December 28, 2006

Living at peace

Tuesday evening Allen and I went to see a wonderful friend of ours who has been a long time mentor to his mom. She asked us down so Allen could look over her computer, but we ended up talking about so much more than that. One of the things that both she and my mother-in-law have emphasized to me over the past few months is that the words we say and the things we think do effect our health and our bodies -sometimes significantly. Many times our aches and pains and weaknesses have more to do with our spiritual and emotional condition than what we're eating or drinking. To be sure, drinking cokes and eating sugar stresses your body. But a diet of water and raw carrots won't be enough to keep you healthy if your mind is full of fear and anger. Sometimes these emotions can have strange consequences. I, for instance, have struggled with nearly constant bleeding for the past month. To the best of our knowledge this bleeding is from burst capillaries -much like a nosebleed. The major cause of this weakness in my capillaries is an over-loaded liver. The main reason my liver is overloaded is because of wrong emotions on my part.

Once upon a time I wouldn't have responded well to someone saying that I needed to stop feeling a certain way and would probably have lashed out at them.
"You don't know what I've been through."
"You can't tell me I shouldn't be hurt."
"I can't help the way I feel; it's my parent's fault that I'm so fearful."
I felt entitled to my fear and anger, and I felt hurt by their perceived disapproval. Gradually though I came to see that I was indeed responsible for my emotions -even emotions that were provoked by painful circumstances in my life. They (along with my husband) began teaching me and encouraging me with God's Word by assuring me that "there is therefore no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus" and that "God has not given me a spirit of fear but of power and of love and a sound mind." I started to see that by living in fear as though I was condemned I was denying the Word of God in my life. Slowly I have started to reclaim God's Word by saying these things and believing that they are true in my life.

Tuesday, our friend gave me some more truths to contemplate. As we were talking she noticed that I tend to talk about my past quite a bit and that talking about it visibly stressed me. At which point she said I should stop talking about it. "Forgetting what is behind I press forward..." Part of me wants to hang on to my past and lean on it. Standing up straight and learning to run just takes too much effort. And yet leaning on my past means that I remain a cripple. The other thing she said I should do is start claiming God's peace in place of my stress and fear. Jesus said that He has left us His peace, and I need to stop clinging to fear and start resting in that peace. Immediately after we left her my bleeding slowed, and as I continue to reach out for peace and proclaim peace in my body the bleeding has continued to slow. Praise God who makes all grace abound to us.

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