Life…it’s a wild one. Caught up with my best friend this week after having gone the longest we ever have without a conversation. Life gets busy. Too busy. Without a “hello” or a “how are you” we skipped straight to “I miss you. When do we get to retire?” We continued on in a comical venting session about life – its overwhelmingness, its beauty, its wild twists and turns, and the laughter that makes it all bearable. We had a moment that struck us when she exhaustedly sighed, “I don’t know if I can do life.” My response, “no we can’t, but we can look to the One Who does.” It was one of those immediate impacts that hits so hard we both knew my mouth opened but God was doing the speaking.
Last night, our women’s Community Group met at my house like we do every Tuesday night. It ended up being three of us and like the Holy Trinity itself, God knew it was the perfect number for that moment. We launched into what we called a “venting session.” This was not like what you may be picturing with yelling and crying (maybe just a few tears) and over-emotional outbursts. It was a time to be honest with ourselves and where we need prayer. The first friend who launched the whole movement was refreshingly and powerfully transparent, vulnerable, and raw. I sat that there in awe of her ability to put words to her feelings and put those written words into audible ones. These were thoughts that I believe we as women all experience, yet struggle to voice. Doubts, insecurities, and encounters that shake us from our core beliefs. Something that seems so silly, yet still able to distract us from what we know to be true. What I loved most was that she wrote out her insecurities. She dumped every single one on a piece of paper and laid it out at the feet of our Creator. Her next step, she announced, was to cover them with God’s truth by going alongside each bullet point and writing God’s Word next to it. How empowering. Way to love yourself, friend.
I want us all to love ourselves like that – myself included. What if we all stopped to do this? Taking the time to put words to the emotions that roll around in us, hitting our insides like a pin ball. Words are powerful; the enemy knows this full well. That is why he tries to silence us by planting the overwhelming thought that no one else could possibly be going through the same or similar struggles.
As the conversation went on, I couldn’t help but take notes. God was stirring us and I did not want to forget a single thing. We laughed in the ways that Satan works to distract us. Sunday I experienced one that made me lol right into my freezer. Having failed to meal prep for breakfast, I resorted to scrounging for fruit in the freezer to make a last-minute concoction. Hidden like a snake underneath the veggies laid a bag of Girl. Scouts. Thin. Mints. I kid you not. Tossing them back into the freezer as if they might bite without warning, I slammed the door, grabbed my oatmeal, and dashed to church to find solace from the enemy’s snares.
Not today, Satan.
It really is amazing the insignificant ways the enemy looks to entrap us. It doesn’t have to be the heavy drugs, sex, and rock-n-roll our small, Southern churches campaign against. It can be as simple and innocent as cookies to throw us off our nutrition efforts. It can be something we feel is beyond our control, like our thoughts. That is where we are wrong. Sure, we cannot help what pops into our heads, but we can help if we dwell on it. Taking captive our thoughts is a powerful way to wage war against our struggles. Cutting the issue off at the knees by watching what you feed your mind proactively attacks the issue instead of waiting for it to come into your camp. Over the next few weeks, we will explore what these things actually mean. Until then, release the expectation of “doing life right” and rest in the truth that while we cannot our Father can. Grab your friends and soak in the laughter as you release it all!
“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” – Lamentations 3:22-23