“To be nobody-but-yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody but yourself – means to fight the hardest battle which
any human being can fight – and never stop fighting.”
The outcome of our willingly (and even knowingly) subjecting ourselves to everyone’s polished persona and comparing our lives with their pics (most of which have been altered or filtered), has resulted in nothing less than GRAND THEFT, stealing our confidence, self-respect, uniqueness, healthy body image, focus, and peace. For goodness sake, it’s even taken our money, as we’ve gone out and tried to purchase the life we’ve seen depicted on our phone screens!
Trust me – there’s a huge difference between “Get me a glass of water!" and “Would you please get me a glass of water?” The result of the latter being a glass of water; the result of the former being a death glance, possibly accompanied by afore-mentioned glass being thrown across the room (which may or may not have happened in our first year of marriage).
Yes, Christmas is indeed the most wonderful time of the year! But not for everyone. Christmas can hold thoughts, memories, and realities that are nothing short of painful. And as much as you attempt to join in the festivities, sadness and/or straight up depression seem to chase you through the season much like a lion in pursuit to devour his prey. Running as fast as you can, you’re actually breathless and overwhelmed with the possibility of succumbing to the very beast you know has been defeated by the birth of the One you celebrate.
This past Thursday we received the long-awaited update regarding Stan’s healing and progress. Prior to the follow-up, I found myself fantasizing about how I would deliver the good news to everyone. I imagined posting a picture of Stan holding up his Life Vest, with the caption, “Thank God Almighty He’s Free at Last!”
“Oh great!” I thought, as I’d never considered intercession to be one of my spiritual gifts. “I’m too ADHD for that, God! You understand, don’t You?!” Up to that point, my prayer life most often consisted of brief moments taken whenever prayer happened to came to mind. Looking back, I believe I had almost taken a stance of apathy, as I convinced myself that I should leave the really serious battle-fighting prayers to those who had been given this gift.
As I’ve watched Stan navigate through feelings of shock, disbelief, fear, ownership, determination and execution in regards to a diagnosis and all that it entails, I’ve been nothing short of amazed at the man God has given me. Stan didn’t want this challenge, nor did he ask for it with bad habits and lack of self-care.
After 25 plus years of consistently reading God’s Word, it never ceases to amaze me how you can read a particular scripture countless times, only to have it resurface in a new and powerful light, impacting you with a truth that is not only encouraging, but can sometimes shake you to your core, causing you to do some drastic re-evaluation. Such an occurrence reinforces the truth that His Word is living and active, never diminishing, and ever empowering
Recently I was a bit taken back when I came across Proverbs 27:8: “Like a bird that wanders from its nest, is a man who wanders from his place,” prompting the question…What is my place, Lord? What is my place when the terrain which normally seems so predictable, yet productive, looks completely different, causing me to scratch my head in bewilderment?
Stan and I recently found ourselves deep discussion regarding faith and healing. Although both possessing faith, we each divulged we felt a lack as well, somewhat resembling the father of the sick boy, when he transparently admitted to Jesus, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24).
Last night both our boys called at the same time. One spoke to Stan, the other to me. Both called to tell us what was going on in their lives. Both needed to talk a few things through. In the end, both sought advice. It was nothing short of a miracle. God has brought all four of us so far over these past 10 years…leading us through what I call the Great Parental Menopause – that transition of two adults parenting two children, to two adults who happen to be the parents of two adults.
I killed a snake yesterday. I really did. And it felt great! No one was more shocked than me. Just a month ago, it would have been impossible for me to muster the courage to do such a thing. But yesterday…I mustered. I felt empowered! I was courageous! I was strong and fierce! “Don’t mess with me!” I boldly declared. I certainly unleashed my inner Redneck on him.
You know when you hear a word for a phrase, over and over? It seems you can’t escape it’s invasion into your space. Author Margaret Feinberg describes this as a “Sacred Echo,” when God is trying to get your attention or get a point across. This very thing happened to me this past week. The word I kept hearing? “Forgiveness.” First, I saw it in a letter someone had written. Then I heard someone say it out loud. Then I heard an analogy about forgiveness. Finally, I clearly heard God’s voice…”Cammie, you haven’t really forgiven ________.” Awesome. Just awesome. I thought this account had been cleared.