I sat there trying to process what I’d just heard.
Everyone was standing, singing, but my legs wouldn’t carry me.
“Everything is either love, or fear of loss” he had said. Wow. Never had I heard all of life explained quite so simply before. Never had I realized every decision and emotion in my past had been motivated either by fear or love.
We don’t often have guest speakers at our church, and I am so glad Ted Dekker was invited that morning. He had such a shocking perspective on life, that just made so much sense. It was both new and 2,000 years old, like climbing into teachings I had heard a thousand times before yet hearing them for the first time.
As Ted was telling stories, I couldn’t help thinking about my everyday decisions, and emotions:
In the morning, I rush my children and I feel stressed. Why? Because I don’t want them to be late for school. I’m afraid they will be late for school. And I don’t want them to become adults who are late all the time.
When I’m faced with something new, I research.
I gather all the possible knowledge and tales of experience I can carry. Books, journals, magazines, people, Google, are all valuable resources.
When I faced parenthood at a young age, this was my tactic. Learn it all. Download the intel and execute exceptional parenthood.
It may seem that I grasped at a semblance of control over the uncontrollable for the illusion of being prepared. It did give me some peace though, and it armed me with some tools to use in moments that were beyond me. Most used was prayer; my mantra was a prayer for knowledge, wisdom and patience. I begged for the way to know what to do, the best way to do it, and to grow some capacity to withstand the struggles.
The thing that the research didn’t prepare me for was the overwhelming love.
Self-care has become an idol for many of us. Don’t get me wrong: we absolutely need to care for ourselves. Our bodies are a temple of the Holy Spirit. Neglecting that temple would be wrong. So yes, we need to care for it. But more than that, we need to pour ourselves out in love and honor the call of the Holy Spirit.
I am the first to take time to binge watch on Netflix in the name of self-care. Make-up is a passion of mine. I can spend hours pouring over a book while my kitchen sits dirty. Neglecting myself is not something I’m likely to do. Neglecting those around me is.