More than once, I’ve caught myself comparing my written offerings to those of others, wondering if my life experiences are enough to draw from and carry a blog. Every time, the Lord reminds me that it’s not what I have done in my life, but what Christ has done in me that matters. And He has done a lot!
Coping vs. Living
Growing up in a dysfunctional home, I learned to suppress my feelings, keep the peace, do what was expected and yet not expect much of life or others. This continued long into adulthood, mostly as a way to cope with relationship struggles and difficult circumstances. I also anesthetized myself with music, movies and other happy distractions. Dealing with things was safer than interacting with people. In a nutshell, the life I was living was not really living. Most of the time I was simply surviving.
The Gift of Being Present
Thankfully, the Lord often uses adversity to wake us up. During an extremely challenging season in my personal life these past two years, I had to step completely out of my comfort zone and trust God to lead me every step of what has been the most transforming, healing and rebuilding journey of my life. By His Spirit, God has truly opened the floodgates of my heart! My emotions, once but a trickle, are now a rippling river winding through my days. I’m still getting used to feeling things so strongly, and being vulnerable and “present”. Thankfully the joys usually outnumber the sorrows. In fact, several times I’ve been so filled with God’s love while thanking Him for friends and for how far He’s brought me, that happy tears spring from my eyes and I can’t help but praise Him!
Here’s a poem I wrote during one of many mini transitions; filled with thanksgiving and determination to stay close and keep following His lead.
In the middle of a life that’s broken apart
You lifted me up and restored my heart.
Changes, though scary, needed to be done
to abide most fully in the light of the Son.
During this painful season, when many fall,
You strengthen me as I humbly call.
Great joy and freedom when all is at Your feet,
Carried daily by grace with a peace so sweet.
I’m swept up in Your holy embrace–
a heavenly hug that warms every space.
My soul finds rest in Your faithful love;
I’m moving forward with eyes set above.
Resolute to follow, leaning ever near
–Your still, small voice whispers in my ear.
Replacing lies and dysfunction with Your truth.
I’ve more than reclaimed the zeal of my youth!
My Savior and Lord, to You all praises be
–You hold my life together as I rediscover me.
© Ladeena Bell
I pray that you also know, deep down in your soul, just how long and deep and wide God’s love is for you (Ephesians 3:18). That you can fall on His grace, be healed by His love, draw on His strength and be carried by His peace.
No matter what challenges we face, or what the world throws at us, we are strongest when we trust fully in He who holds the universe in His hands. If not even a sparrow falls without His knowledge (Matthew 10:29-30), how much more does He love you and me?! God doesn’t make mistakes, and His love never fails! Whatever you may be holding onto or holding back today, release it to Him. You won’t regret it!
Here’s a song that never fails to move me to tears. I sing with it like a prayer to the Lord, because it describes exactly how I feel with Him.
© Ladeena Bell
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