Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Jealousy and Contempt Part 3. The End

Photo Credit: Bethany Mossburg

     Immediately after having this revelation that I had allowed Jealousy and Contempt to operate in my life in subtle ways. Something beautiful began to happen. I began to get free of this drudgery. It's like how the first step to recovery in any given area is to first admit you have a problem. Ignoring the problem or being in denial doesn't do anything except keep you in bondage to the drudgery, preventing freedom and the possibility of new and beautiful things coming your way. And subsequently, the integrity to maintain such things.

     What did my prayer time look like after I had this revelation of the pain left in my heart because of Jealousy and Contempt? The only way I can describe it is as though someone had washed my heart in liquid love. It felt like peace and joy and love all mixed together. It felt like coming home. And God was there to meet me. I didn't feel less than or ashamed, I felt affirmed and loved. I'm telling you, God is a lot kinder than you think.

     Immediately after holding this experience. I was put into a scenario where I could have easily compared myself and my shortcomings to the heights and beauty of others. I was surrounded by amazing beauty and talent. I should have gotten lost in the shuffle. I should have been a bit jealous.

     But somehow, I was called out. And in the midst of thousands, I was called "Beautiful."

     I've been called beautiful before, but this time, I was able to rest in it, in a completely different way. Free of Jealousy and Contempt.

     And as I rested in this truth of who I was and am, I was hit with a sharp, fiery arrow. Of course. When else would an arrow strike.

     That's when I found out that my "Admiration/Crush", was nothing more than a mirage. And I had almost played myself by falling for this individual out of turn. It was not my time or my turn, but another's. And she had captured his heart.

     Now how would I deal with such disappointment. And what would my attitude be towards him and her? Would I show face? And reignite my covenant with Jealousy or would I jump off of a proverbial cliff with middle fingers in the air, since this has happened to me more times than I'd like to admit. Or...

     But the Kindness of the Lord had led me to Proverbs, weeks prior, for such a time as this.

     I put down my anger. And upheld my tenderness.

     And God came to my rescue.

     It's always the emotional battles that seem the most fierce to me. And it's nothing short of a miracle, when God calms me down emotionally. And He did this--Calmed me down. Again and again in these last few weeks. Often through random people who had a kind word to say to me, friends of mine that just happened to call me, and others that just felt the need to give me a hug. Yes. He was there.

     And now somehow, my cup is full. And it is now beginning to run over.

     And yes, once again, with heart and arms wide open, I am ready to love.

Wisdom's Knocking:

"Free Up Your Mind:
So that the world's clutter doesn't prevent you from hearing God's voice when He speaks to you.

Free Up Your Heart:
From all the hurt and hate the world gives--so that true love will always have a beautiful home to live within you.

Free Up Your Hands:
To always be willing to help those in need."

--From: My Auntie Annie Bland

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Jealousy and Contempt Part 2.

Photo Credit: Bethany Mossburg

     Sometimes the mood of a song, not the lyrics themselves, captures the very expression of your heart. About a week ago, around the same time I hit Proverbs 6, is when I discovered this song.

     And now, in the emotional place of processing that I'm in, the mood of this song makes more sense than ever before.

     There's a longing. There's pain. There's confusion. There's a sparkle of hope. There's disappointment. All wrapped into something scarily beautiful.

     If you were to put your ear to my chest, this is how my heart would sound right now:

     When you see yourself. Truly. Something happens. It was an ordinary morning, and I opened my Bible. I was groggy, but I still forced myself to be present. I read. And I read some more. Proverbs 6:1. Then Proverbs 6:2. And routinely, I hit the next verse, and the next. Then I got to it.

     Verse 34 of Proverbs 6.

     "For jealousy detonates rage in a cheated husband." But my eyes only focused on "For jealousy detonates rage..."

     It hit me like lightening. And I started weeping. At first I had no idea why I was crying. But allowed myself to cry. And since I was busy crying, my mouth wasn't concerned with talking, but my ears were forced to listen. And when I did listen, it became painfully obvious that I had been trudging through jealousy almost my entire life. I had almost fooled everyone--including myself.

     My jealousy had been hiding, all these years. I had figured my performance in being a giving person would overshadow the pain of jealousy and hope deferred.

     But in the deep crevices of my heart while I stood in other people's weddings, celebrated new love, new promotion, dreams being fulfilled, I had allowed jealousy to begin to define me in the most subtle of ways. And in essence choking out freedom, the freedom to dream for the impossible, the freedom to truly, truly, truly know that I am enough and I that I am loved and significant.

     You know how some people you meet seem to have a chip on their shoulder. Well, my chip wasn't on my shoulder, it was under my skin. Which of course, makes it easier to hide anger, but the sting and pain still has the ability to erupt in the most inopportune times.

     As I sat with Proverbs 6:34, I saw myself. I had once been cheated on in a relationship. So I understand this verse with a truly tender heart. And I know many of you do as well.

     In the back of your mind, you are always wondering if you are enough, and in the hopes of always receiving a positive answer to that question, you often times over perform to gain people's time, affection, affirmation, etc... Key word being: Perform. But then we resent the performance. The performance we felt forced into, because Jealousy two-timed us with Contempt.

     I'll be honest with you, I haven't been in a relationship in over 10 years. On purpose. Partially because I couldn't trust a man. And partially because I couldn't trust myself. Somehow I thought I was protecting my heart, but now I realize that pain of being cheated on provoked Jealousy towards "the other woman" (and subsequently other women in general), and Jealousy had truly enraged me to the point of numbness, apathy, and fear in certain areas of my life.

      How easily is anger detonated in you? You may not be a screamer or a puncher, but you may still fester with anger. Believe me. I know.

     But God in His tenderness, didn't leave me just with the revelation of who I was or had been in the reflection of Proverbs. He began to show me something else...Which would then prepare me to face one of my seemingly biggest disappointments (and confusing) moments of 2012...

Wisdom's Knocking: 

"God is the God of promise. He keeps His word, even when that seems impossible; even when the circumstances seem to point to the opposite." 
-Colin Urquhart

Monday, March 26, 2012

Jealousy and Contempt Part 1.

     Photo Credit: Chris Molitor

     I know what you've all been waiting on. What's the status on Mr. Admiration? Here's the long and the short of it. FRIENDS.

     But before we wallow in a few moments of self pity, I want to paint the triumphant conclusion to this story.

     A few weeks back, before I almost played myself,  I had a dream that my Model T car was derailing, getting ready to spin out of control off of this old school bridge. It was some sort of tricky blind corner. If you were to look at the ground below, you would see tons of other cars that had fallen and crashed to the ground, not able to make that hard, steep turn.

     Somehow, in my pride, I thought I was immune to crashing. But I wasn't. I spun out of control and I crashed to the ground below. I lived. Thankfully. I was a little shaken up. But not permanently injured in anyway. But then, I needed to find my way back. My way back home. My way back to the road.

     I find myself near some sort of shack of a home and I intuitively know that this home is my ticket. I follow a trail of books inside this home that begin to lead me to safety.

     Each title of the various books went in sequential order starting from Proverbs 1, then to Proverbs 2, then to Proverbs 3 and so on, and so on. And then I wake up from this dream.

    So I figured, maybe it's time to revisit the book of Proverbs.

    And let me just tell you, Proverbs it's truly proving to be my very life line.

     I can never get enough of wisdom. Especially when you feel as though it's preparation for the impact of a crash.

     So I got to Proverbs 6, about a week ago. And that changed everything...

Wisdom's Knocking:

"Unrelenting disappointment leaves you heartsick, but a sudden good break can turn life around."
-Proverbs 13:12

Friday, March 16, 2012

Oh, Hey Girl, Hey

     Photo Credit: Lindsay Coleman

     Earlier this week, I was surprised. It was the littlest thing, really. But it made my heart pitter-patter all on it's own. I have no updates for you regarding my current "Admiration" ("Crush" seems to crude of a word at this point--Gah! What's wrong with me?)

     But what I will tell you about this kind individual is that I truly do respect him. Lover or not. He's the business.

     Um, if my cousin Brandi is reading this, I just wanted to say, "Hey Girl, Hey".

     And for the rest of you, that was actually meant to be a clue as to who my current "Admiration" is. You honestly have to be Sherlock Holmes to have ANY idea why I just gave you that clue. But go ahead and guess, if you please...

     Honestly, though. I'm quite ready for this "Admiration" to run its course and be over. I'm sometimes rubbish at waiting on the guy to see what will happen next...

Wisdom's Knocking:

Weigh the cost.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

Photo Credit: Hannah Anderson

     I've written a few blog posts on mean people. But then I thought today, "You know what, it's time to write about the nice people."

     So before I start on my lovefest for kind and humble people, I will point out this. It seems some mean people have snuck their way into my inner circle. Hmm. Sheisty. I'm not quite sure how to let them go, since they've defined themselves as friends, even good friends of mine. But I'm constantly having to guard my heart around such individuals. They lack gravitas in compassion. They know compassion on it's surface, but not deep down. Don't worry though, it's only about 2 people that fit this description. If you're fearful it might be you, well--it very well could be. But I highly doubt it. My frenemies don't usually read my blog. At least that's what they tell me...

     But although I'm quick to rid my life of all negativity and negative people, I'll never forget this sermon I heard years back stating that there's purpose in every Judas in your life. Meaning that death would occur, but so would the resurrection

     Yes, once again, God working all things together for my good. I didn't just make that up for myself, by the way (Romans 8:28) that goes for you too. 

     Okay. So back to my absolute adoration for kind, nice, tenderhearted, and humble people. I recently went to a wedding shower, where literally every single lady (Mostly in their 20s) was so unbelievably kind and wonderful. I felt like I had stepped into some sort of Vortex. I mean, these girls were not catty, were not reclusive, great conversationalists, full of wisdom, had nothing to prove, no chips on their shoulders, smiled a lot, and were not socially awkward. And then I look at the girl that we are all celebrating and it becomes obvious. This celebrated girl is much wiser than we have ever thought. She sent out a clear signal of love and kindness as a brave human being and now it seems as though her signal had been richly answered.

     I love you nice people. I love you so much. You make me so happy. And every time I meet a nice person, I'm very aware that they too, have a story. A rich story to tell. Perhaps they've undergone extreme abuse, walked out of a lifestyle of anger, the list goes on and on. It's often that the nice people are the bravest of us all--

     Making themselves vulnerable. Leaving their prickly stone cold armor at home. Their heart undefended. Open for you to either hug them or stab them. Brave.

     I'm a sucker for nice people that happen to be guys. Often it is said that nice guys finish last. Lies. I was raised by a nice man. Let me explain that even further. My stepdad raised me since I was 3 years old. I was another man's child, but he never treated me as such. He's the only dad I know. He loved me like his own. So much so, that I didn't even realize he wasn't my biological father until I got to junior high. (My mom told me when I was younger that he was my 'Stepdad' but I had no real clue as to what that meant until later in my life).

     And because I had such a good dad. I figure it would be a pretty good idea to marry a nice guy (with swag of course).

Wisdom's Knocking:
Strong comes in different forms.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Viola Davis vs. Meryl Streep

     The "vs." might have been a bit unfair to do. Because both of these women are my favorites. But I must admit, my heart sank a bit when I heard Meryl's name called a couple weeks back at the Oscars.

     Now I have been and forever will be a Meryl Streep fan. Don't make me bust out "Silkwood"on you right now. There is an elegance, sureness, and gravitas that Meryl carries like no one else.

     But Viola was shining in 2011. The way that lightening and fire do in a midnight sky.

     After I saw her performance in "The Help", I had to catch my breath. To me, an Oscar nomination was as simple as protocol, and her Oscar win would simply follow suit.

     But then the sting came.

     I was confused. I've pretty much called it every year, regarding Best Actor, Actress, and Picture. But I missed it. Or did I, Academy?

     Because later that night, a tipsy Meryl Streep, interviewed by our awkward Southern Cali entertainment news anchorman, without hesitation answered his question: "What did the hug mean that you gave, Viola, on your way to accept your Oscar?"

     Meryl: (Smiles)

     "...Oh, she knows...She knows."

     And perhaps there's justice after all.

Wisdom's Knocking:

What you gain in passion and pursuit outweigh the outcome of the competition.

Monday, March 05, 2012

Say What You Need To Say

     Photo Credit: Jon Acuff

     Don't worry. My blog post about Viola Davis vs. Meryl Streep will be coming to your face later this week.


     So, I've been learning more and more,  that it is truly wisdom to listen. To watch. To observe.

     I get the pleasure of observing many of you via this virtual forum called the Internet. And others I get to observe by word of mouth. Yes, a different type of observation all together, but warrants the recognition.

     I've learned that the subject that you claim has no hold on you, is the very subject imprisoning you. The thing that you try to ease your doubts about, you unintentionally reveal that its essence has it's hooks in you--deeply.

     Say what you really need to say. That you may or may not have it all figured out, and in your vulnerability you wanted us all to know that truth. And it's okay. The truth wasn't necessarily in your words, because you are still dissecting certain truths. The truth exposed itself in your reflection. Of how you felt. About yourself.

     We fall short. Expectations. Circumstances. And the like.

     But never stop listening. Observing. Learning...

     There is much teaching in our midst. And much learning to be had.

Wisdom's Knocking:

"Since we've compiled this long and sorry record as sinners (both us and them) and proved that we are utterly incapable of living the glorious lives God wills for us, God did it for us. Out of sheer generosity he put us in right standing with himself. A pure gift. He got us out of the mess we're in and restored us to where he always wanted us to be. And he did it by means of Jesus Christ."

(The Message, Romans 3:23-24)