Since sitting down at my computer 30 minutes ago to start writing this post, I have checked Facebook where I got sucked into watching an adorable video of a little 4-year-old explaining the biology behind our ears on the Ellen Show, filled up a glass with water at the fridge, grabbed a piece of candy to start munching on, watched a car drive into my neighbors’ drive out the window, plugged in my phone since the battery was dying (from all the Facebook video watching), and continued munching on previously mentioned candy – all before typing the word ‘since’ up above. #productivity
So it only seems fitting that I’m continuing to write about distraction today.
Yesterday, we talked about how fear is one of enemy’s favorite distraction techniques, keeping us from living a life full of love and truth as God’s child. I wish I could tell you that I’ve learned my lesson and I’ve got this saying-no-to-fear-and-distraction thing down and that I’m now the poster child for choosing joy and truth. But even if I did tell you that, you probably wouldn’t believe me because, well…of all the candymunchingFacebookvideowatching that was so obviously the inspiration for this post.
As if that wasn’t proof enough that I’m still a work in progress, here’s a journal-prayer that traveled from my heart to the page this past summer:
Daddy, forgive me. I’ve let myself get sucked into a lot of Satan’s schemes and lies lately….distracting from my focus, calling, relationships, heart, confidence, family, rest and contentment. (Distracted in) so many ways that I’m ashamed.
When I wrote that, we were in a season of waiting in this adoption process, a waiting that had not only been emotionally difficult, but that also seemed to have no end in sight. I was discouraged. And discouragement led to distraction, and distraction led to shame.
See the progression? We’ve all probably been there at one time or another. We’re stuck in the middle of a situation that seems unchanging, so much so that it feels hard to remember life outside of that pervasive feeling of stuckness. Each sigh that escapes our lips gives up a little more hope of things ever being different. And Discouragement gradually takes over Hope’s spot in our heart. But Discouragement doesn’t move in by himself; no, Distraction and Shame are his traveling buddies. Distraction gradually turns my sight and focus inward – on myself and my unchanging problems – and Shame beats me up for doing it.
It’s a vicious cycle. But girlfriend, if I have learned one thing throughout this process, it’s this: in Christ, there is always more to the story. This is what I wrote in my journal immediately following the above:
And yet, (I’m) so grateful that there is no condemnation in You – just forgiveness and freedom.
When I feel stuck, like things will never change, that’s when Jesus says He is doing a new thing.
When I’m distracted from my purpose, my relationships, my contentment in Him, that’s when Christ gently opens my eyes to see the larger story that I am wrapped up in.
When shame causes me to hang my head in defeat, Jesus says, “There is no condemnation in Me, child. I offer forgiveness and freedom.”
Maybe you’ve realized that discouragement, distraction, fear or shame (or all of the above) have attempted to come with all their baggage and make themselves at home in your heart. My friend, that is not the end of your story. If you are a believer, they have no legal right to make themselves at home. Your story is so much bigger than you can imagine. God longs to do a new thing in you, in your heart and in your soul. To exchange the discouragement for courage, the distraction for fulfillment, the shame for joy.
His story for your life is not one of condemnation. It’s a story of freedom.