"And He walks with me,
And He talks with me,
And He tells me I am His own;..."
It's been a year since I have really sat down just to write. I keep getting a prompting in my heart to just let words flow, but I notice that when I actually sit and think, my brain shuts down or distracts me with other things. I do better when I let my spirit speak without letting my brain get in the way. That happens so rarely these days.
I'm overwhelmed at this moment, though, so it seems like the perfect time to let my spirit speak.
I don't know about you, but I'm currently in a mental space where I just feel like things are swirling around me and I can't quite catch my breath. Events, appointments, preparations, planning, relationships, fear, self-doubt, empathy for my friends who are in pain, and even the conflicts in the world around me are like a whirlwind, and debris is flying everywhere. I feel like I've been pummeled, and I'm just exhausted. As what some might call an "empath," it can all feel like too much for me.
A lot of times when this happens, I don't notice until it's all built up to the point where I break.
But tonight I sat in the upper field looking at the fingernail moon through tears that were beginning to well up, and the old hymn "In the Garden" popped into my head. The part that stuck with me was "And He tells me I am His own." I had the sudden realization that all I need to do is listen as He tells me that I am His, and refocus on my simple faith.
Three things...do justly, love mercy and walk humbly with God (Micah 6:8).
I have a lot of good things happening in my life, but I need to remember that my life is my garden, and even the good things can be too much at times. The "plants" I allow to take root there are the same things that will eventually grow. Plants need space to grow. They need sunlight, air and water. They need an area that is free of rocks and weeds in order to really flourish. If this is supposed to be a picture of my life, this garden needs some work!
What can I remove to make space for the good things in my life to grow? How can I simplify?
I can remove toxins from the soil--anything that is poisoning the good growth.
I can remove all the weeds, the things that cause my heart to feel burdened, so that there is room for light and life.
I can water the ground with the words of life and freedom that God is constantly speaking.
I can remind myself of all the many things that I can be grateful for because those are the "plants" I should tend to most.
So many parts of life are out of my hands. That's something I've learned through the healing process--I am not in control. In my head, this whole idea pretty much stinks. I want to be in control, in theory. I want to keep everyone happy. I want to make everything better and easier and more "perfect" for everyone, but all I end up doing is making it all more complicated and burdensome and frustrating.
What I AM in control of is the things I let take root in the garden of my life. The more that weeds and vines and invasive plants take root, the harder they are to remove. I want to get better at pulling them out as soon as I notice them, so they don't have time to sprout and get stronger. Anger, bitterness, resentment, and trying to make everyone happy--they all need to go!
So if you're going through something like I am right now, take some time to think about all the things you can remove from your garden. Also think about all the things you WANT to grow there, and how you can tend to those. Keep it simple. You are His. You are a treasure, and you have value.
"Don't be afraid, I've redeemed you. I've called your name. You're mine. When you're in over your head, I'll be there with you. When you're in rough waters, you will not go down. When you're between a rock and a hard place, it won't be a dead end."
Isaiah 43:1 (MSG)