During worship at church this past Sunday, I had a realization. I have been sleepwalking through life for a while. And not just because I have a newborn at home. Of course, there's that. But long before I was even pregnant, I started to fall asleep. Disappointments lead to shutting down tiny pieces of my heart, until I had finally pressed a button to turn it off altogether. Suddenly things I was passionate about didn't seem to matter much. The color and beauty of life faded to a gray cloud that seemed to follow me around. And just like when it rains outside, I got sleepy.
So often music jars me back to life. It almost slapped me in the face that day, and I needed it. As I reflected on the concept of awakening, I began to notice other issues. When my passion faded, so did my identity and self-worth. I was surprised at how they went hand in hand. Confining myself to monotony forced the best parts of me to lie dormant. I kept waiting for circumstances to change, telling myself that once things were different, I'd come back to life. I'd start to create again, be more intentional in reaching out to others, challenge myself to grow and dream. All the ways I feel alive and hopeful.
But when you build walls around your heart, you're not protecting yourself. You're trapping yourself. By the time I saw the truth of it, I was almost paralyzed by fear and self-doubt. Even simple decisions were overwhelming. And I wore shame like a blanket, suffocating my mind and covering the truth. God's truth about Himself, and how He saw me.
I woke up to all of this and cried out for help. I know what God's Word says, but I realized I didn't believe it applied to me. Then I was more ashamed, more self-loathing. But somewhere in that cycle, I decided to try a different tactic. What if I simply chose to believe God, even for just a week? Despite my feelings and recent experiences, just chose in child-like faith to accept His Word as truth for myself. The truth that He not only saved me from something, but for something. That He created me with a purpose in mind. That no time is ever wasted, no situation is ever unredeemable. That He will work all things together for my good. That He is leading and guiding me and will never forsake me. That I don't have to be perfect. And especially that I am His precious daughter, and nothing could ever separate me from His love.
This week I chose to put aside my negative emotions, erosive doubts, and debilitating fears. To once again embrace the God He says He is. And as soon as I allowed myself to just believe it, I felt hope rise up inside my heart. I felt freer, lighter, more awake. I remembered what I always told others- that faith is a choice. It doesn't always make sense. But when you embrace it, that tiny seed of hope grows into assurance and trust and even peace that goes beyond understanding. I'm not fully back to where I was, alive and able to dream with abandon. But I know I've taken a step back in the right direction. My heart has been awakened again.