The door slammed.
It wasn’t a two-year old in the home, just the two-year old in me.
Whatever hard circumstances happened just before resulted in an explosion of anger and overwhelm.
Nothing feels good about reacting strongly. I don’t want it and those around me certainly don’t want it either.
In an effort to recover (or prevent it in the first place) I pray, I put on praise music, I read scriptures, and I ask others to pray with me, all through tears and feelings of defeat. The fight I want to win the most is the one the enemy seems to be winning. At least for a moment.
It’s enough to make an otherwise encouraging person feel pretty darn discouraged. Enough to make a perfectionist, rule-driven, people-pleasing, faith warrior – give up the fight.
I want to be strong. I want to inspire. I want to share hope. All the time.
When emotions stage a take over, I’m pretty sure it dilutes my passionate plea to cultivate a life well-lived.
Then again, what if we’re all in this together and none of us have arrived, whatever that means? What if we remembered we’re all on a journey towards home? What if we saw our need for the One who lived well so we could live with him?
Sometimes I forget; how we want things to be and the way we want to do them aren’t always the way things happen. Stumbling blocks come. Emotions roll. Sin rises and temptations beg our attention. Our mind has a way of igniting flight or freeze without any warning.
For the Christ follower who wants to live well, poor behavior becomes the ultimate failure. All attempts at self-rightness become glaringly deficient when we do what we do not want to do and what we want to do we don’t do.
Like Paul said…
For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Romans 7:15
When we fail with intense reactions, it feels like hitting bottom and bottom doesn’t feel good.
What will we do when we’re not where we want to be?
We will remember.
God’s strength in our weakness is better than our strength causing us to think God is weak.
We will start.
We will listen for the voice of the Father and move towards him even if we’re not sure about the direction.
We may not know where our next step is going to take us and we might walk with trembling feet, but we will go.
We won’t give up.
We won’t let failure keep us down because the one who lifts us up hasn’t failed us.
Pouting and self-pity drag the heart and mind into a vicious downward spiral. It puts us in a place of victimhood and resists the place of victory given by Christ.
Maybe you’re not where you want to be today. Maybe you’ve tried hard to do better and be better, yet your attitude and actions cause you to cringe.
You may have lost your temper, you may have lost a relationship along the way, you may have suffered wrongly or paid a natural consequence of past behaviors.
But you haven’t lost it all. Not your freedom. Not your redemption. Not the blood paid sacrifice for your sins.
You have not lost the love of your Father in heaven, no matter what’s happened.
As I start writing on this blog again, I’m not where I wish I was in a lot of ways. But I’m where I am. My words here will grow and so will I. If you read along with me, I pray you’re growing too.
As my friend Chuck Tate recently said,
Where ever you are is where you are. Start there.
No matter where…