The breath that catches.
The pounding of truth inside.
The work and dance and freedom of the threshing floor.
There I stood with equal parts of fear and yearning. The fear of letting go of something because the unknown felt too all-consuming and the yearning to finally be free of what I knew wasn’t working for me any longer.
I’d been here before
The last time it was with my grief.
It had become everything. How could it not? I mean I am a woman who lost her three babies, a woman who navigates this earth without her three alongside her, a woman who will forever wonder who those would be seven-year-olds would be today.
Somehow my grief had surpassed being my story and had become my everything.
Except grief can’t be our everything because then it becomes our idol and our identity.
So I did the work to receive my healing because grief being everything did not honor my three, glorify God, or tell my whole story. There on the threshing floor, I handed it to Jesus, not knowing this would be our place to meet again.
About forty days into our new, weird, and difficult lives post-COVID what started as show up and serve had quickly become hustling for my enoughness. So I took a break.
No workshops, no work, and no social media for a week. It felt impossible and without it, I knew the resentment and fatigue that was building would take me down.
By day two I knew this break needed to be a two-week sabbatical.
The first week was brutal. I was bored. Felt completely purposeless and invisible. And the pressure for God to show up and reveal some great wonder to me didn’t bring me comfort, truthfully it only pissed me off.
Seriously, two weeks?
What am I going to do for two weeks?
I was pissed, frustrated, and most of all, I was disappointed.
I’ve known disappointment before, in some ways, we’d become old friends.
Two back surgeries in high school and a year in a body cast which seemed to set in motion the demise of so many lives, the demise that somewhere along the way I took responsibility for, the demise of disappointment that was beyond triggered in this life of COVID for me.
Disappointment went from being an old friend to a go-to feeling.
What are your go-to feelings?
You know those feelings you feel like you slide into so quickly they feel automatic?
The feelings the people who love you most can see and feel from a mile away.
The feelings that you never feel awesome about on the other side of unhealthily expressing them.
Feelings like control, fear, bitterness, anxiety, defensiveness, apathy, anger, offensiveness, scarcity, shame, worthlessness. Basically those feelings you would call bad except I jump in all therapist like and remind you that there are no bad feelings, just ones that are more fun to feel.
Has this feeling, your go-to feeling, become your idol and identity?
I promise, I promise and know, with a newfound walking anointed authority, that these feelings are not your truth. No matter how much they may feel like it. I also promise that Jesus wants to heal them.
Stick with me, please, no matter who you think Jesus is.
And, let me show you what He showed me.
Jesus will work on it even without you, even if you have no idea who he is, or think I am crazy for believing Him to be who I believe He is. You can hold onto these go-to feelings so tightly they become your everything, your idol and identity. He’ll still work on it. He’ll still work on you, which means loving you. He will wait. He will wait for you to turn to Him with it so He can sit beside you and say,
Me too daughter, son, me too.
And then He’ll ask you,
Can I have it?
And then, my prayer for you, is that with a deep breath of equal parts faith and fear you’ll hand it over to Him. You’ll hand it over to Him because of how you feel when he sees you. Because you can’t possibly hold it yourself any longer. Because you must.
Then He will wash it clean with His blood – gone with every last drop poured out for you. He will then drop it to the threshing floor where it obliterates into ash and chaff that is both blown away with the mighty mother breath of the Holy Spirit and washed away in God’s crystal clear nourishing stream.
At first, you will feel the breeze and watch the stream in disbelieving awe and then you’ll quickly remember that now you are bare – naked even. You’ll look down into your empty hands and your brain will try to convince you of the lies of the world and shame.
Get it back. Now! You need it. You aren’t enough just you. And you never will be. Take it back, you deserve that pain.
Then Her breeze will brush against your skin once more or a random trickle from His cool stream somehow finds its way to your pinky toe and you remember to look up. You see Jesus, you feel Jesus. And He says,
Yes, you are, especially with this,
as he hands you a crown of purified gold and places it, not on your head, but around your heart.
And then He kisses you in a warm embrace where you feel it all – the glory and power of Father, the love and grace of The Son, and the joy and breath of Spirit as if receiving the breath of life, new life, all over again.
Then, suddenly you realize, They’ve swept you up into a dance around the threshing floor, the threshing floor you once thought, for sure, would be the place of your demise.
And, with a soft touch of his hand to lift your face to His, Jesus reminds you,
Daughter, Son, this is the place of your rise.