Because I want to be intentional about expressing my gratitude even when I don’t feel like it…
Day 23: whelp! Holiday break over!
After all of my experiences from daughter to mother, child to adult, single to married, and all in between: I know that my perception of life is sometimes off. Shadows flicker where no light shines. I am attacked by memories and end up fighting the people around me. I see motive where possibly none exists in most people on most days.
“I am slightly paranoid” is what it boils down to.
As I dig myself deeper into the word of God, lots of stuff that I had long ago pushed to the innermost crevicesof my being have been gushing upward. I have to deal with these things that keep me from the total change of heart that I pursue. It is hard going, especially when what I want to do is bask in the positive moves that I have already made. But complacency in what God has done in me is not good enough. I want to know the fullness of the gospel, the complete manifestation of His power.
And that means contending with the pieces of who I am and what I have experienced that I don’t want to think about. Like assuming that people think the worst of me. Like my natural leap from peace to complete provocation if the wrong person says something to me. Like my belief that people who love me don’t believe in me or my ability to do right and get it right and be all right.
We spend so much of our time trying to change the outside stuff that we forget about the inside. We forget that Jesus said it is what comes out of our heart that defiles is–not necessarily what goes into the body. The mind, the will, the memories, the emotions, the decisions we bear the weight of control us until we allow God to root them out and replace them with the fruit of His Spirit.
That process hurts so bad, I am here to tell you. Nothing stings worse than the revelation and conviction that you are reliving a moment not of God that you did not realize you were contending with. Today, I was provoked to wrath and toed the line of respect simply because I was reliving a former offense. In the midst of what may have been a pretty innocuous conversation, I blew up. I remembered all the times that I had been belittled, ridiculed, made to feel like a failure–and it all came up and out of me. I thank God for enough Holy Ghost to at least have curbed the worst of my response; but because I need to contend with this thing I had been carrying for so long, I missed a chance to not say anything at all.
Totally fell short, my dudes.
Anyway, today, I am grateful for the realization that the perfecting work is never done. Just because I put on the outward clothes of holiness, I am still very much a work in progress. Still, thank God for how far He has brought me and for a heart healed enough to recognize what I need to die to daily. I am going to have to call and apologize, too. Because I was super wrong. Fruit of repentance and all that.
“Do you not see and understand that whatever goes into the mouth passes into the abdomen and so passes on into the place where discharges are deposited? But whatever comes out of the mouth comes from the heart, and this is what makes a man unclean and defiles [him]. For out of the heart come evil thoughts (reasonings and disputings and designs) such as murder, adultery, sexual vice, theft, false witnessing, slander, and irreverent speech. These are what make a man unclean and defile [him]; but eating with unwashed hands does not make him unclean or defile [him].”
Matthew 15:17-20 AMP
“Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”
2 Corinthians 7:1 KJV
“Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:”
Philippians 1:6 KJV