If there’s anything I’ve realized by tracking my raw emotions and unglued moments this week, it’s that I don’t want to be this way forever–I don’t want to stay the same. As I’ve explored my self-inflicted labels and recognized my exploding and stuffing tendencies, I realize what a mess I really am.
Don’t get me wrong, identifying and logging my tendencies has been half the battle, but even with the knowledge of some strategies, my process of change is so slow … two steps forward and one step back. And it is imperfect progress indeed, which frustrates my perfectionistic-check-off-the-box-so-I’m–a-success personality.
Oh my, I have so far to go.
And I’m realizing how much grace I really need, mostly from my own heart.
Last week was a milestone for me. I was scheduled to speak for the first time to the women at my home church and I had been preparing my talk for weeks. At the last-minute my husband got stuck late at work and I was on my own for the evening, with all the kids in tow. No problem.
So we piled in the car and set off for church in enough time to arrive early. There I was in the car, driving and trying to stay in a reflective and prayerful mode, while my kids failed to get the mommy’s-getting-ready-to-teach-others-the-bible preparation procedure memo.
And despite their loud talking and stuffed-animal role-play animations, I successfully kept my cool. Or so I thought. But unbeknownst to me, I had been stuffing my feelings of frustration and irritation as their loud and obnoxious ride-in-the-car behavior escalated more and more.
There was complaining as I stopped at Home Depot to buy the plant for my talk’s visual aid,
Arguing over whether or not we should go to McDonald’s,
And grouchy lamenting when the worker accidentally gave us Sprite instead of water.
As we pulled out of the drive-thru, the high-pitched imaginary animations escalated even more, and finally I lost it. I came unglued. Over the course of our drive, I had stuffed away retaliation rocks and now had proceeded to catapult them at the kids right there in the car, immediately transforming into an exploder who blames others.
And as bad as that sounds, at least not all was lost. I didn’t yell and I didn’t use insults. But even though I stayed calm, I exploded just the same. And while I explained how much I needed their help to stay in an attitude of preparation to speak to the ladies about Jesus, I blamed them for ruining my atmosphere and making my mommy life so difficult.
Ugh! Progress yes, but imperfect to be sure.
And then I remembered Lysa’s words…
“God doesn’t allow the unglued moments of our lives to happen so we’ll label ourselves and stay stuck. He allows the unglued moments to make us aware of the chiseling that needs to be done. So instead of condemning myself with statements like, I’m such a mess, I could say, let God chisel. Let Him work on my hard places so I can leave the dark places of being stuck and come into the light of who He designed me to be.” ~Unglued p. 37
So as the ladies prayed over me just before the service began, I surrendered my imperfect progress. I let go of my unglued moments, along with my shame, and purposed in my heart to let Him chisel—let Him work on my hard places and make me into who He wants me to be. Because I don’t want to be stuck in my hard places forever.
This week’s lesson is entitled “Four Kinds of Unglued”, and we’ll be diving into session 3 of the participant’s guide and chapters 5 and 6 in the book.
We’ll learn about the two types of exploders and the two types of stuffers, and study their characteristics and tendencies. And while you may discover you have more of a bent toward one type or the other, you may be surprised how you have utilized a bit of each approach depending on the details of your given situation or circumstance.
Throughout the week, not only will we identify our tendencies and track them, we’ll learn how to practice holy restraint…
“Holy restraint is the seed that produces the fruit of self-control.” ~Unglued p. 70
And we’ll discover about “finding the quiet” even if we have to step into a bathroom to do it!
“Bathroom stalls can make great prayer closets.” ~Unglued p.71
As you continue on this week in your journey through Unglued, be encouraged! You are not alone. Tracie and I are walking right alongside you in the thick of the muck and mire, and we are cheering you on!
And now it’s your turn! We can’t wait to hear from you! Nothing would make our sweet-leader hearts happier than to read what’s been happening with you!
So link-up your own post,
or share with us in the comments…
How are you doing?
What are you learning?
How has Unglued been changing your life?