Creatures of Habit

Strange, but writing out the phrase “creatures of habit” doesn’t bring me any kind of peace,  instead those words bring me to my knees.   On my knees to meet with Jesus who knows us all by name, who can release the same power in our lives that rolled away His tombstone and brought Him back to life the third day, a power that can save us, change us and rescue us from remaining “creatures of habit”.

My friend is going to continue to wait for an apology before he goes back to church, an apology that may never come.  So why wait?  Creatures of habit.

Another friend is waiting on God to show her what to do about a relationship she is caught in the middle of.  Question is, why didn’t she wait on him before she jumped into it?  Creatures of habit.

A dear loved one is having trouble reading the Bible.  She has witnessed God’s transforming power in other people’s lives, and wants to experience that transformation too.  The Bible sits on her end table day after day, waiting for her to pick it up, but she still believes the lies she was told when she was little.  “You’re stupid” someone said.  She still believes the lies she was told when she got married, “you’re stupid” he said.  She didn’t like those words then and certainly doesn’t like them now but they’ve become familiar.  So instead of trying something new, instead of picking up the Bible that is full of truth and freedom and promise, she sticks with what she knows best – lies.  Creatures of habit!

Someone battles day after day with garbage that was dumped on him years ago.  Powerful garbage, the kind that seeps into your pours and smells from the inside out.  He’s making progress, he’s gaining ground and then……creatures of habit.

Someone lost his temper the other day.  He thought he could keep it under control by ignoring it, by working hard, by going through the motions by telling himself he’s good and then it appeared and destroyed everything.  Creatures of habit.

Someone got badgered again.  He’s never taken the reigns to protect her, never understood his position of leadership.  Always thought someone else could say it, if he couldn’t and now she suffers every day because he never said anything.  Creatures of habit.

Oh Lord, deliver me from my sin and the person that I am.  Fill me with your Holy Spirit anew every day that I might soar high above the circumstances of life and be that new creation instead of a creature of habit. 

And Lord, teach me how to pray when I am on my knees.   Teach me how to pray for others, that they too will experience new life in you – and be released from merely going through the motions.  I believe! 

 

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Curvature of the Spine “not the kind that shows on an x-ray”

Recording your thoughts is more important than you know….

I use to journal all the time in blank paged books with fancy covers that smelled like Christmas morning, my writing, nothing spectacular or prolific, no special attention to penmanship or form.  I still write today in typed font, but it has become like prayer to me, and sometimes one and the same, because both of those activities are part of our walk together.

I don’t even think about including Him, we’ve come to a place in my life where He is  everything I do.  Without Him, I wouldn’t be here.  He’s patiently worked all kinds of miraculous interventions on my behalf and I could list them for you, but I won’t.

Because, what makes me stand in awe before Him even more, is knowing there are thousands of other miracles He has worked in my life  and others’ lives, that we never see, when we’re running, or ignoring Him.  He is mercy!

I crawled out of the bath this morning, carrying my heavy thoughts, heavier than my thick brown bath towel and they wouldn’t rub off.  The process of thinking is something we all do, but for some, depending on your generational makeup, thinking can push you right over the edge.  If we rely on brains alone, to work out every detail of our lives, we are depending on our own strength.  There are books and resources to lighten our load, but no other truth and strength for this journey called “life”, than that which comes from our Creator and His Word.  Nothing’s more freeing than living totally dependent on His strength and writing it down so others can too.

My bathtub burdens took me back to a recent conversation with a friend.  She had just started a new job, and was nervous.  We sat down on the edge of my bed and while folding some laundry I encouraged her to stand tall, and speak with authority.  Why were those words, the message she needed to hear?

Both she and I share ugly past trauma.  Those realities can keep us feeling like children, not the gleeful, playful kind of image most get when they think of children, but the “bad girl, go sit in the corner,” kind of picture.  Trapped and beaten down!

I’ve been asking myself why that truth continues to bob to the surface?  Those who’ve experienced abuse believe they’ve been bad, even if we know we’re the victims and not the perpetrator.  That “feeling” can stay with us and create a curvature of the spine, one that will not show up on any x-ray, but is there none the less.  Our voices can have a constant underlying whine that resembles a whipped puppy.  As if we need to apologize for who we are 24/7?

With God’s help we can see a clear picture of who we really are, we can stand tall, and speak with authority.  We become the best we can be, leaders, recognizing the gifts He’s given us to navigate on this earth.  We are forgiven, we have a new name, we are children of the King with a message of healing, belonging and freedom!

 

What Every Man Deserves

the sound of abuse

has a unique timbre

not the harsh consonant of the accuser

but the high pitched whine fermented over time

of the victim

it also has a shape

rounded and hunched

trembles and jumps

at the slightest mistake

bracing for the aftermath

and it’s not a fist

but the blow comes down with a force to match

doesn’t pierce the skin

and yet there are scars

doesn’t draw blood

yet they walk around bled dry

and empty

eyes with narrow slits of light

ready to close at the first sign

of its coming

wincing in advance

and they forget to open them

when talking to friends

because they’ve forgotten

what friends do

but afraid they might see inside

and accuse them too

or ask questions, why?

Why did it take you so long to flee?

Why did it take you so long to see?

Why did it take you so long to believe,

that every man deserves to be treated with dignity?

Cindy PalinImage