So we rebuilt the wall till all of it reached half its height, for the people worked with all their heart.
Men. Women. Children. They all worked, with all their heart, to rebuild the walls. And they did it together. God blessed their work. God blessed their hearts.
Many enemies were busy working, trying to make it so those walls would never stand again.
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
My heart. My treasure. Under attack.
I often joke that I can handle almost any BIG crisis, it is the little things that get to me. It isn't really a joke. It is a truth. Fire, flood, blood - I'm good. Trained and prepared. The smaller stuff. The irritating things. They attack my walls like a swarm of ants.
It is a process. Being blamed for having feelings. Being judged for feeling the wrong things. Being told you were just not right in the head for caring, being upset or scared. It was a conditioning that had me suppressing my feelings for years. It was never safe to be me. Or feel how I felt. It was all a lie.
Then I did find a safe place. And I lost my way again! I could not tell when it was an actual attack and when it was just people being people. My feelings and emotions were always so close to the surface. My husband says it was like living on a live volcano. You knew there would be eruptions, destruction and then calm would come again. Surviving the warning signs was key!
How I longed for someone to acknowledge it was okay to be angry, excited, sad, indignant, frustrated or scared. And the more I stifled my voice, the further I pulled away from God, the more it built up. I wanted to scream - and sometimes I did. (not a pretty sight).
I wanted something genuine. Something that didn't require a 'stiff upper lip' and for me to 'stop crying and fix your make-up'. Something that let me feel the emotions and recognize them without letting them tear down the fragile walls of my relationships. My life.
It isn't all that different than working with horses - I had two modes. Fight or flight. And in either mode I was on uneven ground emotionally. I always thought walking away was more noble, but it was harming me. Just as much as fighting the wrong fight was harming me.
I had to stop running. I had to stop fighting. I had to do what Jesus asked me to do first - TRUST HIM. Pat Parelli, a renowned horse trainer, has an exercise where you close and open your fist. You close your fist slowly. One finger at a time. And release quickly.
This is hard when you are upset. And when I say upset I am really saying blood boiling, red-head redlined, gonna snap upset. One finger at a time. Each one for what is really getting to you. SLOWLY. S L O W L Y
Then, a prayer, and open. Release. Quickly!
|It isn't about horses. It's about riding your own ride, you and God.|
No one else can do it for you.
My son, a sweet boy, taught me a very important lesson. It is very hard to be angry or frustrated when you are keeping your voice soft and your face smiling 'in love'. It is his expert way to diffuse things - Soft voice, Mama. Soft smile. Love you Mama.
He is wise beyond his years. And it works. A soft voice, like a soft answer, can turn away even your own wrath. A smile, 'in love', can remind you that the author of lies wants you off balance, up set and out of love. He wants those walls you built with your heart torn down.
Truth time - I still get the acid burn of anger. I still shake with frustration. I still feel a fool for caring as much as I do. I still get hurt. But I don't let that rule or ruin me. I close my fist slowly and release it quickly to God. He guards my heart. And He NEVER has let me down. Or you. Or anyone. EVER.
He guards our hearts like treasure, for His heart is with us, we are His treasure! Beloved, we are the only ones who see the dents, the dust, the tarnish, the scorch marks. He does not. Praise God, He does not!
Jo Ann has us thinking about taming unhealthy emotions this week, and I am an emotional person. I live pretty close to the surface of my feelings. I am learning to keep them in a healthy place though, and that has taken years of prayer, grace, tears and healing. If you feel something - and you know it is a genuine feeling - you can acknowledge and honour it without having it take the driver's seat. Feelings, for me, are often how the Holy Spirit shows me things I need to know. And how the Holy Spirit warns me. My lessons from life - family, friends, school, stuff - taught me wrongly about emotions. Relearning is a process and I am thankful for the group of women I am on this journey with in finding our voices. Join us at #WhenAWomanFindsHerVoice, link-up with Jo Ann and share.