We live in a time when distractions run our days. We tune in to the news feed of our choice to tune out from the reality of our lives.
Our marriages are failing, our kids are fighting and we’re tired of the noise. Noise of who we should be, what we should do, how we aren’t measuring up, and who and what we should be living for. It’s exhausting.
We’re in over our heads.
We weren’t made to live so disjointed. With our heads and our hearts so painfully wrenched in different directions, we swing from the equally fierce competing desires to connect and protect.
The reality of our lives is that they’re so much more public then they’ve ever been. We suffer in silence for fear that our wounds will reach the news waves of a life wholly consumed by culture.
Hearts made for connection bend toward isolation because of our humanness. Because of our sin.
We all want to be seen and known and heard. We want to share our hearts and our hurts with those we love but we’re afraid. We know that the only way to have relationship is to risk, and yet we fear that risk is sometimes too much to take. We’ve been hurt before.
We’ve had our hearts gutted before us for the sake of community.
Stood silently by while they played reckless with our wounds. Twisted and turned our story until it no longer resembled our life or ourself. And then, somehow, it became us.
The fear, the injustice, the honest crying out to a God who sees and doesn’t intervene. It consumed us.
Because when we label and define someone by a lie for so long, sometimes they feel forced to become it. To inhabit the space, the fear, the label we have given them. Woe to us.
Our words and our actions and, quite possibly, even more so our inaction, matters.
Who are we when no one is looking?
What do we stand for when our integrity is on the line?
Life is a constant process of forgetting and remembering who we are.
I believe it is the forgetting that brings us closer to God. Makes us lean on His power, His strength, His goodness and faithfulness until we remember. Without Him we would live in a state of forget. Drown in the sea of our culture and it’s deafening noise.
Sometimes we have to unplug from the misperceptions of this world so that we can step outside into the wide open space and remember who we really are. So we can dream and discover who we want to be.
When we embrace the forgetting and lean into His remembrance we find the truest parts of ourselves. The parts only He can uncover within us as we go through the refining fire.
If you’re in a season of forgetting who you are, here are a few ways that help me remember:
There is power in prayer. I recently committed to a 70-day prayer devotional and it taught me the power of daily prayer. Not just asking for what I want or need but learning to praise Him in everything. Praying intercession for people who have hurt me. Asking forgiveness for my sin. Nothing you confess could ever make Him love you less.
There is something about being in nature that tends to a deep spiritual place in all of us. To me, the wide open space is church. It’s where God meets me in the quiet of His creation and ministers profound life lessons to my soul. He doesn’t waste one single thing and every sunrise, sunset, ocean wave and gentle breeze is meant for you. When you see nature as His personal gift to you, it changes everything.
Learning will always be an impetus for change in my life. I’ve never been content to stay the same and studying gets me out of my self and my present feelings or situation and looking forward toward my future. It makes me want to be better. To be smarter, braver and wiser than I was before. Whether your study is a bible study, pursuing a hobby or investing in formal education, learning is something no one can ever take from you and something you will never regret.
I’ve said it before but running saved my life. There were days and weeks and months where I wanted my life to be over. I didn’t know if I could take the pain another single day. But I I found God in the street and life has never been the same. Whether you walk, run, bike, swim or dance, you’ve got to move. It teaches our bodies that all we need to do is take is one more step. It develops the pattern by which we learn to move forward. Physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. We’re connected heart, mind and soul.
This life is challenging. It’s full of trials and temptations, circumstances and situations that make us forget who we are. We get off track and we fall under the deafening weight of culture and who we think we’re supposed to be.
Take a break. Tune out from the news feeds and listen in to your heartstrings. Pray, get out in nature, study and move. Remember who you are and discover who you want to be, and don’t ever look back.