Rejoicing in Life’s Layers

View of Elizabeth's desk.

It’s Sunday night. Just Hammer and me at home. I’ve got some work to catch up on from last week, and I’ll feel better if I get it done tonight. This is a picture of my desk right now, and I wanted to share because it’s a pretty good representation of my life at the moment. It looks like utter chaos – lots of layers to peel away, and yet a bouquet I bought myself from the farmers’ market yesterday (in my grandmother’s milk glass vase). Aesthetics make me so happy, so I appreciate intentional indulgences, big and small.

In the past, I’ve felt a sense of burden to manage the chaos BEFORE treating myself because I felt more deserving; but I’m learning now to embrace the clutter for what it is, in addition to allowing islands of respite in my everyday circumstances. Bigger still, I’m learning how to ask for, and let others, help. Satan deceived me. He tried to tell me I was a strong woman for being independent, and that “getting through” ungodly circumstances without help was somehow a badge of honor, even if I didn’t show it off. He’s SO sneaky. So sneaky.

God speaks to me in analogies, and I rely on Him and often hear clearly from Him. Still, Satan tricked me.

Recently, God has given me very real physical pain that has been difficult to track and feel appropriately. I have a hip imbalance that has referred pain to various locations, and it has taken a team of professionals to identify and begin treating not only the imbalance, but also the underlying cause. In the process of discovery, I’ve been able to peel back layers of stress my body was protecting me from feeling emotionally, and activate structural muscles that can do their job in a state of healthy engagement instead of covert compensation. I literally could NOT feel pain where it was coming from, just in satellite locations.

Trite Christian-ese often pricks my awareness because I can hear how “we” sound to a world that doesn’t know Jesus, and I always want to be a good translator so others can come to know His goodness. In a recent Pilates session, I had a breakthrough that retrained some of my neuromuscular pathways to provide good support to some areas of my body that were weak. BUT I had to find those pathways by RELAXING. It was like a Chinese handcuff where the harder you engage, the more trapped you are. It wasn’t until I figured out how to let go that I received my freedom.

It made me think of the saying “Let go, and let God.” And, how vapid that can sound. It’s a good saying; but most people, including Christians, I believe, don’t really understand the implications. I got a good taste when I had that physical breakthrough because, when I RELAXED one thing, it INSTANTLY gave me access to the proper support my body needed for good health and stability.

Letting go is not as easy as it sounds, and Satan is a wily enemy. I don’t usually hold tightly to things; but my body has done plenty of gripping for me, it seems. I don’t know what you’re gripping; but I encourage us all to start paying attention to the pain God lets us experience so we can begin letting go more and more of sin and deception, and getting our deep, effortless support from Him. He is a good, good God who proved our worth to Him by paying the ultimate price for us to experience eternal relationship with Him. Let us truly let go, and let Him ....

In the meantime, rejoice in the layers, and don’t neglect small indulgences that remind you of your tremendous worth. 🤍