When asked to share my story, I often refer to it as a “painfully joyous” journey.
Sounds like an oxymoron right? Seems rather ambivalent I know but then again, life is full of a mixture of emotions. As my counselor so lovingly says, “Life is full of mixture” as has been my journey to wholeness.
Please hear me!
The pain in facing myself and facing my past, head on, has led to joy of finding my true self while becoming who I was meant to be all along!
( This picture was taken about the time I chose to lay down my own agenda in exchange for God’s)
:8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are my ways your ways,saith the Lord. :9 For as high as the heavens are higher than the earth , so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than yours.”
Let me say it again because I know there are those who need to hear it again.
* The pain in facing myself and facing my past, head on, has led to the joy in finding myself and becoming who I was meant to be all along!*
(This picture was taken out at Bethel, 2016, after embracing my pain, releasing it, and experiencing the new found freedom that was within me all along!)
Exchanging my pain for true joy, the kind that just can’t help but bubble up inside of me, has been totally worth the risk of removing the mask I wore to hide it!
That’s one heck of a trade off don’t you think?!
There is no substitute that can possibly compare to being the true version of you. Absolutely none. Anything we try to possess or become that is not within our inherent character, is a counterfeit.
A counterfeit is a fraudulent imitation of something else, quite possibly,something of great value… Your beautiful self.
I really don’t think you desire to be a counterfeit since you’re reading my blog.
You know, I’m all about to keepin’ it real and being totally transparent..
Now, I don’t think we intentionally set out to be a counterfeit self, an imposter if you will.I know I didn’t. I think we’ve been set up! Sadly, even within the church body, the doctrine of man can unconsciously influence who we think we have to be as a Christian to be accepted. Enter a performance mentality…
Then of course there is the worlds standards, with the intention to deceive or defraud us by all sorts of propaganda. That’s the enemy’s way to keep us from being the very best version of ourselves. To deceive us. To defraud us. To dismantle the image of God that was placed within us from the beginning of time.
Often time, unintentionally, our family of origin, our environment ,even our culture, lends itself toward being “accepted” and then, by popular demand, we conform. We become confined by that illusion of who we are supposed to be. Not realizing that we were never designed to be confined or to conform to any one else’s image. God is way to creative for that kind of nonsense. He’s the maker of all things for goodness sake. He strategically and thoughtfully created you to be you, not a counterfeit of you.
When we conform to this way of being, this way of thinking, we end up with a deep sense of lack, possibly a feeling of failure, of not being good enough or never measuring up too the standards set before us. Because, well its not really us!
That’s where the pain of this all encompassing journey enters into the arena of life. The arena is a place where your life’s scenario plays out, where you live out and battle the debate or conflict within the mind. The arena is where the battle is also won. There is often pain accompanied with victory.
The mind and heart are constantly at war with each other. The heart is your true self. The mind is the counterfeit. Intuition versus logic. Pain verses pleasure. Ambivalence verses certainty.
Sometimes life pulls us in opposite directions of where our heart really desire to lead us. When life pulls us away from our deepest desires and we don’t have a firm stance on our greater purpose and who we are, we often give way to the counterfeit. Its like a tug of war between the heart and the head… The head wants to take the easy way out, the heart, however is willing to go deeper. To delve into the pain of growth and the joy found within the journey, we will be forever changed because life itself is a mixture of both.
My friends, mixture is the real deal.
We must learn to embrace both!
Change as you know, is a process. When we choose to change our ways, and we can, we will need to hand ourselves lots of “grace beans” through the growth process.
Grace is considered the free and unmerited favor of God …and of thyself.
Here comes a metaphor I just thought of…
It’s the sweet and savory aroma of each sojourner’s painfully joyous journey.
With all growth, grace must be sprinkled in the mixture. Otherwise, our growth will be like a cake without flour. It won’t rise. If it will be ladened down with the wrong kind of ingredients it will flop. Ingredients like condemnation, guilt, shame for instance. Growth has to experience the unmerited favor of God in order to enjoy the true flavor of a life! The unique mixture of the “batter”of life, is both pain and joy. It’s what makes the cake, like you, one of a kind!
Don’t let anyone, I mean anybody, blow out the candle on your cake! EVER…
Let your light shine both in the darkness and the light.
YOU GOT THIS!