*For those of you who have asked, here is a list of my upcoming posts:
Thursday, October 23 ~ A very special Thank You Thursday Tribute!
Friday, October 24 ~ An extremely important day ~
A special post with a giveaway ~ don't miss it!
Saturday, October 25 ~ What you have really been waiting for ~
Highlights and a few pictures on my recent trip to the Grand Canyon ~
because I know you are just on pins and needles wanting to see those pictures.
This week's portion of our journey through Behind Those Eyes by Lisa Whittle and hosted by Lelia at WriteFromTheHeart takes us to meet Ms Spirituality.
Who is this Ms Spirituality?
Paraphrased from Lisa's checklist, Ms Spirituality is a person who:
Attends church, Sunday school and midweek services every week.
Heads up one or more ministries.
Volunteers for everything.
Displays through pins, T-shirts, bumpers stickers or any other sign that she is a 'Christian'.
Collects and gives away money to the less fortunate.
Attends many women's conferences.
Speaks fluent Christianese.
Listens to only Christian radio and watches only Christian TV is she even has a TV.
Prays for missionaries and goes on mission trips.
And anything else she can use as a public display of her true Spirituality.
As Lisa introduced us to her, I realized that I had not only met her before, I was her. Ms Spirituality was not just a mask I wore, she was my full body armor, hiding a lonely, insecure, rejected, and broken woman.
I wore the armor well for many years. I had it all, did it all, was all that and a bag of chips and was the icing on the cake. I had title, position, influence and power all within the armor I so proudly wore. As the women's Pastor, all of the women came to me with their issues, needs and prayer requests. As the church administrator, everything came through me first. If there was a question, a need, a prayer request, a concern, a ministry opening, a volunteer position, I was there to fill the void. Oh, yes, I did it all, from cleaning toilets when others forgot to show up to designing and decorating the new building, if it needed to be done and there was no one else around, I did it, because I was in fact Ms Spiritual.
But it wasn't just at church that I wore the armor, no not me, I also wore it at home. My need for self preservation followed me everywhere. I suited myself with this armor as a means of protection from being hurt anymore. Nobody was ever going to hurt me again.
Any nobody did. I was taught not to cry or let anybody see any emotion. I held my head high through trial after trial and received great accolades for my ability to stay 'strong' and show such faith through the worst of them. I embodied Ms Spirituality.
Here lies the problem. Armor is heavy. The longer you wear it, the heavier it seems. The person inside becomes weak and after time collapses under the weight of the armor she has so lovingly and proudly worn.
February 8, 2007 God removed the armor from this broken and exhausted vessel when I walked away from all the titles, positions, influence and power. Those things and that life didn't matter anymore. The doors to that life were closed forever.
Yes, I was a Christian all that time, I was just a broken and hurting one who felt the need for protection. I learned well that you should 'never let 'em see you sweat' or cry or show emotion. Ms Spirituality was who I was taught to portray. Don't be real, just be there. Don't show emotion, just allow others to dump theirs on you. Don't say no, just do it. What lies we are taught in places we are supposed to feel safe.
Through the past 20 months, God has healed me in so many ways. The armor may be off and the pride has been totally crushed but there are still remnants of my past training that continue to be evident in my life. I still have not cried and find it difficult to show emotion. But I trust my Father to hold my hand until the process is completed and the real me is nothing more than a reflection of HIM!!!
Lisa's book is a tool God is using to help me see what has been hidden, not only behind these eyes but under the armor of protection I wore for so long.
Ms Spirituality is dead and buried. I pray that I will never dig her up and dawn her armor again.
"My yoke is easy and my burden is light." Matthew 11:30 NIV
"I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you will learn to live freely and light." MSG
I will learn to live freely and light. What a great interpretation of a powerful scripture.
May we all learn to live freely and light as we walk hand in hand with our God. May He carry the weight of our brokenness. May my 'I' be sandwiched in H'I'M so that others will never see Ms Spirituality but only HIS reflection through my life.
Considering It All Joy,