that it hurts to breathe; but you know that breath - in and out, in and out, is really all you have?
I know the feeling of slogging through my days, not really living; just breathing to exist. Everything still gets accomplished. There really is no time for the luxury of a full-fledged break down. The zest however is not there. My heart is indeed not in it.
This week I have come to realize one thing for sure, (do I sound like Oprah, now?) and that is this - my feelings are as important as the feelings of everyone else. This may sound like a simple concept and maybe I am a late bloomer in coming to this realization, but the notion was totally foreign to me until recently. I am a product of a different generation. We were taught to always defer to others; otherwise you were being incredibly selfish. Couple this with the fact that I am a middle child whose main job growing up was keeping the peace and running interference and you can see that it didn't occur to me that my emotions might take precedent. To understand this insight is truly new to me.
Understanding the concept and putting it into practice are two different things, however. Those around me are used to my concessions to their feelings and not rocking the boat. When I suddenly stand up and say. "You know what, that's not okay." There are bound to be reverberations that are uncomfortably felt. Those close to me are wondering what the heck has gotten in to me and I am wondering if this new assertive behavior is worth the aftermath.
Such has been the case this past week - several times. I didn't hold back my sentiments when push came to shove. I didn't leave me with victorious feelings, though; it actually made me feel more desolate than before. Maybe there is a learning curve?
Throughout the week I had to learn to lean more heavily on my relationship with my Lord. I appreciate the fact that the comfort that I receive from him is perfect. In those hours when it hurt to breath, but I knew I must - He was there. He was there to pull me out of the trap that the enemy had set for me. It feels wonderful to have eluded the schemes of the one who yearns to bankrupt my self esteem.
I cannot believe that there is God without also knowing that there is Satan. Satan really does not want for me to make these advancements in my life and improve my feelings of self worth; then I can no longer live in fear. Fear is the number one area in which Satan gains leverage in my life. In everyone's life, in my opinion. So, the breakthrough begins with resisting the urge to say "Never mind, it's too painful - I'll just keep things the way they are" and pushing through to the other side of that misery where God is.
Then you can breathe - not just to exist, but to thrive and smell the sweet fragrance of victory. The triumph of good over evil; there is nothing more lovely.
2 Corinthians 1:3-5 (New International Version)
The God of All Comfort
3Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. 5For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.
Psalm 119:75-77 (New International Version)
75 I know, O LORD, that your laws are righteous, and in faithfulness you have afflicted me. 76 May your unfailing love be my comfort, according to your promise to your servant. 77 Let your compassion come to me that I may live, for your law is my delight.
"What can we do but keep on breathing in and out, modest and willing, and in our places?" ~Mary Oliver