You can call it what you want: perspective change, mind shift, heart change, reality check or aged wisdom. Regardless, the emotions you experience with each scenario have similar frequencies. You have moments when you feel like you are living outside of your body. There may be a sense of de-ja-vu; watching those around you mimic your past self. You know what you used to feel, but the same emotions aren’t making their way to the surface. Am I just getting old?
I wonder as I stand watching the old me, “How did I not realize my state of confusion and loss? How did I deal with the daily struggle of me vs. me?” How do you do it? Do you just get in to a routine like every other thing in our lives? Do you make a conscious effort not to listen to the inner conversations of good vs. bad?
I hid. I masked. (Happy is not a smile) I disregarded. I forgot. I even “prayed”. Regardless, I was not wholly me. I was a shell of what others wanted and expected out of me, while also secretly running from that expectation. But escaping life isn’t possible, because it just catches up to you. And there will be a “come to Jesus” moment when He’s finally heard over top of all of the noise. Where will you be when it happens? Will you have hit rock bottom? I did. And ever day since, I’ve put on the armor of God and climbed out of the hole of despair.
We have to align our minds, warped as they may be, with our faith. Even if that faith is the size of a mustard seed, God can use it and He will. Sometimes, your rock bottom isn’t in your own doing, but because of external factors. Perhaps a loved one passed away unexpectedly. Perhaps you were diagnosed with an illness. Perhaps you lost your job or your home or your spouse. Perhaps your child is in anguish and out on the streets without your guidance. Whatever it is – He will help mend, heal and grow the areas of loss in your life.
The world has a way of taking hold of our minds, which then can affect our heart. My Pastor said it perfectly, “We aren’t intended to be influenced. We are intended to be influencers of the atmosphere and culture; God has equipped us for this.” Your mustard seed faith will lead you to that place of positive force if you nurture it. Don’t run from the still small voices. Don’t lose sight of the life you’ve always dreamed of. There is freedom, even in the darkness. The darkness will teach you how to be brave.
So here I am, standing at a wine festival, which used to be fun anticipated events and I’m ready to run. Fortunately, I had someone with me that kept me grounded on His truth, through healthy conversations, healthy boundaries, healthy dreaming and overall healthy spirit. The music was the same as the days I danced the night away and the wine was too. I didn’t have to dance with anyone, because my heart was happy moving to the sound, without listening to the words. I didn’t have to guzzle wine for the sake of the admission ticket or to “have fun”, but I could still enjoy the taste. Alcohol was never my vice, but it’s also not an additive advantage to a mindset that is not healthy.
I left the event in the calmest spirit. Not intoxicated by alcohol, but instead by His love. I enjoyed the time. I enjoyed being outdoors next to the ocean, my peaceful place. I enjoyed the musicians and the fun of the event. I enjoyed the company most of all, because these women are my safety net. God you changed my mind. You showed me the light. And you led me away from all that was dark in the dungeon of concealment and pain. You set me free.
I encourage you, if you’re lost or can’t get out a state of sadness…seek light, seek peace, seek freedom. It does exist. And so does He.