Ever had a moment in your life when you realize that all is not right in the world?
A couple of months ago I woke up in the morning to an overwhelming feeling of sadness —without having any idea why. In fact, I had every reason to wake up excited that day (it was the long awaited day we were going to record the drums on my second album). And though my circumstances screamed “YOU SHOULD BE EXCITED” —my inner world screamed “DON’T GET OUT OF BED!”
Yet again —just another constant reminder that you can have all the success and excitement in your external world and still be living in deep depression. That’s because your inner world often dictates the level you experience joy from your external circumstances.
It didn’t take long for me to realize there was a whirlwind of emotions I had been blissfully ignoring in my heart for quite sometime. And unbeknownst to me, I would subconsciously grab whatever was within my reach; doing anything I could to numb myself from what I was actually feeling.
These avoidance behaviors were robbing me of the life God has for me to live —leading me straight into apathy.
So after an explosion of weeping and asking God what was going on within me, the Lord quickly illuminated a great amount of suppressed disappointment in my heart that I had yet to acknowledge; mainly because my head knew one thing...but my heart knew another. My head knew that God’s promises are faithful and He will restore all that has been lost. However in my “knowing” that God is faithful, I never gave my heart permission to grieve the loss and disappointment I had been experiencing in my life. Which is why I kept subconsciously engaging in unhealthy coping and avoidance behaviors and wondering “where the heck did this come from?!?”
So that day…I let my emotions out.
I mean REALLY let them out.
I told God all I was disappointed in. I yelled. I screamed. And I called it all out for what it really was —and how it actually made me feel. It was like hitting the refresh button for my soul. Even when I couldn’t change my circumstances or change the loss I had experienced, simply giving myself permission to feel (instead of suppressing and numbing) felt like I was permitting my soul to be alive again.
Additionally —something in my heart knew that this reconnection with my soul could not be sustained if I were to keep living the way I was living.
I knew there was a responsibility God was calling me into in regards to seeking connection with my heart on a daily basis again. I needed to not only acknowledge what was going on within me, but I needed to fill my soul back up with life-giving things; and dispute the behaviors that were only causing me internal suppression and chaos.
At that point, there was loss in my soul that needed to be filled back up again.
And though I could not change my circumstances, God was reminding me that I have a decision on a daily basis of whether or not I’m going to choose to FULLY LIVE…or coast my way through life.
That day I decided I was going to fully live again.
So I got out of bed…and in all of my Type-A/Go-Getter kind of personality, I made my way to my massive chalk board wall to brain storm what this looks like on a daily basis…
I wrote at the top of the wall “THINGS THAT GIVE ME LIFE” in all caps and began to jot down whatever came to mind. Whether it was people, places, or things…anything that has made me feel fully alive in the past I wrote down (i.e. riding my bike, laying in silence and talking to God, hanging out with specific people who truly KNOW me and call me higher, listening to specific worship sessions on youtube, blasting my music and dancing in my room, immersing myself in scripture, going to the beach and spending time in the sun, etc.).
Once I wrote these things down, I made a deliberate decision to go towards these activities and behaviors on a daily basis again.
And let me tell you...it has been liberating.
These are the things that not only bring me into connection with my purpose and destiny, but they bring me into connection with my heart. And though I have to consistently choose to no longer suppress my emotions (and some days it is a major battle), I cannot tell you how empowering it is to fight for your life...to fight for your purpose and destiny that the enemy will do everything in his power to sabotage. He wants to cripple you and steal your joy. And the quickest way for him to do that is to introduce you to unhealthy coping and avoidance behaviors.
He wants to introduce you to things that help you numb out your hearts reality...and in essence...forget to live the life God has for you.
Friends, you were made for a life beyond your wildest dreams. And part of stepping into this destiny is CHOOSING to go towards life...not death.
So I must ask you....what are the things in your life that truly give you life? And what are the things in your life that ultimately bring death?
Jesus I pray you not only expose to people whats going on within their hearts, but I pray you show them how to take care of their souls and choose the life you have for them. Jesus come and expose their coping and avoidance behaviors and show them how to truly live again!
Amen so be it.