It’s very appropriate that this week’s devotional is about SHOWING UP. Or maybe not so appropriate as I’m currently wrestling with showing up. I mean it’s an all-out face to the mat wrestling match. And I know what that looks like as my twin sons are professional wrestlers.
There are some days when I’m ready to show up and others where my “fight or flight” response is firing and I just want to hide. Times where I feel like I’m showing up and in my sweet spot and then others when I’m making comparisons and feeling like a failure or wonder if I’m ever going to make it to where I want to be. Do you have days like that? What do you do with them?
Well, what I’m learning to do with them is not to just get on the merry-go-round and ride, but to STOP and listen. Listen to what my heart is saying and ask the Holy Spirit what the problem is. To walk awakened and confront those feelings, not just let them have the run of my life. With shame and abuse, that’s what we’ve learned, to let other things rule without ever confronting them and deciding for ourselves where we’d like to go instead of circumstances taking us for a ride.
Disclaimer: This devotional is not a substitute or replacement for regular therapy or use of mental health resources. If the content here causes triggers, please see your regular mental health professional. I am not a licensed counselor or therapist of any kind nor is this devotional an attempt to provide those services. The contents and suggestions in this devotional are results of my own personal experience with these issues and are not meant to be professional advice or therapy.
1 Kings 19: 9-10 (NKJV) (Emphasis mine)
And there he went into a cave, and spent the night in that place; and behold, the word of the Lord came to him, and He said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
10 So he said, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God of hosts; for the children of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars, and killed Your prophets with the sword. I alone am left; and they seek to take my life.”
I sit here pondering the women’s conference and all that was imparted. The first two days were very difficult;lt as I processed the reasons for my dizziness and why it would not subside. (I’ve shared my physical battle on my blog, you can read about it HERE!) I had to battle through it Thurs. night which took a lot of the joy I should have been experiencing out of it. I hated to admit it and tried to the good Christian and keep my good confession but as the moments and hours passed I grew more and more disappointed. And that disappointment was in myself “If I was more spiritual this wouldn’t be happening- did I disobey God”? Now, of course, I am mature enough to know where this onslaught was coming from but it was a real battle not to take it into myself. I just kept quiet. I didn’t say anything to God and it was evident to everyone around me that I was battling physically but bless God I am going to stay and give what I needed to give and get what I needed to get.
I felt totally useless to anyone, so distracted by my symptoms, I couldn’t engage anything or anyone on a deep level. I tried to be strong, but when I got alone…. just tears and more tears. It’s one thing to have your knee wrapped with crutches on the platform, I can always sit, but when the room or the floor is moving and trying to focus as dizzy is an entirely different thing. Only by God’s grace was I able to bear it and with the help of meds.
Our TALKING IT OUT piece for this week is actually going to be a video because it tells the story of how one women’s testimony was God’s voice calling me to show up as the person He called me to be. See the video below:
So maybe God has already spoken to you about showing up, maybe He’s healing your heart to such a degree that you’re recovering your voice, your vision for your life, your purpose! But what steps do you need to take to show up? Let’s look at just a couple of actions you can take to begin to say “yes” to your life and show up. Let me just say this, showing up is not easy. Hiding may be painful, but it’s easy.
(1) TAKE RESPONSIBILITY
The first step to showing up is to take responsibility. When you’ve dealt with abuse, it becomes a comfort to be the victim. Victims don’t stand up or have a voice, they hide to protect themselves and at times we can get into the pattern of hiding to protect ourselves. Showing up requires risk and we make ourselves vulnerable. Taking responsibility for your life is YOURS! No one else will do it. Others are busy showing up for their own lives. The only person that can do this is YOU!
(2) OWN WHO YOU ARE
Just like the video above, maybe you don’t know who you are. How can you own something when you can’t define it? Perhaps you’ve allowed others to tell you who you are so much that you believe that, but you know deep down you’re not living your values or your true heart. That’s where I found myself. I’d allowed others to push me into their mold or try to live up to their expectations (this is still an area that I have more work to do in). The greatest thing that defeats this is to determine that only God is going to tell you who you are and what your purpose is. Like Elijah at the top of our lesson, he took a path that at the end of it, God came to him and said: “what are you doing here?”. Then he heard in a still small voice, God’s voice, the instructions for his life. Only God can tell us who we are and when we allow others to do that for us, we put them in His place and find ourselves fearing and worshiping men instead of God!
(3) BE HONEST ABOUT WHERE YOU ARE
Most of the time we are hiding because we don’t want to face the truth of where we actually are and especially in Christian circles, we don’t want to be honest because of the fear of judgment. But God says to confess your faults one to another and pray for healing. (James 5:16) But before we can be honest with others, we’ve got to come clean with ourselves and God. Find a quiet place to journal and pray and ask God to show you the places where you’re not being honest with yourself. This can be a very painful, revealing process so I suggest you find a private place or you can do this with your counselor or trusted friend.
(4) START SMALL SHOWING UP
This does not say show up small. It says to start small. Meaning, taking small steps to show up. Maybe that means telling a secret to a trusted friend or pastor, revealing your struggles to a spouse or counselor. Perhaps it means going to a women’s meeting or serving in your community or church. For some of you, it may mean getting out of the house and going to the store. Yes, some of you may be housebound with fear and showing up is terrifying. That’s why I say start small. Each small victory will give you the confidence to show up again and again.
These are just a few ways you can begin to show up. As you journal and pray, the Lord will guide into even more ways to begin to say “yes” to the amazing life He’s given you.
[On another note, I’ve sent you an email to get your input about starting a Facebook Group for those going through the Beautiful You Devotional. Please make sure you check out that email and send your input. This is another way we can show up.]
1 Kings 19:11-12 NKJV (Emphasis mine)
Then He said, “Go out, and stand on the mountain before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; 12 and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice.
So it was, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave. Suddenly a voice came to him, and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
© Crisie Hutchings/ GrannyRocksMusic/ THE WORSHIP LIFE/ Beautiful You Project
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.