reflections vs. shadow dwelling

I believe reflection is good.
It’s good to take intentional time to see “how I’ve grown since last month, last year…”

However I may have a tendency to be dramatic.
I may have a tendency to not know healthy boundaries until I’ve reached the edge of healthy & now it’s unhealthy.

I have done this in reflection, especially over the past several months.

Too much reflection ends up to be living in the shadows.
I have been reflecting so much, and looking back on last year, as more of a “what was I doing last year that I’m not doing this year” and it became an earmark of “this is how far I’ve wandered off into nothingness.”

That ain’t healthy reflection.

I turned what started as recalling happy memories, significant moments, lessons & people to this unhealthy comparison of, “I was in this incredible place and now I’m in this dark terrible place. How I’ve let myself wander astray so far” woe is me self pity party.

How long did this woe is me attitude persist? I’m unsure. But it was brought to my attention one day when God said to me,

You are not living in the shadows of your yesterdays.

What? Of course I am, look how I’ve settled back into familiar, back into comfort.
I’m nowhere near where I was last year, or even the year before.

Of course you’re not where you were last year, or two years ago. I was not doing then what I’m doing NOW.
You are not living in the shadows of your yesterdays.

This phrase, stuck in my head, though I did not understand what He meant by it.

A day or two later I was writing and He revealed more. Shadows. Think about your shadow when you’re outside.
Shadows are proof of the sunshine.
God gave me this practical picture to make a point.
Though this season, these past months, however long I’ve been subconsciously making the unhealthy comparisons, and through my feelings of unimportance, He reminded me, the shadows I’ve been feeling, they are real, but they prove the Sonshine. They prove His nearness. They prove His existence, no matter what I feel.

Like the sun that makes the shadows dance, his hope [when I’ve felt hopeless or hopeful] has remained as well. Hope is always here. It’s a matter of whether I feel it more or less. And that’s a choice I make.

Shoot.

It’s these uncomplicated conversations that shut up my whining. They shut up my unhealthy comparisons and bring me back to where I was meant to dwell.
In hope.
In light.

You are not living in the shadows of your yesterdays.

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Living in Luxury

 

Hot water
Music playing from my iPhone
Drinking water from the tap
Loofa
Soap
Hair tie
Bobby pins
Clean pjs
Clean towel
Face wash
Electricity
Shower curtain ((double))

How often do I use these items without thinking twice?
Basic needs, right?
Not for everyone.

I caught myself- eh- Papa caught me in mid-thought & gently reminded me “that was not terrible.”
He brought to mind the real life terrible, horrible tragedy I read of someone’s real life less than an hour earlier.
Not a fictional story.
The details were heartbreaking.
Descriptions of the memory forever imprinted.
The tragedy told was of a 16 year old girl & her family who were in the city of Iraq in 1988 that was purposefully gased.
Gas. Gas that attacks the cells in our bodies. Cells that communicate with our internal organs, muscles & finite inner workings of the human body.
Poison attacks these life giving cells, and destruction, havoc wreaks. Vomiting, suffocation, bleeding, blindness, inability to move.

And there I was in a hot shower remedying my sore throat & aching muscles remembering an achy cold I had a few years prior. I said to myself “that was terrible” and Papa promptly reminded me “that was not terrible.”

 

I live in luxury.
The luxury of a hot shower.
Convenience of drinking from the tap without worry or thought.

After I read the pages of this teenage girl, I had to go in the bathroom & cry.
Pain.
Undeserving of such evil & malicious intentions.

Stories- real experiences, of which I can never relate & feel so ashamed to be living in such luxury.

It’s like living on another planet & a lifetime away.
But it’s not a lifetime away.

Gas, poison was intentionally targeted to a neighbourhood in Syria. This isn’t the past! This isn’t history we can try to forget about and sweep under a rug. The intentional harm was done this week.

In 2017.

 

Was a coincidence that I read a real life telling from 1988, the year I was born?
Is it a coincidence I am alive today & drawn to this rich corner of the world?

Papa you’re up to something, let it not only be in me.

Many times I ignore these heart wrenching, terrible stories because I don’t want my heart to feel the pain & suffering. 🙋🏼 Am I the only one?
Papa brings these following questions to mind ::

How else will people like you know the reality of what’s happening?
Are we brave enough to see the raw unfiltered world?
Are we brave enough to let our hearts feel?
We must feel pain, suffering, joy & victory. How will we know to distinguish the two if we don’t experience both?

So what will I do?

.
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What will you do?

We aren’t solely living on a planet all alone.
:: The book I mentioned above is Preemptive Love, pursuing peace one heart at a time authored by Jeremy Courtney. (( Preemptive Love Coalition ))

Please please please, take some moments to read or watch someone’s real life telling of pain & tragedy, hope & love.

:: One other incredible story I just watched & heard, Victor Marx.
(( Victor Marx story ))

:: What stories/people have grabbed your heart? Share them with each other. I would love to hear.