Through a series of events recently I had gotten distracted, wasn't looking where I was going and bam~found myself wandering around in the Land of Discouragement. Oh, how I hate that place!!
It looked normal and familiar, but because I hadn't been there in awhile, it didn't FEEL normal. So I knew almost right away I was where I shouldn't be. A few things I noticed about the Land of Discouragement..the ground is really sticky. Makes it hard to move forward, or in any direction for that matter. It wants to keep you stuck just where you landed. And it forces you to see and hear your immediate surroundings~which is never good, either. My surroundings looked dark, dismal, foggy. And the sounds...you know how fog softens sounds? It's like that..soft, subtle sounds at first. But as I stayed stuck there, I started to make out words, sentences: "You are a failure"..."You are boring"..."You don't matter"..."You are________", well, you get the picture.
So as I stayed stuck there, listening to all that over and over, I started to believe it. But then I prayed.."Lord, show me the Truth. YOUR Truth."
My husband, Steve, noticed I'd been away and the change in me. He sat me down and asked where I'd been. So I told him about my trip to Discouragement, and my frustration of being stuck there.
My husband is a wonderful man and I love him with all my heart. He has so many amazing qualities that I appreciate so much, but I must tell you, encouragment is not one of them. He is just not gifted in that way. And he longs to be an encouragement to me~he's told me so over the years. And there have been times he has. But there are other times when I felt I desperately needed to be encouraged that he fell short and he's agonized over that. I have learned not to put that expectation on him so much, just as he as learned not to expect an immaculate house from me! ;-)
A couple of days ago Steve had left to go out of town while I was out with Courtney. My darling daughter treated me to lunch, then we did a little shopping. When we came home, I went upstairs and walked into our bathroom and I beheld this sight:
Over my sink were notes taped all over the mirror!
I got closer and began reading them...as best I could what with the tears streaming down my face and all..
And the best one of all:
I read these notes of affirmations over and over again until I started to believe them.
I found my feet had come unstuck from the Land of D. and I was walking on solid ground again.
I am so grateful God used my sweet husband to speak His Truth over me!
When you are interiorly free you call others to freedom, whether you know it or not. Freedom attracts wherever it appears. A free man or a free woman creates a space where others feel safe and want to dwell. Our world is so full of conditions, demands, requirements, and obligations that we often wonder what is expected of us. But when we meet a truly free person, there are no expectations, only an invitation to reach into ourselves and discover there our own freedom.
Where true inner freedom is, there is God. And where God is, there we want to be. ~ Henri Nouwen~
Psalm 30:2-4 (New International Version)
2 O LORD my God, I called to you for help
and you healed me.
3 O LORD, you brought me up from the grave
you spared me from going down into the pit.
4 Sing to the LORD, you saints of his;
praise his holy name.
Philippians 4:8 (The Message)
Summing it all up, friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.