Saturday, September 14, 2013

The "D" Words

Growing up, there was a laundry list of words we couldn't say in our house.  My Mama was serious about our language.  I can remember having to brush my teeth with Ivory soap one time for some unsavory word I used in elementary school.  In our house, you never said the "B" word...that's right, butt.  You better not use the "D" word, dumb.  And dear gussy, Mama would go nuts if you dropped the "F" word...you know it, fart.  My Mama wanted only good words to come from our mouths.  Of course, when you live with 3 other super-creative kids, you can find a way around Mama's preferences.  For example, I believe we would use "tush", "booty", "fanny", "bottom" and "hindquarters" to avoid trouble but to still get our lingo in.  Our shining moment of trying to use bathroom vernacular was when we discovered the word "flatulence" and used with with flair.  That lasted about a week...and out came the soap.

As I've grown older and am working on becoming wiser, I have come across some new bad words.  Lately, a stream of "D" words have been circling in my mind...doubt, defeat, discouragement, disappointment, depression.  I have felt each one of these detrimental words greatly in my life lately.  I have definitely felt that they are "bad words", and I would love it if there was a way to wash them out with that trusty Ivory soap.  Sadly, these words are very real to many people.

In this incredibly messy world with heartache and pain running rampant, the "D" words are wearing people out.  Disappointment keeps looming in my life.  Disappointment in myself and in others.  I am painfully aware of how messed up I am how often I screw up.  I hold myself to a standard that is hard to keep.  And, I do the same for the people in my life...for the ones I hold closest, I have high expectations.  When those aren't met, I feel disappointment creeping in.  Like I said, I feel this not only for my others, but unyieldingly for myself, too.  When I mess up, I tend to dramatize the reality of the situation and go into worst-case-scenario-mode.  (Gratefully, grace is abundant and has been shown to me repeatedly, which makes it easy for me to show it to others...grace, grace, God's grace. Grace that is greater than all our sins).

Lately, I have been struggling with discouragement.  I have been blessed to be an encourager...God has equipped me to cheer on other people.  I am my happiest when I am doing that...because that is the purpose God has for me...to lift others up.  But, recently, I have found that I have an incredibly hard time encouraging myself.  Instead, I am fighting with myself.  Now, I know that when I am doing what God wants of me, when I am fulfilling my purpose, and when I am chasing after Him, Satan is going to come after me full-force.  And, that is when I start to feel discouraged.  I wonder if I am where I should be.  I doubt my abilities, my strength, my heart.  When doubt and discouragement set up camp in my heart, I am steps away from some more "D" words.

Defeat and depression are my worst enemies.  When they take hold of my heart and mind, I can feel myself start to spiral downward into the darkest depths of my thinking.  I have 2 amazing friends that God has purposefully placed in my life...especially for this season.  I can tell them that I feel the spiral starting to spin, and they both jump in to help me.  One friend takes the tough love approach and mentally beats me up...she reminds me of what God has done, how He is moving, what she sees in me.  She pounds me until I snap...until the light light goes on, and I can start crawling out of the depression dump.  My other friend takes a more empathetic approach to ministering.  This person meets me where I am in the depths and crawls inch by inch back up with me.  While these incredible people have vastly different tactics, they won't let me fall too far.  They let me vent, moan, groan, whine and complain...they listen to my rants...they soothe me when I cry...they reassure me when I doubt...they have literally picked me up off the bathroom floor and held me up when I couldn't stand.  I am so well-supported, that I cannot linger in depression too long. 

I have had several people ask me lately to write another blog.  The reason it took me so long between writings is because I have been overcome with "D" words.  I literally haven't had a positive thing to say.  I want this blog to be honest and transparent, but more than anything, I want it to be an encouragement to others.  Here's the reality...sometimes life is just ridiculously hard.  Some days maybe so dark that it is nearly impossible to pull a positive word out.  And, if we function day to day on our own strength and ability, then yes, the "D" words will overcome. 

I am so blessed and so fortunate to be as well-taken care of as I am.  I serve a God who loves me more than I can understand.  He knows my hurts and pain.  He knows my weaknesses.  He knows what sets me off, how I fail, why I doubt.  He knows my every mistake.  He has heard me cry out in rage.  But, He loves me still.  He made me.  He understands me.  He is always standing right next to me...I just have to let go of those "D" words and hold on to Him instead.  I don't understand why he has blessed me so deeply.  I don't deserve the relationships I have with people who care about me so deeply.  I 100% believe that He has placed amazing people in my life to help me overcome the "D" words and to focus on the new life He is laying out before me. 

I don't want to give the letter "D" a completely negative connotation.  I can think of several wonderful "D" words...delight.  "Delight thyself also in the Lord: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart" (Psalm 37:4).  What a beautiful promise...and I believe it!  "You have turned my mourning into dancing" (Psalm 30:11).  Oh, yeah, a great "D" word...DANCING!  One of my favorite things to do with my friends, my kiddos, and the sweet little ones I work with.  Lord knows I have Bapticostal tendencies, and if I get to "moved" by the Spirit, I may just break into a dance!  On a completely non-spiritual note, some of my favorite things are "D" words...daisies, donuts, and Disney.  I think that's completely self-explanatory.

You may have your own list of words that are beating you up right now.  You may not be fortunate enough as I am to have friends who will drag you up out of the pit.  But, you do have Someone who loves you more than you can fathom.  You have One who knows you so deeply, He feels your hurt.  He knows you secret thoughts.  He has heard your darkest cries.  He has seen the depths you have fallen, and He loves you still.  Don't face this life alone!  Don't take on these battles on your own.  Call out, cry out, scream and yell!  He'll hear you.  And, He will respond...wait for it.  I promise, it will be completely worth it. 

Call My Name You Tube Video

"Call My Name"

It's been so long since you felt like you were loved
So what went wrong
But do you know there's a place where you belong
Here in my arms

When you feel like you're alone in your sadness
And it seems like no one in this whole world cares
And you want to get away from the madness
You just call my name and I'll be there
You just call my name and I'll be there

The pain inside has erased your hope for love
But soon you will find
That I'll give you all that your heart could ever want
And so much more

You just call my name
You just call my name

Call my name, say it now
I want you to never doubt
The love I have for you is so alive

Call my name, say it now
I want you to never doubt
The love I have for you is so alive

You just call my name
You just call my name
You just call my name now

The love I have for you is so alive
The love I have for you is so alive
You just call my name
You just call my name
You just call my name

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