Returning to Trusting the Lord 101….

I’ve done it again!  The last time, I wasn’t trusting that the Lord would remember that I desire to be married and have a family if I don’t remind him every few minutes.  This time, it’s a bit different, but the result is still the same.

About six weeks ago, a friend, whose church is very small, asked me to teach Bible lessons to the children when the adults are having their home group. I thought about it for a couple of weeks.  I would like to say that I prayed and received an answer, but that’s not exactly what happened.  I may have mentioned before that I’m not a great pray-er and wait-for-answer-er.  In any case, I finally answered that I would teach the children.

The first time I’m supposed to teach them is tomorrow.  So, I’ve been pondering and pondering about what/how I can teach them, to make absolutely sure that they don’t stray from their faith when they are older.  I don’t want them to feel disillusioned with the faith of their childhood later in life.  Therefore, I’ve been trying to think of exactly what I need to say, in order to make absolutely sure that these children genuinely accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior, and don’t just follow along, because they are young.

RED FLAG of DISTRUST!

Do I have control over these kids’ salvation!?  No, I don’t.

Will God’s plans be thwarted, if I don’t say the perfect words?  Let’s go with “no” again.

I’ve heard several people talk about how we must hold our children (biological or heart children) with an open hand, in front of the Lord.  We have to trust that His will be done.  There are no guarantees that they won’t stray.  That they won’t all go to prison.  That they won’t stop going to church as soon as they start college – or earlier.  The Lord knows all of these things already.

I do know that I have a responsibility to teach them with care and make sure that they are hearing sound doctrine.  However, what they do with it is out of my hands.  Fortunately, these kids’ families are pretty strong Christians.  Plus, the children have regularly attended Sunday School at another church for quite a while.  So, I’m not starting with a blank slate.

Please pray for me and the children.  I think I have found the lesson that I would like to teach.  I just did that in the fifteen minutes between writing the previous two sentences.

This is all in God’s hand.  May I be humble and obedient while teaching His truth to these sweet, little ones.

If I’m Happy and I Know It, I Don’t Write (But I know I should…)

(clap, clap)

16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.  1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

That title has been rolling around in my mind for the past few days; and I’ve been waiting to have enough time and focus to park myself and write.  Part of the reason I’ve kind of slacked off is that I’ve been feeling better about several things lately.  I don’t think I’ve had as many strongly HSP moments as I had been having.  So, it seems that I’ve been subconsciously believing that I don’t have anything of worth to say, if it’s not about being a Highly Sensitive Person.

Hopefully, that is not the case!

It is also helpful to remember that, although the HSP trait is a huge part of who I am, it does not define me.  Though I often feel like an exposed nerve walking around, my life is not meant to consist of merely existing from one HSP “event” to the next. And neither is yours, fellow HSP!

Since the last time I posted, the number of views to this blog exceeded 1,000.  It took nearly a year, but I’m still pleased.  Many people have ended up here by way of search terms such as “Christian HSP,” or “sensitive Christian.”

As a matter of fact, this blog was birthed from my doing the same types of searches.  When I couldn’t find much biblical information on being an HSP, someone suggested that I write something.  So, here we are.

As always, it is my prayer that whoever finds their way here – HSP or not – will find some sort of encouragement, will be able to relate.  (I really hope someone will relate, so that I won’t so feel crazy!)   Hopefully, in some way, the Lord will be glorified, too.

My greatest and only hope is in the Lord Jesus.  And to be sure, I would be a completely broken-down wreck, if it weren’t for Him and a desire to live as He did.  Though the high sensitivity is still very present, having an increasingly biblical perspective on life and circumstances definitely takes the edge off.

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.  Romans 12:2

Perhaps that’s why I have felt that I didn’t have anything to say.  On second thought, I think that this hope and joy should provide even more to say.

How have you sought the Lord in dealing with a highly sensitive personality?  

Doing the Opposite Today of What I Said Yesterday – Almost

Make me absolutely honest and don’t let me be too poor or too rich.
    Give me just what I need.
If I have too much to eat, I might forget about you;
if I don’t have enough, I might steal and disgrace your name.

Proverbs 30:8-9

Yesterday at church, the pastor preached on the ideas of “expansion” and “contraction” in the Christian life.  He talked – in part – about the usefulness of times of difficulty (contractions) in our lives.  One way is that difficulty has a way of drawing us closer to the Lord than we typically are in times of great ease and prosperity.  During times of ease (expansion), we tend to fall into the trap of feeling that we have accomplished that circumstance in our own strength, and that same strength will empower us to remain in the comfortable circumstance.  Obviously, as self-reliance increases, reliance on the Lord will decrease.  Intellectually, Christians (should) know that it should never be the case that we stop relying on the Lord to supply our daily needs – one day at a time.  But does it really ever play out practically?  And for how long?

Yesterday evening, we had our small group meeting, at which we discussed the morning’s sermon.  One question asked how close we felt to the Lord during times of contraction versus times of expansion.  One person in the group said that they are going through a relatively good time right now, and don’t feel terribly close to the Lord.  They mentioned that a few years ago, there was a particularly difficult period.  During that time, they felt much closer to Him than they do now.

I answered this question from the other side of the coin.  I have had financial and job stress for a little over a year now. Month after month, God has sustained me in different ways:  a large tax return; a couple of roommates at different times; friends who allowed me to eat with them; benevolence from the church; Christmas presents of household necessities; and more.  I have also been working, but just that income has not been enough to cover my expenses.

There have also been some personal difficulties:  disappointment with my current work situation; learning how to navigate being an HSP; transitioning from one church to another; experiencing loneliness on various fronts.  All of these things have kept me pressed close to the Lord, as I try to figure out what in the world is going on with my life.

I have experienced great joy and closeness, because of the trust that I have had to exercise lately.  As part of my answer, I also said that I hope that God will allow me the chance to trust in Him and depend on Him, even when I’m not struggling so much financially.  In other words, I hope He won’t leave me without gainful – and meaningful! – employment for too much longer, just in an effort to keep me close.  (I’m sure there’s some faulty thinking on my part, but it’s just what I hope.)

Already this morning, I had a chance to “prove myself.”  And almost failed.  Not even 24 hours later!

This morning, I woke up feeling a bit ill.  So, I went back to sleep for a few more hours.  (Okay, there are some perks to just working part time.)  Suffice it to say, I got several hours of sleep in.  When I finally got up, I knew that I needed to spend some time in prayer. My first thought was something like, “Well, I’m not in any particular distress right now and don’t have any new need.  So, I guess I don’t need to pray.”

What?!

Thankfully, the Holy Spirit immediately reminded me of yesterday’s sermon and discussion on contraction and expansion, closeness to and distance from the Lord.  Thankfully, I was convicted enough to hit the ground and pray.  Admittedly, I did not pray for a considerable amount of time, but I did pray.

I praised the Lord for being who He is.

I thanked him for His free gift of salvation through Jesus the Christ.

I tried to bring to mind any un-confessed sin.  And confessed it.

I tried to recall the prayer requests of loved ones.

Let me be honest:  I’m a very lazy pray-er.  And I do get distracted easily.  Praying “on-the-go” suits me more.  Of course, prayer is not really about what suits me, and I would do well to remember that.

In any case, I’m grateful for the somewhat non-dramatic wake-up call that God gave me today.  I don’t want to ever be in such a good condition that I forget my God.  When I do find myself in more positive circumstances, my prayer is that I will continue to pray.  That I will continue to seek the Lord’s face.  That I will continue to acknowledge that it is all from Him and all belongs to Him.  That I will always find reasons to cry out to Him – even when my heart is not heavy with tears and stress.

My Prayer

Last night, I prayed that God would let me not be an HSP anymore.

I know he made this way for a purpose, but to me, it just feels like I can’t have a productive life:

Feeling exhausted, because I lying awake all night from sheer excitement over who knows what.

Not being able to eat, because my stomach is tied into a knot. Again, for no reason that deserves that much stress.

Not being able to hide or turn off emotions in public places. This is fine when the emotion is a good one; but being in heart-wrenching pain does not wear well on the face, I’m realizing.

How am I supposed to work, feeling like this? What kind of job allows you to come in earlier or later, depending on your previous night’s sleep? Which job allows for interaction with others, but gives enough space for unwanted tear leakage?

The Lord will give me strength to get through this. The Lord has an answer to all of my questions.

I must trust Him more.

Job Questionnaires

In the past, I’ve had jobs where I taught people skills they need to search for and get a job. One thing that we always taught:

Leave your personal problems at home when you go to work.

Although this was before I’d ever heard of HSP, I felt like a complete sham when teaching that to my students!!

I mean, really. You’re asking me to compartmentalize my feelings? If something is bothering me, it magically stops bothering me, just because I’ve changed my geographical coordinates?!

You’ve got the wrong person.

To be clear, I understand that a level of professionalism is needed, particularly when a job requires interaction with coworkers and/or the public. I understand that you can’t spend your working hours on the phone arguing with a boyfriend, family member, or whomever. I get it.

The problem for me is that what is in my heart and mind is also plastered across my face. There is not a lot I can do to change that – try as I might. I can (and started to) avoid discussing problems with coworkers. However, my face will reveal my problems, whether I want it to or not.

So, today, I was completing an online job application for a seasonal retail job. The application included a questionnaire that asked the same questions about 3 times each.

Easy, right? I used to teach people how to complete these questionnaires!

The difference is that I was teaching them how to answer with their personalities, not my own. So, when the questionnaire repeatedly states things like

My coworkers cannot tell what I am feeling;

I hide my feelings;

I do not become emotional at work,

What on earth am I supposed to say, to avoid looking like a lunatic?! In the interest of being honest, I put “disagree.”

Unfortunately, “disagree” is not actually honest, either. There were also options for “strongly disagree” and “completely disagree.”

So, I don’t look like a lunatic, but I did withhold the truth a bit. I did misrepresent myself.

In addition to being an HSP, I’m also pathologically honest. I don’t know too many people who are as honest as I am. I mean, I even read skim the Terms and Conditions before I check the box that says “I have read and agree to the Terms and Conditions.” This may be a bit obsessive, but it is a misrepresentation, if I assert that I read something, but didn’t even look at it.

By the same token, how can I say that I disagree that I am emotional, when I truly know that I completely, unequivocally, adamantly disagree?!

I pray that the Lord will point me to jobs that don’t ask that question!

I tried to go back into the questionnaire to change my answers, but it wouldn’t allow me to do so.

So…in order to prevent lying, what am I going to do?

I’m not going to submit the application at all.

I suppose another alternative would be to delete what I have completed of the application so far and start a fresh one. Then, they can make an informed decision as to whether or not to hire me.

Recently, I’d started writing a post about my job search. It’s been pretty limited, because I am looking for a job for which I am qualified and that won’t exacerbate my HSP tendencies. Those are few and far between, let me tell you. By “few and far between”, I mean “non-existent.”

I came upon an administrative assistant job yesterday, too. It’s not something I’d be terribly interested in, but I really need the income. There was a section that described the type of supervision this position received. It said:

Responsibilities do not usually require using independent judgement.
Requires direct supervision.

Um. To me, that basically says, “Check your brain at the door.” Honestly, I don’t see how any job doesn’t require some sort of decision making.

Job search is not easy; and being a pathologically honest, HSP extrovert, who does not do well in jobs that don’t require thought, is making it that much more difficult!

I need to trust the Lord to provide.

Closer to My Lord

Today, I started out feeling fairly good.  Then, that changed.  I just started feeling down and wanted to cry.  There was a reason, but I won’t get into it, because it truly wasn’t a reason to want to cry.

With about 40 minutes left before time to leave for work, I started to cook something for lunch.  I’m horrible at just throwing ingredients together and coming out with a delicious meal.  So, I knew that whatever I concocted today would stand a pretty good chance of missing the mark.

I tried to throw together a curry, using tomato paste – from a tube – and a spice mix someone shared with me.  At no point did my bootleg curry ever taste like any kind of curry, no matter how stuff I threw into it.  Oh, and my rice turned out a bit mushy.

With almost no time left, I packed up my lunch and prepared for the disappointment of eating it later.  This made me want to cry even more.

At that point I did two things:

1.  I just begged God to help me trust Him more.

2.  I texted a particularly encouraging Christian sister and asked her to pray for me.

Sure, these are two things that I do with some regularity, but today was different somehow.  When I cried out to God today, it came from a place of really knowing that He heard me and knowing that He would be my comfort.  I would like to think that’s where I always cry out from, but after today, I could tell it hasn’t been.

The friend whom I’d asked to pray for me is a person who, after a double surgery, is praising God and praying for another community member in the ICU.  She is an amazing encouragement to me for many reasons.  Facing another possible surgery, she says, “I know my Jesus has a plan for my life.”  She always says “my Jesus,” and I do believe that she treasures her relationship with Him.

This prompted me to think about the depth of my relationship with the Lord.  How much do I trust Him?  How much do I want Him more than anything else?

When I got to work, I  saw that I’d received a reply to an email I’d written earlier.  The person mentioned the word “idol” as it related to my view of marriage, not once, but three times.  This was slightly frustrating, because I’ve never really heard an understandable, practical definition of what it means to idolize something.  I’ve only heard, “an idol is something you want more than God.”  Oh, really?  Well, how am I supposed to know whether I want marriage more than God?

This is something I may discuss further at a later time.

Anyway, this idol thing caused me to just do a Google search for “How does one know if marriage is an idol?”  I did find more frustrating definitions, but I also saw some good ones.

As I was working, I just realized that my heart was wide open and full of worship for the Lord.  It’s been like that more often lately.  And it hasn’t been like,

“Okay, now…feel worshipful.  On three.  Go!”

Believe me, there are those times.

I wondered why my heart has been feeling so much more open and excited about the Lord.

This may seem silly, but I’m sure this is why:

I haven’t been on Facebook in almost a week.  Well, I’ve been on there twice, but for a very short time each time.  I’m not doing it as a spiritual exercise; or at least didn’t start out with that in mind.  It’s just that I’ve got a lot to figure out in my life right now.  When I get on Facebook, I get sucked in fairly easily.  Then, my mind gets over-stimulated from all of the information, and I feel like I don’t have the brain power for anything else that I want and need to accomplish.  So, I thought that logging out of Facebook and Instagram for a week or so would help me refocus my mental energy.

Even the night that I made this decision, I felt more calm somehow.  My brain didn’t feel like it was going 1,000 miles per minute.  Usually, when I decide not to use Facebook for a day, I still feel like I just really, really want to check it.  I haven’t been feeling like that these past few days.

Not being on Facebook has not fixed my life.  But it sure has added a level of peace that I didn’t at all expect!  In that peace, I’ve been able to sense and appreciate God’s presence and His love in new ways.

For me, this gives new meaning to:

Be still and know that I am God.  Psalm 46:10

And behold, the Lord was passing by! And a great and strong wind was rending the mountains and breaking in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of a gentle blowing.  1 Kings 11-12

God does call us to still ourselves at times.  I am the worst one of them all, when it comes to this.  But what joy and love have I found by finally making a decision to do so!

Down the Twisty Slide – and Up Again

Yesterday was a highly emotionally charged day.  I like to say that I had what I call an “HSP flare-up” yesterday.  It began the night before, with someone telling me what a group of people whom I serve in ministry thought of me.  I admit, I did solicit this information. The answer was what I had expected, but not at all what I actually wanted to hear. *steps onto the spiral slide*

Yesterday morning, I woke up feeling miserable; questioning my whole reason for being.  I resolved that I wanted nothing more to do with this people group.  Ever.  *sits down on the spiral slide* This would be a tall order, considering that I have been involved with this group for seven years.  They are my community.  Cultural differences and misunderstandings abound.  But they are my community, and I love them.  And I can’t stand them at times.

I spent the morning questioning the Lord:

  Why did you put me with them? 

        Or did I really put myself with them, and you didn’t want me with them in the first place?  

        Have I wasted my time with them?  Learning their language? 

        If I’m not working with them, what purpose will I have in my life? 

    Is there anyone is this community whom I can still trust? 

        Where will I find community?  

        Who? What? Why? When? Where? How!?!!! 

Suffice it to say…this is not an exhaustive list of questions and thoughts racing through my mind.

*pushes off and begins descent down the spiral slide*

There was a catch to all of this:  A woman from this particular people group had invited me over for my favorite meal from their country.  I’d have to put my resolve on pause long enough for me to enjoy the delicious lunch.  (Don’t judge me!)

When I got to my friend’s home, a woman whom I (most likely unfairly) suspected of being one of my “most-(un)wanted” list was also there.  She spoke to me in their language, and I informed her that I would only be speaking English on that day.  I never have English-only days, even if I’m alone all day! In any case, seeing her started priming the pump on my tear ducts and got my heart all twisted up in knots. Fortunately, she left after just a few minutes.

Really, friends, if you saw this woman, you would never-ever-ever believe that she was on the list.  I don’t even believe it myself.  

The meal itself was straight out of an HSP food nightmare for me.  You see, there are two ways of making this soup.  The kind I like is the clear broth. This one had a generous amount of rice flour, which added a creamy, slippery feel to the noodles in the soup.  In textural anguish, I ate half of the bowl.  The hostess was very understanding, a fact of which I am very grateful.

She could see that I was not okay, so while making all efforts not to bawl in front of her, I explained what had triggered my emotional state.  I didn’t go into the spiraling details, though.  She was understanding and attempted to offer some insight.  Earlier, I’d received some other helpful insight, but I was still upset.

At this point, the “most (un)wanted” lady returned.  Since I had least allowed a few tear droplets to escape, I managed to act somewhat normally with her for the rest of my quick visit.  She actually needed me to help with something; and I was able to suggest to her next steps to take in solving the issue.  *pause mid-spiral*

Feeling a little better, but not completely cathartically satisfied (yes, I just made that up) and definitely gastronomically dissatisfied, I rushed off to work; with no time remaining to grab something a bit palatable on the way.  In the parking lot, I hastily dashed out yesterday’s post on my phone app.  Then, I read some of the blogs I follow.  One of the blogs had a particularly touching post, which I could not even read all the way through for fear of, ummm, catharting (made that up, too) too much right before work.  *resume sliding*

On the way into the building, I got stopped in my tracks by an intriguing – but dead – group of flower blossoms.  This resulted in an impromptu pre-work photo session.  *pause again*

During work, I usually listen to Christian songs in the (un)wanted language.  Yesterday was not an exception, and I continued to listen on my drive back home.  As I approached my neighborhood, I started singing one of the songs that I’ve sung in church before.  The next song is a song about looking back on the mistakes one has made, in the interest of building friendships.  Then, it implores God to lead back onto the straight path.  This song perfectly fit the situation that had me so upset.  I envisioned myself singing the song and giving a testimony in church – sort of a confession and an apology. *sliding mode: on*

Singing this song with all of my heart, I pulled into my driveway.  And the dam was broken.  The tears flowed.  All of the pain that had been imprisoned in my heart all day finally made its escape.   *destination end of spiral:  reached*

Following this much-needed catharsis, I somewhat expected to retreat into a state of self-pity on the sofa.  I did.  And I finally also did what I had needed to do from the very beginning of this awful day:  I took some time with the Lord.  I read from the Bible study I’m doing now.  Ironically, we’re going through the book of Job right now.

In a complete contrast to yesterday, I felt a renewed sense of joy and purpose today – even with regards to that community.  Yesterday’s despair hardly seems reasonable, or even real, anymore.  How does this happen?  How could I spend a night and an entire day in complete mental torment, and then have it dissolve the next day?

To be clear:  I much prefer this renewed state.  I prefer to be at the top of the slide, but not even planning to go step onto it.

How can I stay here?  And if I happen to start down, how can I prevent myself from reaching the bottom?

That remains to be seen.  I want to learn how to, at least, shorten these rides.  While I’m in the midst of them, I can’t even conceive of there being any other way to look at the world.  Afterward, I have no idea how I possible allowed myself to sink so low – even if only for one day.

The Lord.

The Lord is with me.

The Lord knows that I am an HSP.

The Lord is unchanging, even though I am ever-changing.

The Lord is faithful, and He always does the following:

 

      3He restores my soul;
       He guides me in the paths of righteousness
            For His name’s sake.

      4Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
            I fear no evil, for You are with me;
            Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

Psalm 23:3-4

Loving One’s Enemy: HSP Style

This is what the Bible has to say about loving one’s enemy:

17Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,”d says the Lord. 20On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”e 21Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:14-21

The Lord is very clear in his Word about how He expects us to respond to those who would try to harm us, whether intentionally or unintentionally.  As someone who is – by the strength of the Holy Spirit – trying to conform my life to the Word of God, I do not see this passage as an area of exception.  I know that this instruction is one that I must follow, and thus, want to follow.

A few months ago, I was uninvited to an event, at which my presence had previously been expected.  There were two guests of honor; and one of them did not want me there.  End of story.  I got crossed off the list.

When the friend who wanted me there broke the news, I actually cried a little.  I felt hurt, humiliated, bitter, angry…lots of negative.  Truth be told, I did not feel very close to the other guest of honor, but being there for my other friend was important enough to me to be able to put that aside for a day.

I very much wanted to complain about this to anyone who would listen.  I did not keep this slight all to myself, but I was delicate in my discussion of it.  Tried to be, anyway.  However, I’m also trying to do a better job of following the Bible’s commands about gossip.

In the months leading up to the event, I grew more and more angry, all the while knowing that the right thing to do would be to forgive and move on.  This would be especially difficult, given the fact that we all have very similar social circles.

In spite of my anger and hurt, I did not want to address the situation until after the fact, because I didn’t want to spoil the happy mood of the event.  A few weeks following the event, I decided that enough time had passed, and our paths had crossed enough times.  It was now time to make my feelings known and somehow clear the air.

So, I contacted the person who had revoked my invitation.  I told them how I felt, and that I didn’t think it was necessarily fair to exclude me.  As a guest of honor, it is that person’s prerogative to invite or un-invite whomever; but it didn’t seem that the decision was well-grounded this time.

This person responded to me in a way that might not have been intended as condescending, but it definitely came across in that way.

“Angry” doesn’t even begin to describe what I felt.  “Hatred.”  That’s a more accurate, if not entirely biblical, word to use here.  My current job can be done without a great deal of thought.  This is a blessing and a curse.  It’s great when I need to obsess over process something that has happened.  I can just do my work and stew over my emotions.  It’s awful, well, for the very same reason:  too much time to think.

The day I got the response, while at work, I (inwardly) yelled out to God about how much I hate this person.  I know that God can handle my emotions and my honesty.  Between my mental yells, I was repenting and begging Him to help me not react so strongly.

Here would be a good moment to note that this episode was one of the catalysts that caused me to learn more about HSP.  

I still knew that I had to forgive.  I also knew that the time would come when we would be in the same setting, and that I’d have to be cordial, kind, and friendly.  Just the thought made my eyes start to fill with tears.  This seemed like an impossibility!!

Learning more about Highly Sensitive Personality has helped me feel less horrified by the intensity of my reactions in uncomfortable or harmful situations.

The problem is that this awareness does not actually diminish the intensity.

Though I’ve started to really heal from the hurt of that situation, something remains:

There will always be something that hurts me or makes me feel uncomfortable.

And my body will produce tears, which will roll down my face.

Whether I like it or not.

  (For the record, I don’t like it.)

Just yesterday evening, I was thinking of a change of scenery that I may need to make.  While there will be some positives associated with this change, there are still some unsettling, upsetting aspects.

Again, with the involuntary, unnecessary tears at the mere thought of putting myself in that situation, which would actually be quite innocuous…

Guess what, people? The shaky voice and tears streaming down your face do not do much in the way of winning friends and influencing people.  Actually, that’s only halfway accurate:  people are influenced – to stay away from you!

In moments where I feel uncomfortable, angry, lonely, unwanted (whether rationally or irrationally), the slightest “hello, how are you?” from a well-meaning person will bring on the tears.  This has happened many a time.

Trust and believe:  these tears are not a plea for attention, nor sympathy.  I now understand better that they are borne out of having a nervous system that’s cranked up a few notches higher, even on a normal day.

So, back to the original issue:  how can I love my enemy, when standing there with tears running down my face?  I guess the answer is just that:

Love my enemy while the tears are running down my face.

This is a terrifying prospect. Absolutely terrifying, particular for a person whose sun rises and sets according to what others think of her.  And people who are crying for no apparent reason don’t get held in very high esteem, it seems.

But back to God’s Word:

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. 15My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. 16Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. Psalm 139:13-16

He made me this way, though I cannot imagine why.  Therefore, He also knows that I can somehow honor and obey him, even with this unusual chemistry that He has built into me.

Will it be tough?  Yes.

Will it be embarrassing?  Definitely!!

But “His power is made perfect in my weakness.”

A Little Setback

Well, today kind of got derailed.  It started out okay, even though there were a few unexpected things this morning that could have brought me down.  Fortunately, I had a bit of time after my morning errands to get in a quick, nerve-soothing nap before getting ready to go to work. The start of the work day was decent.  Then, I saw that a certain person had posted something on Facebook.  Enter downward spiral.  This is a person who would really not be healthy to have in my life, yet I want them there.

Anyway.

I started thinking of “why” I am so drawn to this person.  It’s because my heart goes out to them, and it wants to save them.  Why am I saying “them?!”  It’s not a “them,” it’s a “him.”  Anyway, wanting to “save” a person and mend their broken places is not the same as actually having feelings for a person, with whom I could actually have a healthy relationship.  It seems that I fall into that trap a lot, without realizing it.

Well, now I’ve realized it.  But guess what?  That doesn’t mean I just stopped feeling like that.  However, it does mean I’m in a place to begin to work on getting past this tendency!  But it still doesn’t mean I just stopped feeling like that.  (Thank you, overly-active nervous system.)

Later in the evening, he sent me an inbox message out of the blue.  It was casual, but then I asked him about something that I guess he didn’t want me to ask.  It was just something I’d observed on his Facebook page.  At that point, he stopped answering me as quickly, and really wasn’t answering at all.

Do you think for a second that I was just like, “Well, whatever”?  If you do, you might want to reread this.  🙂

What did I do?  I felt horrible for the rest of the night.  As has usually been the case lately, I completely rationalized the situation.  There was no need to be surprised at his behavior.  And anyway, why should I be worried about his behavior, since I don’t want to communicate with him in the first place.  I want, but you get the picture…

From this point on, my only thought was: “get home, get on sofa, feel sad.”  I did force myself to finish loading the dishwasher and then started running it.  Major accomplishment, since the sofa was singing its siren song.

I did land fairly quickly on my sofa.  Even before we started exploring HSP, my counselor had asked me to keep a daily record of feelings and issues that come up each day.  So, I wrote about this.  Immediately, I started to feel better.  Then, I mindlessly watched some videos online, which honestly, also made me think less about this.  I realize that there is pretty much no spiritual value in these activities.

And here I am now.  I have forced myself to write, because I want to be consistent here.

So, my issue in all of this:

Why can’t I just bounce back?  Why does it take this whole feel awful forever thing?  What if this would have happened much earlier in the day?  Then, how would I have found the wherewithal to function for the rest of the day?

Lord, I need your strength.  I need you to help me push through from day to day.

I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.  Philippians 4:13

Please tell me:  how do you respond when there is no chance for “downtime”?  How do you manage to “push through?”