Good Monday morning!
I’m pairing chapters 23 and 24 together this morning because there’s a connection I’m sure many of us are living, and yet I want to specifically point out. First, in chapter 23, we’re talking about the reality of life’s indirectness. I’m sure none of you have any idea what I’m talking about here. I’m sure you have no experience whatsoever with waiting, uncertainty, or circuitousness. But, on the off chance you might have an inkling of such experiences, I thought I’d go ahead and write a few words on the subject.
We can pray for God to help us tolerate the waiting and the seeming lack of control, to help us focus on what we can control, which is how we treat ourselves in the middle of the uncertainty.
Few things have forced me into making peace with uncertainly like being a military wife. We just really do not get a longterm life plan. And if we do get some sort of indication of what the future might hold, I will promise you that whatever we’ve been told will likely change. Perhaps this is God’s way of inviting me to plant my feet firmly in today. To take the next step. One step at a time. Focused more on what’s right here, in this moment . . . what God has put in my hands today.
The word courage comes from the Latin word cor, meaning “heart.” To be courageous, then, means to be people of the heart. Not people of the white-knuckling, glamour-seeking, must-be-perfect, I’m-too-good-to-wander world. Not people of control. People of the heart.
As we are journeying, walking the labyrinth of life, it is so very important to be keeping a close eye on ourselves, especially when the wandering is extended. This is where we transition into chapter 24, Believing your Body. See, the extended journey can drive us to be impatient and contemptful with ourselves, which is never, ever a solution.
When I am gentle with myself, I become gentle with others. It is this gentleness and caring, not impatience and criticism, which brings about continued growth and healing.
— Emotions Anonymous
Our bodies bare the brunt of our journeying. They get sore, cranky, creaky. And we are given the opportunity to listen to these whispers for care or to override them, shut them out. We are given a chance to honor our humanity or to smother it.
Now is the time to care for yourself as you would a dear friend. Now is the time to nurture yourself like a mother would a child. Now is the time for compassion, empathy, love.
So if this is a protracted season of uncertainty, waiting, walking the worn path, wandering for you . . . then this is also a time to practice being a companion to yourself. Because now is when you need a friend the most.
One small step in the right direction . . . met with God’s grace. Sometimes this starts with the everyday tasks of skincare, walks outdoors, feeding ourselves. Often it is the very little things that tend to add up. Small choices to nurture instead of numb.
As I mentioned last week, our bodies are just about always a good place to start. This is one of the very tangible and practical ways we learn to nurture ourselves. We believe what our bodies are trying to tell us. Without judgement. Without eye-rolling. And we practice being the strong warrior mother on our own behalf.
What a concept.
You are pure gold,