Over the last year I have been on a real roller coaster. Counseling can lead to a variety of emotions. Tears. Laughter. Puzzlement. Frustration. The whole exploration of where you are at, where you have been, and where you would like to go, unearth all sorts. But once you are on track, the tears slow down, the laughter increases, and the puzzlement and frustration…. well they develop into proper questions that can be answered. It isn’t an easy process and it certainly isn’t a quick process. It is a worthwhile process. A transforming process. Transforming in what way?
For me, it means I no longer hide away. No longer cry at the drop of a hat. No longer question why all the time. No longer worry about things deeply. Yes I have my moments. Life is like that. Up and down. But the ups out weigh the downs. Laughter is high in our house now. Yes we used to laugh. You can laugh with your voice, but not with your heart. The laughter never quite reaches your eyes. When it does, it is there for everyone to see. The twinkle. The glint. The noise!!!! The cackle! The tittering! Just writing about it makes me smile! A smile that comes easily. A smile that means something. Not just to me. To everyone I meet. Sit with. Chat to. A smile that just says ‘hello’! That is infectious. Smile at someone and they will nearly always smile back!
The transformation goes further than that though. When you have a faith that means something to you …. really means something, it is important to keep that in the mix of everything you do. Being a Christian is so important to me that I knew I needed to have my faith and my LORD in the counseling room with me. It can never be swept under the carpet. Into a cupboard. Out the window. It has to be there. So it was important to me to have a Christian counselor. Someone who understood where I was coming from. Someone who could share my faith. Explore my feelings in a Christian way. God guided me to a wonderful counselor, who did understand me and where I was coming from. At no time did my faith disappear! And because of that, it allowed my LORD to be in the mix. To help. To guide. To heal.
This weekend I had a wobble. Not just a wibble. A WOBBLE!!! Tears. Puzzlement. Frustration. The lot. Something happened that I just hadn’t seen coming at all. I had been so at peace about the situation. So calm and positive, that when the opposite happened, well ……… The wobble stayed with me for what remained of the rest of the day. Not full blown. Just little bits. I knew what I had to do. And I tried. Boy did I try! I tried to change my perspective. But like in the roller coaster where you cruise down to a level before turning or rising again, the wobble jiggled. Shook. Turned round a sharp bend and came whop-sided. Perspective. Focus. Joy. Repeat.
Joy? Joy in a wobble? Yes. That is one of the coping mechanisms I use. A mechanism given by the LORD. A mechanism given for us all to use. It is there. Written in His Word. Going through trials with Him. God is so timely with His Word. He puts it to the fore. A little bit of scripture expounded to remind you what to do. The message on Sunday was taken from James. Now I studied James back in the summer. I studied it at a critical point in my healing. It helped me to refocus. To see past what I was, had been going through. To put the joy into my struggles and come out the other end. To give me the endurance to complete the trial and grow in my faith. To give me the endurance to allow God to work within me. Building me. Maturing me. Transforming me.
2 Consider it a great joy, my brothers, whenever you experience various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4 But endurance must do its complete work, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing. James 1
He gave me the mechanism to see past my trials. To see through the fog. To refocus and gain a new perspective. To focus on His joy. His strength. The joy of knowing He is in control. He has it all covered. I am in His plan and His plan needs to work. Despite the wobbles, He is there steadying. Part of His plan. Guiding. Part of His plan. Holding my hand – and He has done a lot of that this year! Part of His plan. Drawing me closer. Closer to Him. Part of his plan. Finishing the work He has to do, if I let Him.
So this weekend, when I wobbled. I eventually stopped.The momentum of wobbling takes a while to stop! I stopped to refocus. To gain a new perspective. To let Him continue the work. His plan. To let Him take control again. And to move on. Not alone, but holding His hand…… again! And building in His joy. The blessing He is giving me. His strength. His plan.
The joy of the LORD is my strength. The joy of the LORD is my strength. In the darkness I’ll dance, in the shadows I’ll sing. The joy of the LORD is my strength. Rend Collective.