A few weeks ago, I made a confession and shared some thoughts on my personal Facebook page. That makes this Facebook official, but I want to share with you as well! Like Erin, I’ve been struggling with my health this fall. (If you missed her last devotion, you can read it here.) My body just can’t seem to behave itself.
I want to thank those of you who have been praying for me and encouraging me. You are such a blessing! During these difficult weeks, several people have made comments about my positive attitude. That’s what I want to talk about. You see, I’m a naturally positive person, that’s just how God made me. There is nothing inherently wrong with being positive, but here is my confession. Most of my life I held up positivity as a shield. I hid my pain behind a positive front and wielded my shield with skill. I saw myself as sick and I was miserable, but dagnabit, I was going to look on the bright side!
But it’s different now. I’m different now. These last few years I have been on a spiritual journey. I’m learning my true identity in Christ, and I’m learning what to do with emotions that I ignored and stuffed for years. It was the only way I could survive and it was necessary, but I’m done just surviving. I have a completely new perspective on life and it makes all the difference.
These last few months have been hard. Really hard. Honestly, they’ve been bad. I have experienced the most intense pain I’ve experienced in a very long time, maybe ever. I’ve experienced subtle and overt spiritual attacks. I have cried tears of fatigue, frustration, and pain. I’ve been sad, angry, hurt, afraid, disgusted, and ticked off.
But I’m not afraid of these emotions anymore. I don’t have to ignore them or stuff them because they’re “negative emotions.” You guys, emotions are just that, emotions. We can’t help what we feel, but we can help what we do with those feelings. I’m choosing to allow myself to feel each emotion. But I’m also taking these emotions before the throne of God and presenting them to Him. He is the only one who can exchange anger for joy or fear for peace.
The truth is that I’m in a relationship with the God of the Universe. I am His child, a daughter of the King. My flesh, this body that I live in, is not who I am. In fact, when I received God’s gift of Jesus, the old me died. God’s Word says that I died with Christ, was buried with Christ, and rose from the dead with Him. My spirit - who I really am - is seated with Christ at the right hand of God. I am a new creation in every way and I don’t have to live according to the flesh anymore. I died to the power of the flesh and now I can choose to live by the Spirit, out of my unity with Christ. What great joy!
One day my physical body will be no more, but my spirit will live on. What is true about me someday is true about me today. I am already whole and complete in Christ. I am already healthy. This is the key, friends. Let me say it again. I AM ALREADY HEALTHY.
My physical body may still be experiencing sickness, but I’m not sick. My spirit, who I really am, is healthy and well, whole and complete, united with Christ, seated at the right hand of God. Do you see how that makes all the difference? These aren’t just words, this is what I believe about myself and what I believe about myself will affect how I live and experience life here on earth.
I lay down my shield of positivity and choose to be truly thankful in the midst of the pain, the mess, and the muck. I allow myself to feel and unpack those feelings with the Lord. And I rest. I rest in His deep love for me. I rest in His will, His plan, and His ways. I don’t have to understand everything because I trust my Lord who knows far more than I do and is working out everything and putting together beautiful things that I can’t even begin to see or comprehend from my earthly perspective.
Friends, I don’t feel “positive;” I feel peace. I sneak over to God’s throne, climb up in His lap, curl up tight, lay my head on His chest, and allow His strong arms to comfort me. He holds me tight and doesn’t rush me. I can stay as long as I want. I rest in His deep love for me and there is no place I’d rather be.
“And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow Him. Let your roots grow down into Him, and let your lives be built on Him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness. Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ. For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body. So you also are complete through your union with Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority.” ~Colossians 2:6-10