UNPLUGGED

IMG_5692I was sitting in Starbucks today working on another chapter of my dissertation. This chapter has taken longer than I like to admit and requires lots of revision. Though I’m a bit frustrated by the process, I know that consistency is key. Before I got started, I plugged my computer into the outlet and connected my headphones into the computer socket. You’ll never guess what happened a short while later.

Yes, I knocked my hot mocha with an extra shot of expresso onto my keyboard. In a panic, I flipped my computer over in an attempt to drain the coffee from the keyboard as I went to grab napkins to clean the mess. When I returned, I repositioned the computer to wipe away the coffee. After I made sure that my keyboard still functioned, I resumed working. A little while later, I get a notification from my laptop alerting me of a low battery. Immediately, I looked at my charging port only to discover that it had become unplugged.  I reconnected my charger to the laptop and it was then that the revelation was made clear.

More times than not, I become unplugged in the middle of a stressful time. It is in these moments when I tend to become stagnate in my walk with God and even lose a bit of fervency. Sometimes I flounder around trying to remember exactly when I became unplugged. Maybe it was that morning that God woke me up at 5a.m to pray but I rolled over ignoring his tug. Perhaps it was that time that the Holy Spirit told me not to watch that tv show but I overruled him because it was popular. Or, it could’ve been that lonely night that I texted that guy who I knew was no good for me. Whatever the case, I have become unplugged often, and it’s not until I’m in danger of dying–one way or another–that I try to quickly plug back into the power source.

But, what if I always ensure that I’m plugged into God? What if I take those extra moments at night to pray? Perhaps I can even put my phone on “do not disturb” more often to ensure that I’m operating at my highest capacity. Whatever the case, I must do better at paying attention to when I’m on a spiritual decline. I must remember that every moment that I’m not being recharged, I am dying.

So, I want to encourage you to remember to check your battery frequently. Remind yourself daily to take the time to recharge your spirit just as much–if not more–as you charge your electronics. What a shame it would be if we looked for the power source and couldn’t reach it in time.

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Open Heart Surgery

heartI was talking to a friend who revealed to me that someone in her family has to undergo an open heart procedure. As I sat in the living room listening to her explain to me the situation, I couldn’t help hearing the fear in her voice. My only response was, “How are you?” to which she responded “sacred.”

As the conversation drifted from my mind due to the cares of the day, I eventually remembered the fear I heard in her voice as she told me the story. Her fear mirrors mine as I see myself on God’s operating table once again.

The most common type of open heart surgery is coronary artery bypass. During the procedure, a healthy artery or vein is grafted (attached) to the person’s blocked artery. As a result, the attached artery will bypass the blocked one to bring fresh blood to the heart.

This is the process of how God purges our hearts of toxins. While in God’s operating room, he puts us on the table and opens our chest cavity. Afterwards, he attaches his word and spirit to our blockages to allow freedom to flow. Unfortunately, though, we’ve become so acquainted with our blockages that even if the surgery is for the best, it produces fear.

My friend’s emotions mirror my own as God operates on me. While I know that over time I’ve hidden things in the arteries of my heart that have caused love to stop flowing, I don’t remember what openness feels like anymore. What if I am unblocked and I don’t manage the recovery well? What if the stress of the procedure causes me to faint? What if I become better?? More willing to love? To forgive?

Yes I want to be better and experience total freedom but at what cost? Will my freedom require me to lose friends? Acquaintances? My present? Will it further separate me from my peers? Will it demand that I have a spirit of excellence?

Matthew 5:8 says that only the purpose in heart will see God, and perhaps I’ve blinded myself by the fear of my past that I’ve skewed my perception of wholeness. It’s interesting the ways in which we make allowance for our dysfunction. The way that we make accommodations for behaviors for so long that we struggle to get out of our own cages. How long are we willing to remain there?

The grafting of the Holy Spirit will cost you something. You will have to recover, but not alone. I’m learning as I undergo my spiritual surgical procedure that God puts us on the operating table for a reason. He opens our hearts to allow us to live and live freely. He will remove our heart of stone and give us a heart of flesh (Ezekiel 36:26), but we have to be willing to experience the discomfort of healing.

Trusting Your Worth

You are WORTH it!We live in a world that consistently challenges our perception of ourselves. And, this can be a tough reality for those attempting to stabilize in their identity. With so many distractions it is almost impossible to fully grasp the weight of your worth unless you are intentional.

I’ve learned that my worth is not predicated on that relationship that didn’t work, the career path I chose, or my friendships, but it is solely based in my relationship with God. In the past, it was easy for me to say that I “know” my worth even when I didn’t. See, I would give myself away to people freely and expect them to do the same. However, when they wouldn’t return on investment, I would be left shattered, but still unwilling to move. But, I “knew” my worth, right?

Honestly, I didn’t even know the weight of the words that I spoke. How can you know your worth when you don’t even know who you are? How can you know your worth when you’ve been so accustomed to settling for whatever life has thrown your way? How could you know the worth of sun when you haven’t experienced rain?

What I mean is that I knew that I should have known my worth. I knew that I shouldn’t be entertaining that situationship, relationship, chilling session. I knew that I couldn’t be content with the life I was attempting to live, but I didn’t know how to get out. I didn’t know how to get off the emotional rollercoaster (que Vivian Green), and embody the essence of who I was.

Until one day I did. See this journey that we take will threaten to kill us at every turn. It will challenge the very foundations that we’ve built, and expose us if we haven’t. Yes, we get frustrated, yes we want to quit, but do you understand your worth?

Your worth is so much bigger than your temporary perspective. It is something that you grow into every step of the way. You learn your worth, you cultivate it, you study it. Unfortunately, learning and trusting your worth isn’t an overnight thing. Even after my year journey with God, I’m still learning it. What I’m saying is that every moment I learn something new that reveals why I am as valuable as I am. I learn the hard truths that expose that there are moments that I put myself on sale to the highest bidder, but can’t stay there.

There are things that are too valuable to be taken lightly. You are too valuable to be taken lightly. Your life is too valuable to be taken lightly, but until you believe in the God that created you perfectly, you won’t be able to trust the weight of who you are.