Blessed to be Broken

God's not finished with me yet!

Check Engine Light

This morning I found myself in an angry mood. Like how is it even possible to be angry without anything even really happening yet?

As I’m talking it out with God, while trying to listen to a “Gratitude devotional,” (did you catch the irony there), I berated myself for even being angry. Like, my anger was something to be stuffed down and swallowed so it could continue to fester in the dark.

It was then my Heavenly Father asked me why I was being dismissive of myself? Wait, what? So, I had to sit with that. Anger stuffed down, will find its way out. Most likely, someone close to you will suffer the brunt of your unchecked emotion. Then you have that to deal with.

On the show, “The Big Bang Theory,” Penny never pays any real attention to the “check engine” light in her car. She just keeps saying “it’s fine” to anyone who points out the light is on. Eventually, her car gives up. It sputters and spews, as smoke fills the engine area and then it completely dies.

Consider your emotions as your check engine light. They’re telling you something. They’re letting you know, something requires your attention. Ignoring or dismissing them, will not make them disappear. You either deal with them, or they’ll deal with you.

In dismissing my anger away, I was telling myself, I wasn’t worth my own attention. That I didn’t really matter. That it was just an extension of my constant state of ungratefulness and I just needed to get over myself. But, it wasn’t. It went so much deeper than that.

So, as silly as it sounds, I apologized to myself for ignoring the “silly” check engine light. I sat in it. I processed it with God and now I’m sharing it with you.

If God thinks every detail of our life matters, why would we think any less about our own lives? Why do we ignore what we’re feeling? Where did we learn to do that? Acknowledging our emotions is simply giving ourselves permission to look under the hood. It may be a minor adjustment or something that goes deeper than a quick glance.

Either way, daily maintenance is critical to how you keep your heart in check.

Proverbs 4:23 reminds us; “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” (NIV)

When was the last time you checked your engine? I daresay, you’re well being depends on it.

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His Grace Covers

grace3

I love my mother, but I can’t say I always like my mother.  Now I could go into the thousand little things that rub me the wrong way about her, but we’re taught as Christians for our words to uplift not tear down.  On the flip side, I”m sure I have the propensity to rub her the wrong way as well.   Although, I can’t imagine that (total sarcasm).  Maybe that’s part of the reason when it was time to leave home, I went sprinting for the nearest way outta dodge, so to speak. For 20 of those years I was fortunate enough to live just about as far away from NY as I could get while still being in the US.  Key words being “just about.”

Living in AK. I learned a thing or two about moose.  I was intrigued by these lovable monstrosities.  I loved the way they sauntered from yard to yard, neighborhood to neighborhood, and right out into traffic without a care in the world. The only time I ever really heard of a moose getting all riled up was if you got too close to the baby moose.  Thankfully, I was never witness to such a scene.  I knew if I saw a young ‘un, I’d better high tail it in another direction. I would cross the street, go through ditches, scale fences if need be and stay inside the safety of whatever building or vehicle I was in until the “danger” was over.

It was something I could see, something I knew I could avoid.  It’s easy to avoid the danger when it’s out in plain view.  But what about the times when the danger isn’t obvious and you don’t see the “attack” coming, or as you see the “attack” coming, instead of running in the other direction, you run head on, full steam ahead? 

Before Christ, I always chose to head into the fray with my mom in full steam ahead mode.  Oh, how that woman could push every single one of my “how dare she…who does she think she is” buttons.  I’m a grown woman after all and I don’t have to live the life she thinks I need to live and then…… ”who is she….like she didn’t make a mess of her life,” and seriously, “what did she have to offer me?”

Sometimes I felt quite victorious when we both hung up in fits of anger. Better yet, now I wouldn’t have to speak with her for weeks, cause I sure wasn’t going to apologize for the argument she started. How awesome was I that I just put the smack down on my mom and used all the big words I know to put her in her place?  Can anyone relate?  If you can, then you know, the weeks afterward that you didn’t speak, weren’t peaceful, because the argument was replayed over and over inside your head. It was then that I would think of things I could’ve said to prove my points even better.  In fact, I would think to myself, “when I speak to my mom again, I’m so working those points into the conversation.”  Harrumph…I’ll show her!!   

How unhealthy is that? Can you just feel the burden I placed on my “victorious” self? There’s a reason God says, “In your anger do not sin:” Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry,” Ephesians 4:26 (NIV) Anger is not from God, He is a God of peace.  The enemy will have you replaying the hurtful event over and over.  Why?  It’s simple really…because your focus is now where the enemy wants it.  Is it on the goodness of God?  No!! You’re now playing all over the devil’s playground, and I don’t know about you, but my experiences there have taught me that playground straight up sucks!  

Therein lies God’s amazing grace. Christ came in, plucked me out of the pit, I dug over the years and rescued me. Every day He lovingly shows/guides me with His Word on how to be the person He created me to be.  Now, that’s a realm where I can flourish and grow and play to my heart’s content.  By being obedient and submissive to His teachings, I can go to Him any time of the day or night and cry out to my Daddy for assurance of who I am in Him and receive all the love He has to give. In case you haven’t heard, God’s love doesn’t run out.  Can I get an Amen!!

I would like to say I have it all figured out, that I know exactly how to deal with my mom and she can’t phase me at all with her words.  But, that’s not true.  To be honest, I sometimes feel even more vulnerable when an “attack” happens.  She still has the “power” to make my heart hurt, and tears fall down my face.  But, there’s a huge difference now.  While I may want to feed into the unhealthy frenzy, I know I don’t have to defend myself and who I am to her.  I am accepted and loved just how I am by the King and Creator of the Universe!! 

When I feel offended or hurt by what my mom says, I have a solid Rock to stand on.  I can go to the Word of my Father and receive what He tells me about who I am in Him.  And if I “blow it,” I can go to my Father with a repentive heart and His Grace Covers me.  Doesn’t give me the license to sin freely, just lets me know, when I make a mess, I don’t have to wallow in it.  And neither do you!!  Let the Grace of God cover you, then take that godly grace and share it abundantly. Oh, and don’t be surprised if you have to be the one to apologize first, the results may just surprise you!!  And as I make my trek with God, I can see how He’s working in her life, and the small changes being made in her, but I more notice the changes He is doing in me.  And while I still stumble, I’ve never been more at peace with my life.  Thank you Lord, for calling my name!!

Have you made peace with our Savior?  Do you feel that something is just not right, that there must be something more? That’s not a worldly “thing” calling out to you…that’s your Heavenly Father.  No earthly “treasure” can fill that void.  I know, I tried for far too many years to fill it with all the wrong things.  Will you answer His call?  I guarantee He won’t hang up and His treasure won’t fail and can’t be taken from you!!

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