I was recently ask the question, “What is calling for your attention?” Could it be “control” or possibly “vulnerability?” I started approaching this question with a past method that had not served me well, avoidance. What I have learned is two things, avoiding things will only delay the inevitable and two, my ability to suppress my thoughts while sleeping, impossible.
One thing I have noticed is the more distance I place between the things I want most in my life, the louder they call to me. The appear in the news feeds I read, they randomly show up in conversations and even in movies and TV shows I watch. I have a tendency to perform risk analysis to many things in my life and often it keeps me from moving in the direction of finding and pursuing. I’m left with a sense of emptiness and a void that I try to fill with “things.” These things are typically just “fillers” watching a movie I’ve seen multiple times, playing useless video games or my go to favorite, sleeping. I try to keep myself in check knowing the risk of depression taking a stronghold, when I feel the tightening grip of depression I can sometimes do one of two things, give in or physically move myself to a new environment. Often going for a drive or a walk outside helps and gives me a new perspective. But, depression is not something you turn on and off, it can be completely debilitating at times. Depression is a disease and is not about making yourself feel good. Just like other diseases, depression is a medical condition that can require the assistance of medication or counseling or a combination of the two. With that being said, sometimes I am depressed and withdrawn. The spring weather is definitely good for my soul, seeing nature coming to life and hearing the sounds of new birth is very refreshing. I am reminded of the power of God and His endless, boundless and wondrous love for me. I am also blessed with friends and family that support me and encourage me.
God’s perfect timing, I just read my verse for the day, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” ~Philippians 4:6-7 https://biblegateway.com/passage?search=Phil.4.6-Phil.4.7&version=NIV
I want to be very clear here and say that my depression is not a curse from God or some kind of punishment, it’s an illness and a disease and God loves me and created me for His glory. Depression is not for anyone to judge or burden one another with self-righteous babble. God alone is the Truth, Life and the Light of the world. “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” ~John 14:6 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage?search=John%2014:6&version=NIV
“When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” ~John 8:12 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage?search=John%208:12&version=NIV
So, to get back on point…I was sharing a question about what is calling for my attention. Is it “control” or “vulnerability?” I have been examining “control” more specifically “my control” over the past year and have be blessed with wonderful role models in my life to assist me on this quest. The biggest and greatest lesson I have learned is the different between “control” and “concern” and they are not at all what I thought they were. I had assumed that the things I was interested in and passionate about, I also held some sense of control of, in true reality there are very few things we have absolute control of. For example, I am in total control of what I wear to work everyday true or false? False, I have control only within the confines of the workplace dress code. The same is true for many things in life. The selling point for me was learning the difference between control and concern, when I saw things as they truly were, I found out I have a lot of things I am concerned about and very few where I have absolute control. This was a huge awakening for me, I would stress myself and those around me when things were not precisely the way I had intended them to be. The issue was rarely that they were wrong they just weren’t the way I had envisioned them to be. Kind of an ego buster to admit that you’re not in control, lots of concerns but no control. Once I was able to more clearly see my role and my responsibilities, as opposed to the self-imposed responsibilities; I found myself feeling less intense and less demanding of patrolling areas outside of my control. An added bonus to learning this life lesson is I discovered boundaries and what they truly mean and what they represent. It was as if someone turned a light on and all of a sudden I saw boundary lines as real as if they had been painted in white. Boundaries have always been so elusive to me, the concept was never really clear, it was like looking through a frosted window where things are all distorted. I actually have a book I’ve started reading a few times over the past decade called “Boundaries” I just could never get past the first chapter. I just wasn’t ready to learn the lessons I needed to until now. I look back over the past few decades and can see God’s will working in my life and leading me to this particular time to more fully understand life and my place within it. This is just another part of my journey and I know God is using the people and circumstances in my life to teach me the things I will need as I journey forward.
I haven’t shared much about vulnerability, as it’s a tough subject for me. Most people do not like being vulnerable. Webster defines it as capable of being physically or emotionally wounded. Well neither sounds good to me! In a world where power, popularity, and wealth seem to be coveted, vulnerability has no place. Why? Often because in my opinion, it is misrepresented as only a negative, a fault and defect. I think it can be those traits as well as being the means of developing a better understand towards one another and it can help solidify ones own character traits. By definition a vulnerability assessment is the process of identifying, quantifying, and prioritizing the vulnerabilities of system/person/place/thing. I have things that I am vulnerable (sensitive) about and I try to avoid them whenever possible. And, just because you are vulnerable in an area doesn’t mean you will always feel that way. When I was in high school I detested speech class, I was embarrassed to be in front of my classmates for fear of being laughed at along with other fears as well. I think I only gave one speech the whole time I was in high school, then came college. I decided to major in Education…obviously I did not think that through…what do teachers do? Talk in front of others! My solution for freshman speech class…get into a class where I didn’t know anyone, my thought was it wouldn’t hurt as much to have strangers laugh at me. Not sure how I did it but I managed to pass the class, and I graduated with a B.A. in Secondary Education. I still get nervous when talking in front of people but it’s different now, this is yet another example of God’s unfailing love, He was providing learning lessons that molded me over time and through a gradual process for His glory not mine. I have had the privilege of leading a women’s bible study the past two years and it has brought me so much joy! Amen! All things are possible with God! When it was no longer about me and was about God will, my vulnerability became God’s message.
We are all imperfect people living in an imperfect world, my hope is that we treat others in the same manner that we want to be treated. In a world where you can be anything, BE KIND!
Thank you for sharing my journey with me. I truly appreciate you taking the time to read this blog entry and my prayer is that you know Jesus in a personal way!
~Blessings and Peace~