Changing plans, dark days, and prayer closets: what I'm almost certain of this February.
I didn’t think I’d get the chance to write here today.
I had the itinerary all planned out to take an early flight to Dallas and work all day with a company I’m writing for. Last minute, my itinerary has changed and I find myself waiting on a different flight, with a layover in Nashville, sitting on the floor of the airport staring at this blank space (p.s. these words were originally written at 5:30am).
I decided now was as good of a time as any to just be honest and use this space to tell you short snippets of bigger things God has been showing me this past month and things I’ve been learning about life.
I’m continually in the process and I love that. I love always working to be better and I’m usually surprised to find life’s lessons are always delivered to me in the same kind of packages: often small, often unexpected, often on repeat until it fully sinks in.
Evidence of this would be the fact that I am sitting here on the floor of the airport after this being the second week in a row where my flight has been cancelled and rescheduled for a work trip. I’m reminded through snags in a tightly-planned itinerary that sometimes we don’t get to control the plan. There will be bumps. There will be cancellations. There will be unexpected rough air. I’m not even trying to make this many airplane analogies but I’m learning to go with the changes and do my best to accept them and proceed accordingly.
Getting mad won’t change the outcome. Throwing a pity party won’t make the pain stop. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t feel your feelings. There is no sense in being a zombie over things that matter to you. But I’ve learned there is a fine line between feeling your emotions and then letting your emotions rule you and dictate how you act towards others.
Roll with the punches, they say. Plans often change for a reason but we don’t always get to see the reason. Consistently remind yourself: there is something happening beneath the surface that I cannot take credit for. I am choosing to believe this is the better plan for me.
DARK DAYS ARE PERFECTLY NORMAL
They come in waves. Especially if you are someone who is known to deal with depression. Don’t think for a second these dark days define you or limit you. Keep showing up.
Lane reminds me the most important thing I can think to do is the exact opposite of whatever the depression is tempting me to do. In a depressive state, I’d rather sleep. I’d rather not wake up or conquer any projects. The better remedy? Get up. Don’t go back to bed. Make a cup of tea. Sit and read a chapter. Looks at all the tasks you’ve got to accomplish and pick the smallest one. Go from there.
Most importantly: be kind and grace-filled with yourself as you move forward. Beating yourself up for feeling some sort of way won’t wake the darkness any less heavy. Partner with yourself in the process. God sees you and he isn’t leaving you here in this space forever.
GO BACK, GO BACK, GO BACK
Do you ever find yourself frustrated that you’re still standing in the same place regarding a certain issue? That it feels like everyone around you is moving forward and moving on and you’re stuck with the same heartbreak? The same bitterness? The same feelings of sadness or complacency?
I’m learning that overcoming some bigger issues is a lot like taking vitamins. You won’t get the full benefits of the vitamins by taking them once and never again. The collagen won’t work. Your skin won’t glow. You’ve got to continually take the vitamins to reap the benefits for the long haul. The same goes for my issues, I think. I have to keep dealing with them, keeping going back to God with them, if I ever want to see real change and progress.
Lately, I’ve been feeling more of a call towards prayer. It keeps showing up and God keeps nudging me that prayer actually changes things. And on days where you feel helpless concerning your issues, what else can you do BUT pray?
So I’m taking an action step and maybe you’ll find it silly but I think it’s deliberate. For the time of Lent (I don’t naturally observe Lent but I admire people who have it as an intricate part of their faith), I am going to be adding prayer rather than taking something away.
I could take away foods I love or social media but I often find myself toting the benefits around like a trophy when that really isn’t the point of Lent at all. So I’m adding rather than subtracting. I’m adding a part to my routine that looks like me clearing out the space in my office closet and turning it into a prayer room.
I find myself wondering how much will really change from dedicated prayer and continual meeting up with God over the same exact issues.
All that to say— I think it’s easy to go to God once with a hurt. Maybe twice. But I am true health comes from continually going back and going over the same stuff again and again.
i love hearing from you:
Do you observe Lent? What are you adding or subtracting this Lent season?