Okay friends, I have to admit something to you. The smiling face you always see on my Blog Profile or my Facebook Page isn't always accurate. It might even be a bit retouched.
I didn't take this picture...a friend did...and I think her camera had some special app to whiten teeth and remove wrinkles. I wish I had that app in real life. But that's another issue.
What you are seeing is a person who has gotten very good at smiling on the outside, but who may not be showing you the true inside picture. It may even be something like an iceberg...you know...the "tip" of the iceberg? What you are seeing on the surface is only the very tip top of the iceberg...and it looks like you could easily go around it. But remember the "Titanic"? What was just under the surface was dangerously concealed from view...and it cost many people their lives.
Oh don't worry, I'm not going to "go postal" or anything like that. At least I don't think I will. It would not be in my nature to do anything like that. But I have realized something about myself lately...I may not do anything overtly to hurt anyone else, but I may inadvertently be doing my own self a lot of harm. Why? Because I am not letting go of the stresses that are overwhelming me. Oh, I say a lot of good things and I believe that God is here with me and that He is carrying me through the storms of this life. I KNOW He is, or else I would be an even bigger basket case just about now. But I am harboring some rather insidious fears and anxieties. I am smiling on the outside and saying I'm okay, but inside I am becoming a boiling inferno of stresses that I don't know how to control. And it is taking its toll on my body. I am starting to come apart at the seams, or so it seems. Physical maladies are starting to mount up...and I am beginning to crumble under the weight.
I asked our Pastoral and Administrative staff at the church where I work today how I should handle this stress. One suggestion was that I should just go outside somewhere and let it out...scream, cry, yell, let it go. Another suggestion was that since I am a writer, I should write it out. But I said I always try to write positive things for others to read. I was told to write out the negative feelings or heartaches and then destroy them. Put it down on paper, and then burn it. I thought those were good suggestions...and I am actually attempting to write more honestly what I am feeling...so bear with me.
Now don't get nervous or excited about what I am going through. But I would ask you to pray. Pray that I will practice what I preach when it comes to my own self. Pray that I would allow myself some time to unwind and rest and let go. Pray that I would not feel guilty or less than "perfect" if I can't handle everything the way I think I should. Pray that I would be honest and real and true to myself...and to my Lord. After all, He never said that I should carry these burdens on my own. He never expected me to be perfect. As a matter of fact, He knew that I couldn't manage alone...and that is why He came to save me in the first place. That's why He came to love me so much...because He knew that I could never love myself the way I should.
Actually, Jesus said in Matthew 11:28-30:
There is an old hymn that I absolutely love, and have sung it many many times in my life. But only recently did I acknowledge that I wasn't truly living this message...or maybe I was...the negative phrases of the song definitely apply to me:
Note the amount of paint on me is almost equal to the amount of paint on the cabinet I am trying to paint. But that is good. I feel so much better now. Thank you for listening...and praying.
Click here for a link to some helpful "de-stressing" ideas written during another time when I was feeling overwhelmed. You'd think I'd learn.