May 30, 2017
“Pick a card that shows the phase of life you are in right now…”
I walk around the table as everyone is eating, looking at all the pictures that are laying strewn all over. Pictures of trees, carousels, babies, beaches, cars overflowing with people, delicate spider webs, foggy roads… and a solitary girl, standing facing the camera, hand raised to block her face from the camera’s gaze. That’s the one… I realize with a jolt. That solitary girl who is there in front of the camera, but choosing to be faceless. She’s there, but not there. It’s such a sad picture–full of insecurity.
They say our social media is a highlight reel, and they’re right! I wish I could tell you that it all matches up but the truth is, it doesn’t. Believe me, there’s a whole other side of life behind the scenes. A lot of you know this, but I know there’s a lot of you that don’t. Only those close to me have been in constant prayer over me to kneel and stand by my side. This isnt easy to admit and say “out loud” but I think it’s totally worth sharing. I’ve been in a battle. A battle within myself. A spiritual battle, physical and emotional, all at once!
Anytime I go away for a few days and spend some time with God, Satan is waiting around the corner ready to derail my spiritual high with trials and temptations. After the All In Retreat, I was hit with all sorts of trials over a course of a week. I like to say I deal with anxiety and stress pretty well. But I know the war Satan wages in me is in my thoughts. I’m such a deep thinker that it can really take my focus off of God and my mind will go all over the place and look for quick fixes to ease those thoughts.
The first time I recall truly hating Valentine’s Day was when I was a sophomore in college. I had been cheated on by two different boyfriends in a year’s time, and I felt the need to vent that anger to anyone who would listen! I remember rallying with my girlfriends to decorate black t-shirts sponge painted in white, pink, and red with messages like “My Valentine is Ben & Jerry’s,” “Kiss this Cupid,” or my personal favorite on my t-shirt reading “Happy Satan Day!” I donned my black t-shirt with its anti-love message for the world to see because on the inside, my heart had been broken one time too many. Each year as this day would come around, my heart grew darker and bleaker for everything this one day stood for. I let it steal my joy year after year, and I spread that darkness to those around me all in the name of heartbreak.
It’s January 2019! Before jumping in to make all those goals and resolutions, I think it’s awesome to reflect on what we want 2019 to represent, what we want this year to stand for.
To that effect, and in what’s become a yearly tradition of one of my favorite communities, Cornerstone church’s young professionals, my words of the year are…
So the new year is upon us. Everyone will be asking, “What’s your New Year’s resolution?” Saying things like “New year, new you!” And pressuring others around themselves to start a change and even bragging about their own deflating resolutions. The gym will be full of people throwing themselves into exercise effort’s to improve their health, kick off the holiday pounds, and miraculously find a way to get those abs showing instead of flab without actually making a permanent change.
So why make a New Years Resolution? Why go to all the trouble of thinking something up when your effort isn’t going to last? Why bother?