Considering the fact that I wrote and posted three blogs last week, I only feel a smidgen bad that this #MondayMessage is a bit late. FORGIVE ME!… I was working on my healing.
If you read any of my posts from last week then you will understand the heart of this message. If not, I encourage you to spend a few moments reading the words of my heart in those posts.
Why do I keep focusing on hearts?
On May 1st, in the hour leading up to my preaching, I felt pain in my chest and an irregularity in my heart’s beating. I wrote it off as a symptom of an anxiety attack and just prayed and trusted God to make a way. I prayed, He made a way, and my pain subsided. Imagine my surprise when over a week later I was being told by medical professionals that I had a heart murmur.
Could that have been the cause of the pain that I had felt the week prior?
What was causing my heart to act differently?
I had to have a serious conversation with God. One of those talks where I cried profusely, uttered little to no words, and just waited to hear from Him. As I did this yesterday, I finally heard His heart when He mentioned what was happening with my heart.
I was doing too much.
I realized that God had been saying that for awhile and I thought He meant my overall schedule. As I learned from this recent conversation, He meant I was giving away too much of my heart and time to assignments that were not my Best Yes.
I honestly do not remember- did I mention that I was reading The Best Yes by Lysa TerKeurest? I’m reading this book in the women’s bible study group at my church and it is changing my life. I cannot do it justice by trying to summarize it here but I will simply say it’s sold on Amazon and it will change your life, too. I’m only on chapter six and I’m already changing how I make decisions in my life. When asked to do anything I have to evaluate if a YES will leave me physically, emotionally, spiritually, or financially bankrupt. If even one of those areas will be damaged then the answer is NO.
I should have read that book months ago!
In reading the book God has revealed that I have given a YES to some assignments that, while good, they were not for me. Some of my YES acceptances left me emotionally bankrupt and now my heart is literally and figuratively trying to recover from the damage. God revealed that in always giving a YES without considering those areas, I left myself vulnerable to avoidable pain and now I had to change my thinking in order to progress to the next level that He had for me.
So what are You saying, God? Do I just start telling everyone NO?
Naturally, that was my next question for God… You want me to just start declining and cancelling everything? And after lovingly laughing, God sent His response through the wise and beautiful soul that is my mother.
You do too much. You try to buy friendships.
The wise, beautiful, and blunt soul that is my mother.
As it turns out, my mom was right- I do over-invest in others when they either under-invest or don’t invest in me at all. I pour so much into others and, if it’s one thing my recent hospital visit taught me, not everyone else does the same for me. While I didn’t realize that I was doing so many things to keep the “friendship” and companionship of others, my mother saw it and was secretly praying that I would stop overextending myself. Looking back, I have always done the most… and it always led me back to the same painful place of heartbreak when the “friendship” or relationship ended. It was a cycle. Platonic or romantic, it was the same.
Meet a person.
Spend all my time with them.
Introduce them to my family.
Treat them and their family like family.
Go far outside of my comfort zone for them.
I suffer a stressful breakdown.
The person leaves.
Frankly, after 32 years of the same thing, I’m tired and over that cycle. So I’m breaking it.
This morning I had a revelation as I was washing my locs. I thought about the Rastas in Jamaica and the hair care process that they undergo to get their long, beautiful locs.
And some love.
That’s it. They don’t go through all the extra hoopla that we go through in maintaining our locs. They don’t go to a loctician every few weeks. They don’t spend a ton of money on various products. They don’t use clips and fancy tools. They just focus on what goes inside of their bodies and then only add water and love to their actual locs. They learned long ago that when left alone, hair will do its own thing and naturally loc so they don’t go through any extra or fancy process- they just let it be.
And that’s what God was telling me to do. He was telling me that I need to focus on what I put inside of me- His word and truth- and let everything else just occur naturally. He was telling me that the extraness and fanciness was not necessary, that He was enough, and that with Him all things would be ok. He was telling me that with just water (from the fountain that never runs dry… that is, Jesus) and some love, I would be able to grow and be all that He needed me to be. So I’m gonna scale back and simply trust Him.
Beloved, more than anything I pray that you heard this one message: we can still show the love of Christ without all the extras.
We (myself included) do not have to overexert ourselves and overwhelm our schedules in an attempt to do everything, thinking that in some way we will impress others… or even God. Let’s stop here to address that in two ways:
No matter what we do, we will never be able to impress humans.
No matter what we do, we will never be able to impress God.
Now that that’s out of the way…
Our job here on earth is to seek God and serve, just like Christ. Even as the Son of God, Jesus still took time to seek God and serve His children however He could. But the interesting thing is, while Jesus performed many miracles, He didn’t heal everyone. Even He had a Best Yes; that specific YES that fit in with the assignment that God had on His life. So if Jesus trusted God enough to only do as He instructed, then we can confidently do the same.
My dear reader, whatever you do in this world- whatever our Best Yes may be- do it with Christ… and some love.