3 Ways to Identifying the Process: Life does not end here

At 20 years old, I was making preparations to be a wife. At 23, I was single, again. Life hadn’t gone as planned. My heart was broken; I was mentally fragmented and emotionally more damaged than ever. Broken, bitter and confused, I sealed my heart. Men became the enemy and love was a concept that I couldn’t accept for my life. This wasn’t my first time being romantically disappointed but I was convinced it’d be my last.

When I thought life couldn’t get any worse than being abused and financially misused, it did. At 25, I became physically disabled. My ability to walk, talk and sit up was severely compromised. I had moments of paralysis and lost just about all physical independence. I was literally on my back. My life and its setbacks felt more like setups. I struggled to believe that my life would ever be more than medical tests and doctor’s visits.

I’m so glad that my story didn’t end with misery and sorrow. I bounced back, baby! God took every piece of sorrow and built a life worth living. My life isn’t easy, but it’s beautiful. I’m blessed. I had to fight for “better days” before I got to enjoy them. I had to speak and believe them into existence. Every day, I maintained control over my life by refusing to cower to life’s blows. I’ve suffered loss, yes; but I’ve also gained.

I’ve gained insight. I understand that there is a necessary process – a type of shedding of excess. The process can have many other names. Sometimes it’s loss of loved ones, sometimes it’s sickness. Sometimes the process is loneliness, unemployment, being single, persecution, disappointment or severe opposition. Whatever the process, it has a specific purpose. The purpose isn’t the suffering but there is purpose in the pain. The purpose is the process – the rebuilding and redesigning of who you are at the core. Your transformation is worth all of the tension, confusion and chaos. So, how do you identify and then navigate through the process? There isn’t a complete one-size-fits-all approach but I can give you a few pointers.

1. What hurts and why?  The process focuses on our weak areas – you know, those parts of us that we want to keep hidden. The not so pretty parts. The process heals and perfects what’s broken, wounded or impaired, helping it to function more efficiently. What’s bothering you? Are your feelings frequently hurt? Are you overly sensitive? Maybe your finances have decreased. Are you being forced to rely more on others? Constantly finding yourself in embarrassing situations? Could you possibly use more humility? It’s important to accurately identify the struggle, the difficulty, the pain. Pay attention to the things that make you uncomfortable or that bring up emotions and reminders of your past. Tender spots. Yes, let’s call them tender spots. Figuring out what and why they are will help you make sense of your challenge, crisis or circumstance and, more importantly, help you survive the process.

2. The process isn’t your enemy. Please understand that no matter how painful and uncomfortable, you are meant to benefit. You are meant to be strengthened as a result of facing and overcoming this difficult time in your life. Your death, suicide, mental breakdown and total isolation is not the purpose of the process. Just trust me on this one. Eventually, you’ll get it. Life is your gift and not an enemy. Life is a tool, an opportunity, to create and experience greatness, laughter and love. Don’t run away from your pain – embrace and dig into it.

3. Take it in strides. Don’t try to figure everything out at one time. This is one I constantly need to remember. I like to know. I like to know the why, when, how long, who with, etc. Give me the details. Break it all the way down. Well, life doesn’t always fill me in, unfortunately. But I find myself more stressed when I’m trying to figure everything out than when I just go with the flow. You know why? Because trying to figure everything out up front is like trying to taste the cake while it’s cooking. Not only will it burn your tongue butit isn’t cake, yet! We get impatient and try to rush a process that wants to give us beautiful results. We end up with a mess. So, inhale, exhale. Breathe. You’re going to be fine. You may have to cry, call a friend, pray, journal or get in a good game of b-ball. Do what you must (that’s healthy) to survive. Eventually, the big picture will be evident. Just wait. I promise that if you commit to wait, you’ll start to see and understand more than you ever thought possible.

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Thank You

Thanksgiving. This is my all-time favorite holiday. It’s something about spending time with family and friends, over a good meal, laughing and sharing  the moment with gratitude. Continue reading “Thank You”

Sometimes you have to fall back

In life we have to make so many decisions – some easy and some hard – but until we master the ability to distinguish between what we want from what others want from/for us we can never make our BEST decisions. We live in a world that is full of demands. There are demands placed on us from our jobs, homes, schools and church families, but I believe our greatest demands come from ourselves and the false ideas of who we should be and what we should be doing or what we should have accomplished by now, etc. There’s always that standard, person or certain reality we measure ourselves by that for some reason seems more important then the person we actually are. We get tricked into disbelieving our own worth and often, without thinking about it, belittle ourselves. Continue reading “Sometimes you have to fall back”

But It’s Not the Way I Imagined It!

Letting go of our expectations is hard. Detaching ourselves from mental and emotional fantasies is rough. Coming to terms with the reality that what you were so sure would be will not be is more than a notion.  Working to understand that what we hoped for may not be what’s best for us presents us with unbelievable adjustments. However, our career paths, relationship statuses, financial outlook and physical states are very seldom what we planned.

Continue reading “But It’s Not the Way I Imagined It!”

5 tips for healthy, glowing skin

It is always a good time to enjoy healthy, glowing skin. As summer quickly approaches with warm breezes and seasonal fun, our skin will require a boost of tender loving care. Here are 5 tips on how to be well prepared to enjoy radiant skin this summer.

Continue reading “5 tips for healthy, glowing skin”

Change

“Change is the essence of life. Be willing to surrender what you are for what you will become.”
~Shanna D Gregor

I have a physical disability. It’s the kind that if you saw me sitting (presumably not in my wheelchair) you wouldn’t think that there’s anything wrong with me. It started rather gradually and then became aggressive, robbing me of mobility, mental clarity and eventually a job that I loved. I’ve had several years of therapy, many prayers prayed over me, rest and attempts to live a low-stress lifestyle that have contributed to my current level of health. I’m blessed. Continue reading “Change”

How to destroy the People-Pleaser within

Do you find yourself stressed and lacking because you gave your all to others? And do you find yourself complaining about it later? Well guess what? Spreading yourself thin is not good for your health and it is not granting you supernatural keys into Heaven. It is a stronghold that you keep allowing in your life and you are the only one to blame, not the ones who constantly asks for help. Let’s be honest, usually People-Pleasers are chronic reward seekers. They are constantly looking for that pat on the back and “job well done” from mere humans. Why? Some find gratification in their squeaky clean reputations while others contribute for religious gratitude.

Well, it’s time to cut that People-Pleasing-spirit loose. It’s not gaining you anything but pain and lack. Most of the time women who are People-Pleasers tend to put their children before their husbands, jobs before their family, friends before themselves. The order is all wrong and God is nowhere in that. But mentally the People-Pleaser thinks they are doing right in God’s eyes. Let me let you in on a little secret. God comes first and everything else follows. If you are married with children your order is as follows: God, husband, children. I know some of you are saying, “where do I come in?” You are taking care of you when you are spending time with God. With Him you are receiving completion.

When we get closer to God, He reveals more of who we are created to be. I find it fulfilling to sit in a quiet space and talk with Him about everything. God is my best friend. He knows everything about me and no one gives better advice. When I wake up in the morning He is the first one I acknowledge. Some people have too many excuses of why they don’t spend time with God. Those are usually the ones stressed out and always trapped in chaos. I’m at my best when I spend the most time with Him. I am more organized, I have better relationships, my business prospers, I am more physically fit, and I feel better about myself. When I steal time from God and give it to others the outcome is never good. Even if that outcome is a slight headache or missed sleep, it’s not good.

Then here comes Jack and Mary, they want to borrow $100, again. Sue wants you to pick her up from work and take her home. And let’s not forget the energy stealers, those who are constantly in the middle of drama and need you to get them back on track. These are the people who never help you or brag about helping you. These are called toxic relationships and I encourage you to clean house immediately. People treat you the way you allow them to treat you. Pray for them and keep it moving. I will leave you with this, when you keep God first you will attract better relationships.

Prayer:

Father, we thank you for your unconditional love and your convicting spirit that alerts us when we are not pleasing in your sight. Show us how to be better in every area of our lives. We want people to see you in us and hear you in us so we decrease ourselves for your glory and your love. Thank you Father that you Reign in our lives and we worship you and not man. In Jesus Name Amen!

What were some of your People-Pleasing experiences? How did you overcome the spirit of being a People-Pleaser? Share with us.