Relax, Reflect, Recharge

AWAKENING

Today is MY day to reflect, recharge and relax.  I may be off to work but I am spending time with God this morning reflecting on all the emotions of last week at National Conference.  I probably cried the most, feeling God’s presence with Lisa Harper.  I should have known that I was in for an emotional and spiritual awakening just by this description – “Transform your soul, awaken your spirit, and revive your faith.  Discover new joy and a fresh sense of purpose”.  Let me tell you that she lived up to all  of this and MORE!

I was mesmerized from the first moment as a video was shared about her journey to adopt Missy an orphaned HIV-positive Haitian child.  This started me on a journey remembering my infected and affected HIV-positive kids from my days at the South Jersey AIDS Alliance.  The tears began to fall as I realized that I had lost touch with them and as a result my heart has shrunk.  These kids were my heart and I gave unconditionally to them.  Yes, I contribute to causes now BUT that is with money and very often not with my time and talents.  Hubby would say, “you have not time with all that you do”.  The truth is – I do have time, I just need to find a cause near and dear to MY heart now that I am in a new area.

DREAM BIG!  I have heard it a million times but this time it was different.  Lisa said DREAM BIGGER so that you can stand up to your full potential.  Funny, I never seem to know what my full potential is.  Fear of failing. Fear of what others will think.  Fear of success.  These are the things that keep me from dreaming bigger.  I never really thought of it as living up to MY full potential.  That would require confidence, something that is shaky for me on any given day.  On the outside, I may look confident and ready for what ever life may throw my way BUT on the inside, I can be a hot mess.  It was right about this time when I realized that I had been crying through her whole talk and it wasn’t over yet.

“All addictions are a disorder of worship”.  Being a recovering addict and a recovering bulimic – I guess you could add shopaholic and spendaholic in there too, this really hit home.  During my addictions, I had no relationship with God.  I may have gone to church in the beginning but once I was deep in any of my addictions, I stopped.  I truly believed that God didn’t want this damaged child.  I mean if I couldn’t love me, how could he?  As I got gut honest, which I did a lot at conference, I believe that despite all of my work to overcome my addictions, a small part of me still believed that God was disappointed in me.  Talk about a tear jerker!  Even as I write this, the tears are dropping like rain on my keyboard.

Lisa ended her session with an exercise that had me balling like a baby (along with a few of my Thirty One sisters).  She had us each team up with either one or two people and say these three sentences to each other:

YOU are BRAVE

YOU are BEAUTIFUL

YOU are INTELLIGENT

As I listened to Kim say these words to me, it was like God was there reassuring me that I am worthy of his love.   I realized that I didn’t DREAM BIG because I didn’t believe that I was worthy enough for that dream.  I didn’t have faith that God would be there to guide and support me on my journey.

As I wiped the tears and hugged Megan and Kim, I realized that I am a child of God.  As his child, he loves me unconditionally and even if I stray off of his path, he will be there for me.  If you are struggling and don’t think you are ready to stand up to your full potential… Grab a friend, hold their hand, look into their eyes and each of you repeat these three sentences to each other.  Watch how God will work in your life to meet you where you are….

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

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