I rolled out of bed the morning after praying with my friend, and I stopped in my tracks (or mid-roll might be a better description). Wait a minute, thought I…that movement happened fairly easily without flinching and stopping and starting due to tight, sore back muscles. Hmmm…could this be one of the results of yesterday’s healing prayers? I moved quickly through my morning routine noticing how free my movements were compared to the previous day’s heaviness and inertia. Not wanting to jump to conclusions, I continued to observe myself, cautiously happy about my renewed energy and drive.
Still afraid to totally embrace the restoration that God had begun to bring about, I envisioned my heavenly Father before me, His arms wide open in a gesture of acceptance and love. But, I had a hard time meeting His eyes. Deeply ingrained inner patterns caused questioning to arise. Could what had happened be real or was it just another cruel joke, a perverted teasing that delighted in lifting my spirits in hope, but then mercilessly dashing them to the ground? (a favorite pastime of my dad’s) Despite great changes in my perception of who God is as my Father, sometimes old residual thought processes still taint my relationship with Him. (There was a time when I prayed only to Jesus for I could not open myself up to a God called Father. My relationships with my mom and sister have also tainted my relationships with women…at least I never had a brother to contaminate my relationship with Jesus.) Oh my God, my heart cried, rid me of this barrier to knowing you! So far you have brought me, how greatly you have changed my understanding of you…please continue Your work…and, I know He will, for when we pray in His will, we can expect Him to act accordingly with overflowing abundance.
Another old pattern I fought today was beating myself up. There are many different ways in which I was taught to condemn myself; this one may seem silly…and, in a way it is except for the negative fallout which it inflicted. Let me explain. In Continuing on, I posted how the baton of my grandmother’s obsessive compulsive behavior had been passed on to me. Bucking this expectation has sometimes been an uphill battle, but I have come far in learning how to relax over the past 30 years. Yet, sometimes the baton still seems to appear in my hand, as it did on this day. My pattern-breaking activity was to watch a little TV instead of continually working throughout the day (gasp!). (To reassure you… this isn’t always a struggle now, but it was in the past.) In my mind, I could hear my father’s voice dripping with disappointment has he expressed his sadness in my not living up to the family legacy. Trying to pretend his reproach did not exist was not successful (as I need to learn to expect…pretending just doesn’t seem to work), so I accepted the fact of his censure and the inward struggle that arose from it. But, acknowledging the reality of a situation is a step in the right direction, just as recognizing the truth of a circumstance is half the battle. And, I can thank my Lord for enabling me to do that.
Two other things I noticed as I went through the day. One observation came while I was walking the dog. Seeing our neighbors outside on their patio enjoying the cool morning air, I approached them and shouted out my hello. Immediately my attention was caught by how much more open my heart felt towards them and how much more free I felt in relating with them…interestingly our relationship has always been one of love and acceptance. The second observation came as I was writing this post. The day before, I could barely put words on paper (figuratively speaking of course…since all this is done on the computer); on this day my thoughts were flowing. Up to this point, I generally had edited my writing as soon as I wrote a sentence or paragraph, trying to get everything written as instantly perfect as possible. (Needless to say, that creates a very slow process.) Moving forward, I decided to adjust my writing habits. Henceforth, I would just jot down my thoughts, focusing on the gist of the story and leaving the editing for later. I do not expect writing to ever come quickly to me, but I do expect this will help relieve the stress of composing the text.
Will all this continue and grow? I don’t know…but, one thing I do know, when we prayed together, my friend asked the Lord to help me see things differently…my guess is that this is the beginning of His answer.