Christine Duncan

Love, Laughter, Life Preservers

Tag: peace (page 1 of 6)

Revealed In The Impossible.

When God's Revealed in the Impossible

“This is feeling impossible!” I’m saying to myself in a fit.

My husband snores beside me, completely oblivious.

It’s 3 AM and I’m just… awake.

Thoughts, and prayers, and snores, and unresolved items, and worries surround my brain, no matter how hard I try to just be.

One of the many phantom pains that can flare with chronic depression, a physical symptom to the brain’s neurotransmitters off-kilter, sweeps along my right hip and back again, as it has all day.

And in the stillness it’s far more noticeable than during the day when I could distract myself.

“And it doesn’t help my situation any, Lord.

And I’m unsure if the latest bout of insomnia is a result of my chronic D or if it’s the first hurdle in a fresh episode of dysthymia on its way. There’s no way of knowing which one.

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Taking That Internal Dialogue Captive

It was doing it again.

Blocking out everything.

Interrupting everything.

That infernal internal dialogue just doesn’t stop.

It doesn’t break for pedestrians.

It doesn’t slow down after peak hours.

A running commentary that becomes the white noise in the background of life.

It can be the reason for our lack of focus. It can be the reason for our lack of sleep. It feeds anxiety. It feeds worry. It feeds defeat before we even get going on our day.

The internal dialogue.

It’s a powerful thing, isn’t it?

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An Irritation Transformation

We all have these days.

At least, I hope beyond hope that I’m not the only one.

We start out as fun, happy, motivated, generous people.

And then somehow and without warning, a transformation hits.

Where we used to be easy-going, we’re now difficult. Where once was a happier outlook is now a massive attitude. Where we had a smile we now have this look of the inconvenienced and agitation.

I call it the Irritation Transformation.

And it’s never pretty. Worn by us, or aimed elsewhere.

Somewhere someone is getting ready to let someone else have it, and a little conversation bubble pops up with the words “Thar she blows!”

I know we’ve all been there, but I’m forced to come at it from a different perspective than most.

When you live with Dysthymic Disorder, also known as chronic depression, irritability isn’t just a fluke reaction of annoying circumstances that flow in and out of your day . It’s a very real medical symptom. It’s the warning signs of a flare up. The inkling of an oncoming episode. A bout of low-grade depression about to sweep in and try to stay awhile.

Can I be honest? I wish I weren’t robbed of the ability to shake it off like your average person. For the mood disorder sufferers, this is something your brain would like to trick you into believing has settled right down into your bones, and that everything around you should be interpreted as unpleasant and unwanted. Dramatically so.

And so the Irritation Transformation begins.

And we’re not just talking about being irritable due to unpleasant situations that arise through the day. We’re talking an irrational irritability that might not have any rhyme or reason, just a reaction borne out of your body’s inability to process all the things it’s working overtime to handle.

And all sorts of people wind up receiving the brunt of your symptoms.

And you wind up saying sorry a lot.

Like. A lot.

In any case, this is not what a child of the King wants to display to the world, even within a normal capacity. And there are so many of us that are bravely navigating the seas of varying types of depressions and disorders and wanting to represent the Father but what are we to do with the influx of symptoms threatening to take us from healthy to heartless?

As a believer, I struggled with this for the longest time. I was supposed to be a light in the dark. I was supposed to represent His great love, not an un-holy and feeble attitude. I was supposed to be a beacon of His grace, not constantly requiring it.

“Lord, what am I to do about my transformation into irritation? How do I battle a disorder that doesn’t care who or what I’m about to encounter? Or how many times something small has caused a meltdown or caused a snap response that doesn’t even sound like me?”

I’m still learning how to manage this particular  behavioural symptom, but I’ve realized a couple things that are key to moving past it even when I’m still not feeling a hundred percent.

– I Promptly Hand It Off –

Everything starts engaging the wrong part of my faulty wiring, and I don’t really have the capacity to deal on my own when an episode begins. But I still know who does. He is very, very, capable, and will cushion the onslaught of irrational thoughts and reactions and words, and invites me to give it to Him.

And in those moments, this is not like I’m capable of a big flowery, theatrical, deep prayer where I “submit” everything, including my disorder (which I do daily when I’m able) but this is a simple hand off. It’s a prompt and frustrated and desperate “Lord! You take this! I’m so done. I can’t be here inside this anymore.”

And He does.

1 Peter 5:7 doesn’t dress it up or make it complicated, and thank goodness. “… cast all your anxieties, difficulties, and concerns on Him, for He cares for you.”

We serve a God who anticipates exchange. We can hand it off. Whatever it is. The greek word for {cast} actually means transfer. I can transfer all my agitated flare-ups to God and then walk away.

But it gets better.

– Walking Away And Taking Peace With Me –

The next step is to step out of whatever environment is causing the stress and that irritation transformation. I tranfer my anxiety to Him, and then the smartest thing to do is immediately change where I am. And I mean physically, but also emotionally, and spiritually.

And because God is a God who anticipates exchange, and holy transformation, He exchanges my irritation for His peace. In my leaving the place where I was bombarded by chaos, I get to be impacted by His provision of peace and rest if I ask for them.

This is no small thing.

Transformed in Him, I can be released from those negative synapses trying to fill my head with static and find peace again. He wasn’t joking when He said, “My peace I give to you.” He said it for a reason.

And this doesn’t just happen overnight, this is a process. Much like the way God works in all of us, it’s a constant reshaping and transferring and transforming.

This is why we read “And I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:6

My transformation from irritation to peace and ease and rest might take the rest of my life. A gradual adjusting to constantly handing off the difficult and trading up and being fed His constant and never ceasing goodness. And because He promises it, I’m good with it.

All the while, we’re to have this conversation with Him, “search me, Lord, know every thought, even the disconnected and irritable ones. And see what I need to transfer over, and how I still need Your transformation, and direct me with Your upstanding and everlasting ways.”

The Irritation Transformation

You may not be struggling with irrational irritability. You may be struggling in a completely different area. But He’d love for you to make an exchange with Him, trade sorrows for joy, trade heartache for abundant love, trade disappointment for His security.

Trade your symptoms for His measures of restoration.

He waits to make an exchange on the inside, that will affect the outside.

I’m ready for the next transformation. You?

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So thrilled and glad to be linking up today with some amazing bloggers! Hit the following hashtags and join us for some nourishing words of encouragement?
Joining Kelly Balarie’s #RaRaLinkup now and Jennifer Dukes Lee’s #TellHisStory linkup at 5pm est.

The Awesome Within The Indefinable

I love when things are defined well.

When there’s a clear picture.

A well-delineated plan.

Every angle explored.

I prefer when a conclusion is made totally apparent.

Have I made myself clear? (chuckling ensues)

I’m afraid sometimes I’m the person grinding her teeth when information, sometimes pertinent information, is missing.

And then other times it can be something simple.

Like, have you ever heard two men talk about hanging out together? Mostly they decide: yep, we wanna hang out. And they might even say why they want to hang out. They decide it’s a good idea, and maybe if it’s practical, what day.

And there the conversation stops.

That’s good enough.

And if you ask what the plan is you’re going to get this;

“Well, we want to hang out on Friday.”

And….?

“And sometime Friday he might call me. Or I’ll call him.”

Aaaaannnnnd???

“And we’ll see what we’re doing.”

Argh. But what time?

“Oh you know, whenever we think is good.”

{I’m sorry, do you hear an odd grinding sound from…. somewhere?}

So here’s the deal. That same kind of bonkers I feel welling up inside after trying to navigate man-speak? Yeah,  there are far too many days it totally translates to my faith. Which then spills into my day-to-day. And becomes an actual barrier between myself and God.

Ouch. It hurts to admit.

When I question His plan, when I show a lack of trust at what He leaves undefined for the moment, the mistrust puts up walls.

Really selfish walls, come to think of it. Walls built out of expecting way more than I’m sometimes given.

I can see, even this week, times when I felt the tug of His Spirit, revealing a small bit of something to my heart, and instead of being content that He was weaving together a plan that was including my obedience, I remained in a state of “not enough”. Then complained when He countered with, “but I AM enough.”

Double ouch.

The indefinable equalled some serious spiritual teeth-grinding.

And not so long ago, I had even talked myself into believing somehow that desiring more from Him was noble. And so the barrier kept growing. Because I used to think it meant I was that serious about His plan, and maybe, perhaps, He wasn’t.

I had it so wrong.

Sometimes the undefined things are exactly why He is an awesome God.

I’m sitting out under the stars in the quiet last night.

As always, without meaning to, digging for big answers to the small path He’s placed me on for now.

And the darker it gets, the more the stars pop overhead.

And yet, everyone knows that we only get to see a miniscule fraction of the stars that embed the galaxies.

Still, I look up and stare, sort of making sense of the limited point of view I have.

Ah ha.

I spot the Big Dipper directly over our two Maple trees. It’ll remain there all summer before it tracks lower and lower into winter.

I follow the points of light, outlining its shape.

And a holy nudge follows.

“Do you see, Daughter? The awesome in the indefinable? From where you are, you’re only afforded a view that allows you to make out one tiny constellation. But you have to know your one piece of the night sky is part of a much bigger, more marvelous and deliberate view. From where I sit, Daughter, I have no problem seeing it all.”

But if I actually showed you every star without hinderance? It’d be too much. The light, the reality of galaxy upon galaxy, would overwhelm.”

“It’d all be too much for your limited vision.”

This renders me speechless. It’d all be too much for my limited vision.

Oh.

And a question rolls through my heart, no more barrier in its way:

“So. Can you trust once again, the Awesome within the indefinable?”

Grateful for one piece of the puzzle at a time? Trusting that He knows that it’s all I can handle right now?

Don’t look now, but someone’s perspective just changed.

I let this settle over me.

The only sound a few leaves swinging in the breeze.

If God is content to give me just one bit of the picture or plan, why can’t I trust it’s the only one I’ll need?

Why do I wear myself down, whip into a frenzied faith? I’m the faith paparazzi running after Him, waving frantically, even running over others sometimes, anxious to convince Him I need more,  just maybe to leak one more morsel of info, any kind of hint, so I have more to work with!

It’s funny how I’ll trust that He is God, even though I can’t see Him, per se. And how I’ll trust that this amazing universe is propelled by Him, even though we’ve yet to explore every inch of it. But trust His wisdom and timing when it comes to something I’ve deemed important?

How does the saying go?

Oh, ye of little faith.

I want to make sure this all lines up with His Word. And it’s there I find this, in Romans 8:28, and fresh life is breathed into a verse I once knew so well;

“And we know that God causes everything  {*everything*} to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them.” *emphasis mine*

The Awesome Within The Indefinable

His purpose, not mine.

His cause, not mine.

His reasons, not mine.

Mine is only to be content with whatever He reveals, whenever He reveals it. To trust that He knows when I’ve been given enough.

To know that the presence of the undefined equals how awesome a God He truly is.

The Awesome within the indefinable.

One thing’s for sure.

I look into the night sky now with renewed awe.

What about you?

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Today’s post is thrilled to be linking up with Suzie Eller’s #livefreeThursday and the Faith Barista’s #BelovedBrews linkup!
Click on the hashtags above to see more and be encouraged!

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