Transforming my crazy

Yesterday I shared my crazy.

Today, I want to share God’s crazy.

Can I be honest with you and say that these posts this week have been hard for me? As much as I felt like this topic was something that would be good to talk about, to air out in the open, I have equally dreaded writing each one. I’ve agonized over each word. Praying for wisdom from God as I tackled the subject. As difficult as the three previous posts on loneliness were, this one is the hardest for me.

Why?

Because this one requires answers, ways to overcome loneliness.

And I don’t have the answers. I’m in the midst of this and needing God’s guidance as much as anyone. Look at the tagline above – “A Work in Progress.” This area of my life has big ol orange cones surrounding it, with workmen in hard hats and torn up asphalt. It’s bumpy, dusty and everything goes a little slower through it.

God has made foolish the wisdom of the world

But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. Whoever hits you on the cheek, offer him the other also; and whoever takes away your coat, do not withhold your shirt from him either. Give to everyone who asks of you, and whoever takes away what is yours, do not demand it back. Treat others the same way you want them to treat you. If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them.Luke 6:27-32, emphasis mine

There’s no easy answer here.

Look at that verse from Luke. That’s just crazy talk!

LOVE my enemies?

Be NICE to people who hate me?

BLESS those who curse me.

PRAY for people who mistreat me?

That’s foolishness.

Doubled over in my sickness, weighed down in spirit, my natural tendencies are simple. I want revenge. I want to reject. I envy. I am selfish.

So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed

Then Jesus, my Savior, my Healer, my Lord steps in. Then the Holy Spirit, my Comforter, my Helper, enters my life. And the weight begins to lift. The chains break, link by agonizing link. The road is repaired and the cones are put away.

I want revenge, God says, “Never pay back evil for evil to anyone.

I want to reject, God tells me to love my neighbor as myself.

I envy, God tells me to rejoice with those who rejoice.

I am selfish, God tells me to regard others as more important than myself.

::

I will not lie to you. This is hard work. This involves blood, sweat, tears, pain and perseverance. You don’t just memorize some verses and WAM BAM you’re better. Well, at least that’s not how it’s working for me.

The alternative, though…

Loneliness, isolation, fear, envy, anger, bitterness, the list goes on and on.

That is no way to live this life. Paul describes it as biting and devouring one another:

But if you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another. But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. Galatians 5:15-18, emphasis mine

Paul’s answer to conflict within the Body? Walk by the Spirit. It is only total immersion in the Spirit, allowing it to penetrate to the marrow of your bones, that will begin the process of transformation.

Freedom is found through faith in Jesus.

Our crazy becomes His crazy.

Miss Part 1Part 2, Part 3 in the series? Check them out!

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27 thoughts on “Transforming my crazy

  1. I just read this whole series of posts in my email (it still gets sent to my old email address so I catch up every few days) and I wanted to tell you thanks for being so open and honest. I think that is the best way to help yourself deal with your personal struggles. If you keep it hidden, it will only grow. And hey! Other people are going through the same thing, and it will help them to know that they aren’t alone.

    • I miss you. Mom called me Monday, as I was on my way to Target and told me she’d just talked to you as you were at Target. I felt so sorry for myself that we both were doing the same thing, with 1300 miles between us. It made me sad. I wish you and I could get together and let our children destroy our houses. I wish attending a birthday party wasn’t a special thing, but a normal occurrence. I wish our husbands could play music in the living room while we cooked up fun recipes from our Food Network magazine in the kitchen. I love you and I hope you know that. :) You’re my favorite sister.

      • Aw, that sucks about Target. I didn’t even end up buying anything because Jorja was being such a pain in the butt. We just ate pizza at the snack bar and went home. Definitely would have been more fun with you and your crowd :).

        Don’t tell Darren, but you’re my favorite sister too.

  2. Good good good. Thank you. I was needing to read these reminders. My prayer is a version of the old tried and true: Not my will, but Yours, Lord. I need HIS plan, HIS way, HIS heart, HIS strength to make those choices. I have no power in myself to accomplish this. It is my greatest desire…To love as He would have me love. It is also my greatest challenge. Thank you for helping articulate and focus on the tools. You inspire me.

    I have also decided on a new pledge: To the best of my ability, turn envy into inspiration. The main way I’m feeling lead to do this is in the area of my home. Instead of being jealous of people I know whose houses always seems effortlessly clean/coordinated, I will look at it as inspiration to keep myself motivated in my own list of tasks. I know it’s a superficial goal in the shadow of learning to love people, but it is one way that I can love people better…By turning that envy into inspiration. :-)

    Thank you. You inspire me. ;-)

    • I like your pledge, Haley! I think so often we envy the things in people that we wish we had ourselves. So what a great plan to turn that desire into action. Instead of begrudging someone of something, we can use it to spur us on to achieve it ourselves. I am going to take this on as my pledge as well.

      Wanna know a secret that I’ve discovered about you and me? Nothing is ever good enough. We both see the accomplishments of others around us and see areas we can improve ourselves. We hardly ever recognize the accomplishments we’ve made. You’re a wonderful momma, Haley! You are a fantastic wife, or so I’d believe from the smile that’s always on your husband’s face when I see him. You’re a generous, thoughtful, caring friend. You would be a blessing to anyone who met you, today, just as you are. But I know you, and you will continue to improve yourself and gain new knowledge and talents. Good for you, but don’t ever think that you couldn’t stop right now and be just what God loves.

      • You have a gift, Melissa. You are a wonderful encourager and have an amazing way with words. Thank you so much for the compliments and encouragements you have given me. I want to be able to do the same, and I’m working on it (Words of Affirmation is not my love language…I’m a Gifter and a Quality Time girl…If you were close, I’d be buying you something…probably a lunch date! Haha!) But I really do appreciate your words. Thank you for taking the time to brighten my day with encouragement!

  3. Transformation is scary, hard work. It’s not my default—and I suspect it’s no one else’s. It takes some bravery, some trust, and lots of determination not to let the status quo displace God’s plan, crazy as it is. Thanks for being vulnerable and sharing your heart. I’m pretty sure we could be friends—though you might have to remind me to call you. I’m not a big fan of remembering the phone calls out.

    • Haha! I am horrible at calling people. I love Facebook and Twitter because I can send a quick message and let someone know I’m thinking about them. I think it goes back to the whole conversation thing I talked about in the previous post. If I’m writing an email, message or tweet I don’t have to worry that the person is tired of talking to me. :)

  4. It really is about turning over our crazy to Him then letting it be His. Hard work for sure! But so worth it. I think about what I would have missed if I had not let go of these things (even if I still struggle to push it fully out the door), and I thank God for grace all over again.

    Thanks Melissa.

    • I’ve been with my husband since I was 17-years-old. Sometimes we’ll talk about how different we’d be if we hadn’t been together. We’ve influenced and changed each other so much. How much more so has my relationship with God impacted my life. I can’t even begin to imagine what I’d be like without Him. My crazy would be much more intense. Haha!

  5. good writing from the heart. loneliness is a difficult desert to walk in…a different wilderness….i’ve walked there, lived there, prayed for a way out of there. it was quite a journey, and He had His work cut out for Him, all i could do was give permission for His changes to take place.
    hang in there sister. soon you’ll see bits and pieces of His handiwork in your life, in your heart. just the fact that you’re honest and open is a great start. prayers going up…

  6. I loved everything about this series and related to so much of it, especially this season. I know it’s hard to write through the trials while you are on the potter’s wheel, because there aren’t the easy answers, just a whole lot of spinning around and around. I always say relying on the Holy Spirit is the easiest hardest thing in my life! But I suppose that is walking with Him. His overflowing spirit of living waters becomes ours.

    I also adored your comments to your sister and friend from home. And now I’m guessing it’s more than the thunder and rain that made you miss home. We must do coffee soon. Don’t MAKE me get a twitter and facebook account!!! And truly, I know where you live so you’d better watch your back! Haha! Kidding! :D

    Thanks for checkin’ in on me and my lonely little space. Your voice makes it not so lonely. Sometimes I’m like, okay Lord – it’s just you and me! ;) And I’m LEARNING to be content in that…

    The End.

    • Haha! Yes, I’m not avoiding you. Life’s just crazy, as usual. :) I’d love to get together again. It was fun. I’ve enjoyed your series that you’ve been running. I kinda felt intimidated because yours seems so professional and put together and mine has really been fly by the seat of my pants. Haha! :)

  7. Melissa, this was a courageous post — full of life — as you can see by our comments. I love what you shared over commenting at my place, too. We are works in progress and that is freedom in the journey! I loved your title by the way! Awesome.

    • Thanks Bonnie! :) I appreciated the encouragement. This was a difficult one for me. But, I felt like it would help others, if only to know that they’re not alone. :)

      • What I’m finding out Melissa – is that we all think we’re the only ones with these flaws – but we’re not.

        • It’s a freeing revelation. Once we realize others deal with the same issues, we don’t feel as much shame or guilt in talking about it. :)

  8. Ooooof, “I’ll reject you before you reject me.” I totally get it. It’s a very close relative to “I won’t fail if I don’t try.” You are so right. They both keep us in disconnected, more visible to the Enemy, more exposed – easy targets.

    The gazelle that gets isolated from the herd is the one that becomes the happy meal for the lion.

    The best posts are where you say, “yup, me”.

    thank you

    God Bless

  9. Thank you for your honesty. Often we feel guilt when we feel ‘negative’ things that we know aren’t exactly what God wants us to think. But I don’t think God wants us to hide our thoughts and reactions…He wants to hear us verbalize them with Him.
    That is the beginning of an enriched prayer life…we talk…He talks. We listen.

    Good stuff. Thanks.

    • So very true! I think God can handle our honesty. And what I’ve found it that frequently the things I’m hiding sound so ridiculous when I bring them out in the open that they are no longer a problem. :)

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  11. This is so very needed. yes, yes, yes! Thank you. Being honest with God about our “junk” thoughts, feelings, etc. sets us free.

    I like how you say “our crazy becomes His crazy” because it makes me able to stand firm in that His becomes mine too! His peace, sanity, acceptance, and ability to cheer for others rather than envy.

    Walk by the spirit – yes
    immersed in the spirit – yes

    Thank You so much Melissa.

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