I gave a M.O.P.S. talk a few years ago on the importance of the rhythms of rest and reflection in our lives. During my research, I referenced a book called "Sacred Rhythms" by Ruth Haley Barton. In the book, the author said something that I thought was so profound...
"One of the most important lessons I have learned over the past few years is how important it is to have time and space for being with what’s real in my life — to celebrate the joys, grieve the losses, shed my tears, sit with the questions, feel my anger, attend to my loneliness.”
In other words, BE WITH WHAT IS.
I have a tendency to be a flight responder. If something is uncomfortable in any way, I want to run! I want to pretend it's not there. I want to deny, deflect, and redirect. That's kinda my motto. I know, so healthy right? It truly goes against every fiber of my being to just sit there in whatever it is and feel all the feels.
I have turned to my iPhone as a distraction in way too many cases. I can't possibly just sit in my blue-ness or anxiety and give it to God. It's too uncomfortable to attend to that discomfort. What's new on Instagram? What's new on Pinterest? I do the same thing when it comes to a certain family member who is currently struggling. Instead of sitting with the fears that I associate with this person, naming them, and debunking them with truth, I avoid this person and the situation at all costs. Why? Why can't I lean into that reality and grab it with courage? Why can't I remember that every opportunity to grow starts out with a little discomfort? And furthermore, why can't I remember that God is bigger?
I do love the fact that discomfort in this world forces us to turn our faces toward heaven. I have been meditating on these verses whenever I feel myself "ready to run"...
Where could I get away from your spirit? Where could I go to escape your presence? If I went up to heaven, you would be there. If I went down to the grave, you would be there too! If I could fly on the wings of dawn, stopping to rest only on the far side of the ocean - even there your hand would guide me; even there your strong hand would hold me tight. If I said, "The darkness will definitely hide me; the light will become night around me," even then the darkness isn't too dark for you! Nighttime would shine bright as day, because darkness is the same as light to you. (Psalms 139:7-12 CEB)
These verses can bring me to tears. There's no where to run that God can't be with me and comfort me. He surrounds me and enfolds me. Can you just give that visual some thought?
It's been heavy on my heart lately to be with what is. In motherhood, in marriage, in processing the recent death of my father. I lead a full, beautiful life. And in both joys and losses, I consider it a gift to have a beating heart that gets to walk this earth for a time. We only get a few trips around the sun. Might as well be fully human.
Bri Carlisle is a contributing writer for Thrive Moms and also loves writing on her personal blog, Woven, where she photojournals her life as a wife, and mother of two, living just outside of Philadelphia. She loves photography, running, diet coke, and everything about summer. Find her on Instagram or Twitter as @sheiswoven.