dear overwhelmed heart

It takes a great deal of grit to keep going in the face of things that feel like a fast closing tsunami on a flat plain with no higher ground in sight.

It takes courage to look past the comparison of your real life when you’re constantly thinking other people’s ‘show reels’ are their real life.

It take determination to face another day of the same challenges, the same demands, the same brokenness.

I’m thinking of you today and praying a safe space for you to lower your guard, to lay down this load of perfection, to come out from behind the screen and allow yourself to be really seen.

100 percent

The internet has its wonderful graces but it has helped us all to live under the sin of covetousness and comparison.

It’s made us look at our ‘neighbour’s’ (aren’t we all neighbours now?) parenting skills, slim thighs, attractive partner, exotic holiday locations, pin worthy bedroom makeover and let our hearts be dismayed.

Covetousness is a robber. God knew when we went down that path – the path that makes us focus on our flaws, our lack, our disappointments – we were never going to return healthier, more motivated, more gracious to ourselves, quicker to forgive the less than perfect people we share our lives with.

To a people just delivered from slavery we see God establishing a set of safeguards to keep them again from self-inflicted slavery.

Because, dear heart, when you start to focus on how everyone else is getting it right, how their load is easier, how their grass is greener you have entangled yourself again in slavery. You have become a slave to an ideal that not only is impossible to meet, but an ideal that isn’t true.

Your imagination is making more of the greener grass than reality would suggest.

Jesus says, come to me you who are burdened and I will give you rest.

He invites us to unburden ourselves and be clothed in something that doesn’t require us to get it right. It requires us to admit we can’t.

When we start living free we release others to do the same. When we lower our guard and admit friend to friend, heart to heart, face to face that we are struggling we will either find that we have freed someone else to admit the same, or, we will find a safe place to be loved despite it all. Surely either of those are a better offer than the struggle of trying so hard to be all we cannot be.

Today instead of looking at someone’s perfect life online how about taking time to connect with someone offline?

How about we all ask to be delivered from the trap of covetousness and instead see ourselves for what we are – the radically loved, forgiven, cherished children of the Most High. Because that is what we are.

belonging

See how safe you are to be imperfect? We are all imperfect and any who present as less than are probably drowning in a terrible tide of overwhelming pressure to continue the facade.

Let’s use our determination, our grit, our courage to hold onto our freedom in Christ and certainly not let ourselves be burdened with a yoke of slavery that demands perfection.

Instead, we rest in the Grace of the One who knows us as imperfect and loves us all the same.

Be loved beautiful ones.

Father let us rest today in your care, unburdened and free from comparison, covetousness, and perfectionism. Let us be found secure in you, becoming whole and fully rescued. Give us strength to face the battles in our lives knowing we are not alone, nor will we ever be. You have promised to be with us always, and you always deliver on your promises.

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8 thoughts on “dear overwhelmed heart

  1. Thank you for your encouraging words. I need to be reminded of all of that, all the time! Am really enjoying and appreciating your posts – so encouraging and uplifting. Keep it up lovely lady xxxxx

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  2. Thought-provoking, Miriam. Thank you. If God is all loving and forgiving, as your lovely post claims, how can there be sins, I wonder … And doesn’t the internet simply amplify what’s already prevalent in humanity? For better or worse, we are creatures of aspiration and dissatisfaction. These feelings, like all feelings, inform and enrich, don’t they? Perfection does get a bad rap, and perhaps deservedly so, but sometimes, wrapped up in that striving, underneath that pursuit, is a noble intent to be all that we can be. As in most pursuits, it can also be fraught with folly, pitfalls, traps and that, too, can profoundly inform our experience … as your reflections illustrate. The drive for perfection can also be a symptom of desiring transcendence and perhaps many a religion was born on this need alone. I suppose I was hoping you’d lower your guard, ‘fess up and own the struggle you outline in your post:) Without your story in there your writing may not connect as convincingly as it deserves to.

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    • Beautiful Lil, thanks for your thoughtful and challenging response. 🙂 Strong questions and reflections and challenging me to go deeper even when you don’t necessarily agree with what I say. You are a beautiful friend. I shall continue to strive to lower my guard and be more transparent in my own thoughts. This writing was motivated more for another, but I am committed to trying not to hide behind words but to allow my own struggles and disappointments to be exposed too. Part of that for me is the sharing of my thoughts without trying to hide from those who disagree with what I say. To speak truth even when my voice trembles. loving you x

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      • Thank you for your gracious response, Miriam. As your post so aptly states, there’s strength in vulnerability. We love those who have the courage to drop the facade and reveal their own weaknesses, flaws and struggles. I hear the courage in between the lines of your writing, Miriam, and I greatly appreciate that. Yes, It’s tricky when reflections have been prompted by an interaction with a friend (not wanting to break that friend’s confidence by writing about the convo). I think though, if you acknowledged the friend (keeping them anonymous, of course) and then went on to write about what that conversation brought up for you (bad languaging there!) then you continue to own the story (and give it context), if that makes sense. I could see that you wanted to offer comfort, you wanted to help, and that, too, is something I relate very strongly with. Some more challenging questions … what about speaking your truth alone or is it always connected with a religious truth (supplanting your words with religious / text words)? Are they one and the same for you? Just curious:) When I speak or write something that’s true for me, my voice gains power. Is that just me? HA! Could very well be. Much love. X

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      • 🙂 more good questions… short answer (is there ever such a thing with me!?!) my truth is deeply grounded in my faith so it’s probably always going to have a crossover, whether I quote from the Bible or not. That’s not to say I am an authority on Christian belief or truth, because I’m not, but that journey – seeking, discovering, growing – is always going to be a strong feature of how I speak and particularly in this space… I wonder at times too that this space will be oftentimes about my challenges (and I’ll be working on more connection and honest transparency) and sometimes from a more ‘learning and teaching’ basis which is also strongly in my heart. Helping to unpack and explore layers of truth and understanding, encouraging, championing… not the most literate response! But I will keep thinking and growing. I appreciate your gentle and challenging honesty and I know it comes with love xxx

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  3. Thank you, Miriam. Thank you for considering my comments & questions. I love it that you’re ‘seeking, discovering, growing’. May it always be so. Just one more question (I’ve certainly been full of them lately!), do you think there’s a thin line between teaching and preaching? I think, as a writer myself, that whenever I step away from personal experience and into a space that’s disconnected from that, I can easily be perceived as preaching. As a wonderful writing mentor once said to me, ‘No one wants to be preached at.’ No one wants to be told what to think or be force-fed an opinion they haven’t sought. Good writing allows the reader to make up their own mind, don’t you think? (Oops, that was another question! Rhetorical!) Because I’m not a Christian (my education / faith ended at the age of 12), I feel the disjuncture when your words end and scripture takes over. I’d really enjoy just hearing everything in your own words because they are powerful & engaging. Your personal perspective is so invigorating and important. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t quote scripture. Not at all. Whenever it enhances the point or reflection you’ve written about then that’s as good a time as any:) But I guess I’m gently (and boldly) encouraging you to say it all in your words first. Give the reader the gift of your perspective. Get it all out. Your words can be just as beautiful as scripture. Of that I am sure. Does that make me a heretic? (Oops, another ruddy question!!) BTW, I think you’d make a brilliant preacher, full of colour, life and enthusiasm. You rock. Much love. XXX

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