So the start to my weekend got off to a rocky start to say the least. I was in the car making my 300 mile drive up to see my wife and daughters after 4 days away from them. The rain was pouring down so I wasn’t making very good time, the Cubs were losing and my family of origin had reinserted themselves into our lives in ways very reminiscent of when I was making shameful decisions for myself, my family and was actively acting out. It felt like the world was crumbling around me. I felt alone, abandoned and the thought *why is this so difficult* or probably more accurately, *why me*? kept circling through my head. Instead of choosing connection, instead of reaching out and fact-checking what was going on and where I was actually at, I used my phone to crank up some music. But it wasn’t the kind of music that I should have listened to, it was the kind of music that fueled the current emotions. It kept me firmly in the downward spiral.
How many times in the past I would have continued to indulge the self-destruction. To embrace the storm as *this is what I deserve*, and to give in. Thankfully though, I realized what was going on.
Luke 11: 34-36 “Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eyes are healthy, your whole body also is full of light. But when they are unhealthy, your body also is full of darkness. See to it, then, that the light within you is not darkness. Therefore, if your whole body is full of light, and no part of it dark, it will be just as full of light as when a lamp shines its light on you.”
Understanding that I was giving in and fueling the darkness and not the light, I gave myself one last guilty ear-worm and made the switch. Now, in the spirit of full disclosure I can not say that I went right for my Christian playlist. Instead I landed on Aloe Blacc, *The Man*. Read into that however you’d like, but that change in music, what I was putting into my body, my system, changed everything for me. If anyone could have seen through the rain and into my car, you would have seen someone unashamed of singing loudly (out of tune to boot), and giddy. The next 2.5 hours were all pretty much the same too, though the playlist changed up, it was all music that fueled more positive aspects of me. My brokenness (yes that’s a positive), my desire to have deeper relationships vertically as well as horizontally, that I am loved, that I’m capable, that I’m capable of a lot of good, that I have a Father in Heaven that loves me so much that He’d die for me and that I am richly blessed in so many ways (just open my eyes).
It’s amazing how easy it is for me to go down a rabbit hole, for the world to feel like it’s crashing around me. One challenging event took place, and I gave it a breeding-ground. I alone added to it’s spreading, I fanned it’s flames for a bit even and it’s amazing how big that fire can get. Garbage in-garbage out. If I was in a different place in my recovery, this message would likely be very different.
Eph 4: 26-28 “In your anger do not sin. Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.”
Not only do I have my moments where I turn away from healthy decisions, I also have moments where I turn away from a God that has never abandoned me. Regardless of the distance I have felt, a distance that I am responsible for putting there because He is always consistent. Consistency that has been there since the beginning, evident throughout.
Deut 31: 8 “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
I’m grateful to feel God, to know that He loves me and wants to see me prosper. He wants the same for all of us, and if any of us ever get into a similar situation asking some of the questions I was asking last Thursday I pray you have the ability to try and fact-check with someone. Because like my situation, I’d guess there’s a good deal of evidence to support God’s unrelenting love for you. His hand is in all things, I hope you can see that regardless of where you’re at. You are loved.