Friday, October 29, 2010
Last week, I did something just for me! Like, for the first time ever! (Ok, maybe not ever, but it's been a long time...) I hopped in the car and drove to my favourite place in the entire world - Cavendish, PEI! Just me, all by myself, nobody else...get the picture? :) I rented a little cottage for 2 nights, thus procuring for myself one glorious day of doing exactly what I wanted to do! And what did I want to do? I spent the entire day outside, first at the beach, then on the hiking trails, then returned to the beach for sunset and moonrise. In the evenings, I ate pizza, read Anne of Green Gables, watched Evan Almighty and Dan in Real Life, and went to bed early. Did I mention that it was glorious?
I decided/discovered a few things on my little retreat: 1) it's absolutely ok for me to take a break when I need to; 2) not every break needs to include deep soul searching or fasting or extended times of wrestling in prayer, sometimes it's ok to just do something fun; 3) God speaks volumes through the wind and the waves, the trees and the stars; 4) I hope Heaven is just like PEI in October... :)
My old habit was to feel intensely guilty and worried the entire time I was away, thus negating the whole purpose of any break I may have allowed myself to take. You know, I have lived almost my whole life feeling as if the proverbial ax were about to drop; as if at any moment, I'd get into "trouble" of some sort and be sent to the principal's office to face the music. (Oh dear, what a terrible mix of metaphors - apologies to my English cronies!) It's a terrible way to exist - it sucks the joy out of everything! I'm not going to live like that anymore! God made a couple of promises (more than a couple, really, but a couple that really fit here) and I intend to believe that they apply to me! ('Cause they do!) The first is the promise of abundant life, life to the full (John 10:10, KJV, NIV). This is the reason He came, says Jesus! The reason He came... There are other reasons, obviously (forgiveness of sin, promise of eternal life, defeating of death and hell, to name a few), but Jesus ranks this right up there with His other reasons for coming! I want to live this abundant life, this life to the full! And God wants me to live it - it's part of His plan for me! The other is in Romans, and it's my new mantra: "Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." (Rom. 8:1 - my favourite chapter in the whole Bible, by the way...) No condemnation! How freeing is that? Especially for one who was constantly condemning herself, so much so that she didn't even realize that's what she was doing...
I think one of the first steps toward loving ourselves is knowing we are free to do so, free from all the guilt and shame and fear and deception of the past, free from the lies Satan feeds us about ourselves, so subtly that we fail to see them for what they are and believe them for truth. One of my goals over the next weeks and months is to identify every one of those lies and replace them with the Truth. Today, I'm loving this journey - it certainly has its' ups and downs! And may I say "thanks" to all those who have taken the time to read, and especially to those who have followed and commented and sent messages. Your support is already overwhelming! Looking forward to the next step in the journey! May you know real joy today!