Visitors Don't Unpack
I sat with my anger long enough that she told me her name was grief.
I spent time with doubt long enough to learn he was really fear.
I let jealousy and loathing come around and found out they were just pain.
I let them come in, pick out their rooms, unpack their bags, and stay. I acknowledged them, I gave them their dues. They were real. They were mine.
I’m sure they’ve come to see you, too, these emotional tag-a-longs. These things that feel so permanent and unchanging. These new friends in our hearts and heads make us feel like we can't go one without them.
I had called them that because friends come in to our lives to teach us, guide us, challenge us. Our friends show us a new way to look at life, bring us emotions in different settings. They hurt us and heal us.
I was wrong though. These are visitors in life. They don’t get to move in and become permanent. They come and go, waxing and waning with life and all tat she holds for us. Some here for an extended season, lingering after a large event, while some are here only with the passing winds.
Mine have taught me to respect life. Respect the power that the unknown holds. Respect for the fragility and precious gift it all is.
We have a choice when they knock at the door. We have a choice when the breezes or gale forces move in and change things. We have a choice on what to consider.
I’ve chosen to consider it all joy. I spent enough time with my grief, fear, anger, jealousy, sadness. These emotions don't get a permanent room in my life. I have acknowledged them and thanked God that I have had the chance to experience them, but that if it's all the same, they can go now.
What I’m trying to tell you, my friends, is that life happens. We fall into tribulations, we fall into temptations, we fall encounter unfortunate circumstance and we suffer from disappointment. There’s nothing we can do to avoid it. The Bible tells us very straightforwardly that we will face a life that is hard and trying. We know that the trying of our faith, the proving of our faith, will build perseverance and increase our patience. We learn to condition our minds to be humble while we pray dutifully and wait for the Lord's hand to bless the storm.
Finding our peace through trial strengthens us for the next one. Growing deeper our roots so that when the times come, we are not easily broken.
We have to intentionally choose how we respond to all of that mess. What we chose to do with the human emotion that follows worldly situations will impact what comes next.
I’ve spent years, 4 years 9 months and some change, grappling with these. I've made my decision to choose joy. To choose faith. To choose something full of love and grace. By His grace I have gotten this far and by His grace I will continue.
What I have decided from here, is that fear and anger and anxiety don’t get to sit with me. They have no seat at the table because they do not get to stay for dinner.
Don’t let them unpack at your house either.