Having good friends who hold mirrors up to our faces.

My husband said something pretty funny yesterday concerning this blog that I thought I might share. It’s a little embarrassing, but hey, I can laugh at myself. This is a wordpress blog and it has a stat chart. I came over from blogspot, where there was no such thing, at least I never saw one. I had it up last night and it showed the short life of my blog so far. And it started off low and rose like a roller coaster and then peaked and began to come back down. And he thought it was hilarious that the peak matched up with my worst “mental” health days. He calls it my mental health chart and thinks I should bring it with me when I visit my shrink. And for added laughs he made the comment that strangers are probably telling their friends, “dude, check it out, this girl totally melted down in her blog today.”

Crap, I thought I was doing really well.

Whatever. I met with a friend yesterday and it was beautiful. Something she shared with me caused me to have a revelation. I wrote a blog a long time ago about how the bible verses we read (for example, the verses that I read which convict me to homeschool), they are not meant for others. They are meant for us. And anytime we think we know something, or anything at all, it’s for us. Not for anyone else, unless it is a word of knowledge from the Lord. Which is different than godly advice. When I wrote that entry I was just beginning to step into my freedom, freedom from having to worry about what anyone else is doing, because I don’t have wisdom or knowledge enough to tell another human being what to do. I tell people all the time that I am not good at giving advice and it’s because the Lord doesn’t give me those words of knowledge to tell others what to do. He gives me word of knowledge in other areas. Most of what I’ve ever shared in my life has been my opinion or advice based on what I’ve lived through. The only time the Lord is directing me to speak His words as far as wisdom or direction, it’s in my own home, with my husband and kids.

Well, I just realized, with the help of a friend holding a mirror up to my face, that I have been on the other side of the coin. (There is one specific friend that I want to address. She is like a counselor to me and I asked her to be one. What I am writing does not apply to the help she’s given me. She’s been a wonderful source of love and support. And I asked for her help.) But everyone else… friends, family, strangers, acquaintances… I don’t have to accept every piece of knowledge or advice and apply it to my life. I began to look at everyone else as knowing more than me. I get lots of people telling me what I should do, even strangers. And I have listened to other’s advice above my own instincts a lot of times.

For years I avoided mood stabilizers because I didn’t want anyone to judge me. I know that for most, the ups and downs of life don’t end with manic phones calls at 2 in the morning while I’m sobbing about my dead grandma out in the middle of the road… or the lows that are so bad all I can do is focus on not taking my own life. All of the Christian tips and ways to turn to Him have not helped. My husband begged me to go see a doctor. He was afraid of waking up one day to find that I had taken my own life, and he wasn’t that far off. But I didn’t because everyone told me not to. Well, I went and saw one about a month ago and a half ago. And for the first time in years, I can see Christ clearly and I am not struggling just to survive. I have a normal life and I can trust that if I get upset or angry about something, it’s a valid feeling and not just my mood disorder. I also trust the good stuff too. If I feel joy, I know it’s from the Lord and it’s not mania kicking in.

I can only write what has been my journey. I love to write entries about homeschooling and how we do it because that is what I am most passionate about, but not many people read those. (I can see my stats now, remember) When I write about homeschooling I don’t think that others should do what I do, truly I don’t. I just like to share because I’m excited about it. Also, I love to read about how others do it so I would assume that someone, somewhere enjoys reading about how others do it too. There was a time that I would have said/wrote that if you are a true Christian you would be a homeschooler, but I see now how ignorant I was. If I expect others to understand that I love the Lord and depend on Him for my every need, but one of those needs happens to be a mood stabilizer, I need to show the same consideration for those who make decisions without consulting people who don’t know any better.

The Lord will give us advice for others. He will give others advice to give to us, but most of the time when we are in communication with Him, He gives it right to us. The only time I need another is if I’m confused about what He’s saying to me. And usually my husband is the one the Lord puts in my life for that. I have had advice thrown at me and forced upon me, only to have the one throwing it at me, not follow the same advice when in the same spot. That’s when I began to see that the Lord doesn’t work that way and I should have listened to the Christ inside myself.

My biggest mistake in life has been listening to others over listening to what the Lord is saying to me. I have been a coward and not admitted when something didn’t sit right with me, but I didn’t want to upset the person, or people trying to help me. This friend I met with yesterday reminded me that I am not that teenage girl trapped in that town home in Philly with no choice anymore. I get to have a say and a choice in my life. In the future I get to say “thank you for the advice, but I not confused.” Damn, I’m going to have to grow some balls.

I have also come to realize that we are all at different places in our journey in life and with the Lord. The Lord puts life into those things which we need at the time. Chris and I are moving. We have been contemplating this move for a little while. What sealed the deal was realizing that we are in a very different place spiritually that most of our friends, and some that we would even call family. I know who I am in Christ and I have experienced my freedom once and for all. Unless the Lord allows me to fall back into old patterns and habits, I don’t need to stay in the place of discovering or learning or doing things to remind me who I am in Him. Continuing to do those things will drain the life from them.

He has brought me to a place of looking outward. And I am not confused about it one bit. I am the happiest I have ever been in 1) realizing my freedom in Him and shedding any law that I may have picked up over the last 15 years, 2) now that I know Him deeply, I get to go out and serve the poor, the homeless, the addicts, and the prostitutes, and 3) I am free for life, unless I choose to give it up.

Thank you for reading, it’s been a joyful and spiritual blog entry for me to write. I’ve enjoyed it.

Love,
Jackie

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