My demons must think they are pretty funny. I, on the other hand, am not laughing. Instead, I’m carefully considering why certain thoughts begin to present themselves to me when they do. For example, I’ll be driving home and I’ll pass one of my old “haunts” from my drinking days and the slideshow begins in my mind. It doesn’t have nearly the hold on me that it did a few years ago, but I have to ask myself, “What is that devil up to now?” I’m in a good place. I have learned better ways to deal with my problems. I no longer hate myself. And the more I heal, the further away that image of myself becomes. That girl is gone. She’s not coming back. She has been redeemed by God’s grace and she doesn’t even look the same today.
Contrary to what many may think when we heal, we aren’t free from all of the attacks of the devil. We are made stronger through God’s love and power, but that doesn’t mean we won’t face challenges going forward. So, even though I’ve been healed from so many things, I still face obstacles. I’m still tested, and I still have to decide where my faith lies each and every day. God doesn’t promise that we’ll never have trouble; He just promises that He will give us what we need to face that trouble. It takes a long time for that to sink in and if we’re not careful, we might mistake His lack of a clear sign that He’s with us for an indication that He is just not.
In this society of instant gratification, so many find the idea of a foundation to be obsolete. They look at the concept of faith as something that nobody has time for unless it can be fit into their schedule or wrapped around their own ideas of good and bad. The Bible is not at the center of their “faith,” it’s more of a reference point that they pull out when they need to prove a point or answer a trivia question. To be fair, we try. People are so desperately trying to figure out how to be “good” that they forget how to be good to each other; pointing out where someone else is deficient and constantly calling out the person we used to be instead of giving us credit for the person we have become. It’s not fair and it doesn’t fit into the plan God has for His people. It isn’t our job or responsibility to judge others; it is our job to learn His word and to understand it. When we do, the first part of that statement becomes a whole lot easier. When we get that God is the ultimate judge and that it is His word that counts, not ours, it becomes easier to drop the “badge” we keep showing everyone and to stop trying to make others bow to our idea of what makes someone a good person. I may believe that something is right based on my personal experience, but if it doesn’t line up with His word then it is just my opinion.
We all have our pet causes and our pet peeves, but when it all goes down it won’t matter how right we thought we were. The best we can hope for is that if we keep our eyes fixed on God and we listen for His direction, we will be ushered into the Kingdom by the Father who has always loved us. That unconditional love follows us through the valleys and to the mountaintops. It doesn’t constantly remind us of who we once were, but consistently shows us who we can be. Who we were made to be. And the old passes away, just as it was meant to do.
47 Days of Self-Care is a blogging project that is being published between three different blogs owned by Author & Publisher, Rebecca Benston. Over these 47 days, she hopes to share thoughts and resources for better self-care. You can view related posts at Higher Ground for Life, at the Leading the Follower blog, and on the Higher Ground Books & Media blog.