I had some hysterical conversations with people after my last post. One friend said that she got a mental picture of me running headlong into a wall I never saw coming. When I hit the ground I ‘gracefully’ picked myself up and took a few steps back and did it again…and again…and again. We agreed that yes this is the cause of my wonky eye.
The good thing is that I must have clearly presented the message because that is exactly what I saw in my mind when I wrote the post.
The other thing I saw in my mind about hitting the wall was the character Annelle Dupuy in ‘Steel Magnolias’. At the point in the movie when she finds out her husband of two weeks is in trouble with the law and has left her with no money or clothes she looks at her new employer, and says, through tears and a stiff upper lip, “Miss Truvy, I promise my personal tragedy will not affect my ability to do good hair.” She didn’t see the wall coming either.
It has always been my goal that no matter what kind of hell I was walking through that it not affect my ability to do anything…especially if it involved rescuing someone else. Just nod at your computer monitor if you have ever heard me say to myself, “Just suck it up and keep moving.”
After my last post I also heard someone say that her tiara is not crooked, but has actually fallen off and she thinks she has now been sitting on it so long that she may need to use Ex-Lax if she ever wants to see it again. I really couldn’t have said that any better myself, so I asked if I could quote her as long as I left out her name.
(It’s really not my goal to embarrass anyone other than myself. There is a fine line sometimes between my story and other peoples’ stories and to the best of my ability I will try not to cross it in dishonoring ways.)
Through the laughter (and a couple of shed tears) I realized that the first several times I hit the wall and gracefully picked myself up it was because I didn’t recognize the warning signs. So just in case you have stuck with me through this series (which I promise is not going to last forever even though it may seem that way), but have yet to identify with one thing I have said about what it DOES NOT mean to live abundantly or reign in life, a few thought-provoking questions might be in order.
If you answer yes to any (or all) of the following very-scientific-psychologist-approved-unfailingly accurate questions, you might need to talk to the Lord about the position of your tiara:
- Am I tired most of the time? (I mean for most of your life or at least entire decades)
- Do I have an inability to say no when people ‘need’ me?
- Do I throw on my Superwoman (or man) cape and spring into action at the first hint of guilt? Or worse, do I just leave on my Superwoman cape so I am always at the ready?
- More often than not, do I do things because I ought to not because I want to?
- Do I say, “I am sorry” ALL THE TIME (almost compulsively) even when I have nothing to do with whatever happened?
- Do I feel responsible for other people and their decisions? (I mean the whole world)
- Do I constantly worry about making mistakes? Follow up: Do I feel like the fate of my destiny (and those around me) hinges on me getting every single decision right?
- Do I feel like a total failure if I make any mistake, no matter how big or small? Or to ask it another way, do I feel like I have to be perfect?
- Do I embarrass easily and frequently?
- Do people often tell me that I am good, invaluable or indispensable and they don’t know what they would do without me?
- Do I have unresolved, long-term digestion problems or health problems in general?
- Do I change the subject when people ask how I am? Or, is my default answer to that question, “Fine” because I really am not sure how I am?
- If my sweet husband (or wife) asks where I would like to eat dinner (or what movie I would like to see or what I would like to do together), do I often draw a total blank? Do I say I don’t care and defer to the desires of someone else?
- Do I know how I feel? Do I think it’s wrong to be angry? Do I think some emotions are bad or wrong?
- Do my family and closest friends struggle to buy me gifts? (Because they DO NOT EVER know what I like, want or need)
- Do I struggle with a sense of loneliness even when I am with other people?
- Is every second of every day jam-packed with activities? Follow up: Do I appear to be more busy than others around me?
- Do I have a general lack of peace?
- Do I despise asking for help?
- Do I own a t-shirt that says, “Suck It Up Buttercup” or have I seriously considered making my own?
- Do I move through life trying not to be a bother to others?
- Do I worry about God being angry with me or punishing me if I don’t do things exactly right?
- Am I hyper-vigilant about keeping ALL. THE. RULES. ALL. THE. TIME.?
- When good things happen to me do I struggle to embrace and enjoy them?
While my little list of questions is partially tongue in cheek, it is designed (and I use that term very loosely, more like scribbled on the back of a napkin) to make us think about whether or not we are reigning in life.
We all experience these things periodically, but if they tend to be the norm or if they seem to be true ALL AT ONE TIME, then ask the Lord about it. He has a much better way and He is quite eager to share it with us. I didn’t know it for a very long time, about 36 years, but the gospel really is good news. In fact, much better than I ever imagined.
God really does want to see that tiara beautifully resting on top of your gorgeous head and it hurts His heart to see us settle for less.