The final episode in my quest to process the Women of Faith Amazing Freedom conference.
Marilyn Meeburg is the psychologist of the group of WOF speakers. A woman that I get since I am of the same profession. Leave it to the psych to talk about closure. She started with this statement, “Often we need to complete the experience – fully experience something – to finish the experience and learn what we need to.” Well, like I’ve said before, what I’d really like is for God to just make my financial situation to be instantly better. But truthfully, even I know that’s not the best thing for me. I don’t feel like I got myself into this so I need to get myself out of it, but I know there are consequences to my actions and that my disregard for my financial situation in the past has caused it to get worse and that while learning this is not easy the whole process is helping me realize the importance of budgeting and following that budget so I don’t find myself in this same place in anther seven years. I’m learning to live within my means, not just get and do whatever I want and use a credit card if there’s nothing in the bank account. That means I make some sacrifices but I still have a roof over my head, food on the table, and a car, which is more than some have so I recognize that I am blessed. Who knows when the experience will come full circle and I’ll have closure on the “Big Mess” of our finances, but working through this has given me a better perspective, even though I still wish things would instantly get better sometimes.
“God is greater than the feelings.” Now I’m a woman, so is God really greater than the feelings? Sure he is. “Even if we feel guilty, God is greater than our feelings, and he knows everything.” 1 John 3:20. After all, He created me and my feelings and knew what He was doing. He can give me freedom from the overwhelming emotions that I face. Marilyn said, “you have to feel it to heal it.” I so get that. Sometimes I try and keep my emotions inside, bottle them up. I know what you’re thinking … Aren’t you a psych? Don’t you know you aren’t supposed to do that? Well sure I do, but just because I KNOW doesn’t mean I DO. When I keep things inside eventually I break down and have a MAJOR EMOTIONAL EPISODE (sleep deprivation is a warning sign of a MEE). I’m sure my husband isn’t too fond of these and I don’t have them often. Usually I end up hysterically crying till I’m totally stuffed up and hyperventilating. Don’t worry, this only happens maybe twice a year and once I’ve calmed down I’m ready to cope with life again. I’ve felt it, and am on to healing. Cathartic really, just wish I could get better and not always trying to put on a good face and being more real with my emotions, thoughts and feelings.
While I didn’t take notes during the music and drama, Marilyn brought up a point made by Sandi Patty in one of her songs. You cannot go around, under or over the pain, you have to go THROUGH it. And God will enable you to do so, you are not alone. He will walk with you through it. God is bigger than the overwhelming feelings so I need to remember to grab onto my Daddy’s hand and trudge through whatever my problem is instead of avoiding it. Maybe that will help me face my daily drama instead of bottling it up till I explode. Knowing that God is waiting for me to comfort me and walk with me until I get to the freedom at the top of the mountain … oh how truly calming that should be. I say should because I think I often ignore that comfort thinking there’s something else I can do to make things better instead of running into His comforting arms and letting Him carry me through when I cannot make it like the Footprints poem so eloquently illustrates.
“For he has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son, who purchased our freedom and forgave our sins,” Colossians 1:13-14. God rescues me. Marilyn said, “If you are rescued it’s because you couldn’t do anything and needed to be saved.” How often do I keep trying on my own to fix a problem and just keep making it worse not better? When will I learn that I need to go first to God and seek refuge and rescue from the only place I can get it?
So with all of that, what do I need to do to get to where I am safely walking through the valley with God? Confess my sin, my error of trying to be in control of my life, and then I can gain freedom in knowing God is there to help me pick up the pieces and move forward. “But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness,” 1 John 1:9. Yes, He is faithful! When I confess my sins they are forgiven and GONE, the slate is wiped clean. “You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins,” Colossians 2:13.