Today I made an important discovery: After years of work, I am now on the other side of the mountain on my journey to freedom.
I was not able to go to counseling for about four months during my daughter’s recovery from foot surgery, and during that time my spiritual life was just on autopilot. I did not do much journaling, and I did not work on what I had learned in counseling. During those four months, I essentially became a recluse. But finally an opportunity arose where I could return to counseling. To prepare for my session with my counselor, I looked back through my journal. And I was awed by how much I had changed during the previous year, before my daughter’s surgery. I had resumed teaching Sunday School and singing in the church choir. I had begun to reconnect with people whom I had neglected.
Sitting face to face with my counselor, I tried to talk about what I had learned about myself and my relationships with family members, but instead I was forced to admit that one area of my life was just a train wreck. During my four months homebound with my daughter, I had gained weight and was wearing baggy clothes again. I had exercised less and eaten more than I should. As a result, I was depressed and even felt ugly again. But, sitting in my counselor’s office, I made up my mind not to go that route again, not to beat myself up and let Dumb, Stupid, and Ugly rule my life. So, instead of going off the deep end this time, I asked God for help with this dilemma. I needed some word, some encouragement.
God gave me the word that I needed, by reminding me of an incident in my life that had recently occurred. A few days before the session with my counselor, my daughter and I had actually started on a weight loss program together, one involving a point system. But I had experienced a disastrous failure early in the program when, in just one meal, I used not only all my points for the day but also wiped out a whole week’s worth of “extra” points. It was the first day of the week, and I had only the bare minimum of points left! Needless to say, I was upset with myself.
But here is where God spoke to me. He showed me that letting my spiritual life slide during my confinement at home was just like using all those weekly extra points at once. In the weight loss program, even if you use up all of your extra points, when a new day arrives you still have all of the points that you need for that day. I heard God say to me, “Today, you have all that you need for today.”
How I needed to hear that message. So today I reject Ugly and live again in the truth. Even though I messed up, I am able to start again. Lamentations 3:21-23 tells us, “This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope. The LORD’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness” (NASB). Every day—every morning—I can walk and live and breathe and know that God is faithful, even when I am not.
What about you, dear Friend? As you walk on the other side of the mountain, have you backtracked a little and feel frustrated? Take heart in this promise: His lovingkindness and compassion are new every morning. His grace, love, and mercy are new every morning. Therefore, we can start new every morning and know that today we have all that we need. What a happy thought for today.
Blessings – Lisa