What consumes your mind controls your life…
I think I made it clear in my first video for reading the bible in 2020 that I was uncomfortable and fighting it. I’ve always felt that what we focus on is what we live out, and in the last couple of months its happened on a grander scale for me to see.
I want to leave names out because that is NOT the focus here, I pray that by me sharing my soul story with you today, as purposeful as the words are, that God is showing you how similar it is to something you may be going through in your life.
I created the exact experience I was running and hiding from.
Why Didn’t I?
- I didn’t want to be judged.
- I didn’t want to make a fool of myself.
- I didn’t want others to feel like I think I am better than they are
God used two people in my life that are very close to me to deliver an opportunity to heal old wounds. You see, as I have reflected on my own life, I have seen that I have always tried to be better than I was the day before. Whether this is my competitive nature, or God truly working on me (or both), it’s truly who I am. But it hasn’t always been received in the world in a good way.
I don’t want to talk negative about my Dad, as we have a good relationship now, and we have talked about many of these things. But for the point of my backstory I will share a bit.
We all have things in our life that God is working on, and I can recall many very painful childhood moments where that part of my character (as stated above, trying to be a better version of myself each day) would come sometimes in my life to not be a good thing. When I brought good grades home, it was never received good from my Dad. He would say things like, oh aren’t you special! I learned not to show him, because one time I got a spanking because he thought I changed a grade. Which come to find out when my mom called the teacher, I had in fact received an A and the teacher had mistakingly made the error and made a B into an A. I never got an apology that I was so seeking from him. And even one time I received a spanking because he felt that I had to have done something and I just had not gotten caught.
I don’t want to go to continue going into the ‘drama trauma’ here, because that is not my focus, rather for purpose of offering you some backstory. I can share so many other scenarios, and many of them include people that are really close to me, not just my dad. But it is a big part of why often times I have felt I don’t fit in this crazy world, kind of like ‘you’re damned if you do, damned if you don’t’.
Recently a close loved one and I were having an open and transparent conversation, and this person told me that some people think that I think I am better than they are. Like I am high and mighty. And man, talk about a dagger to the heart when I was receiving this message. But what is interesting is it wasn’t the words this person was delivering to me then, it was as if those childhood memories were being dug up with an old shovel. Even after writing the book ‘who were you before the world told you who to be’, I can see that I am still shedding, simplifying, and leaving old things behind.
This morning it happened again. A bit different, but this ‘old story’ again trying to come up from the ground with that same old shovel. Someone close to me had made a comment that honestly was not to hurt me but because I still have unresolved pain and hurt from things that have happened in the past it kept me from hearing this person’s words and instead focusing on the pain I felt. The comment was around the bible, and it triggered the thought at first that was like ‘see, this is WHY you don’t want to do the bible study and share on youtube live. And if this person feels this way, and they love you, there are so many more people that are feeling some of the same things. You look stupid!’
And I remember what we just read about in Matthew, I began seeing this bumpy and narrow road. And the reference in Matthew was what Jesus talks about the narrow path to heaven. “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”
I came home from dropping my son off and cried. I got in the shower, where is one of my favorite places to let go and let God. I could only see the common denominator being me.
As I prayed to God about it, He showed me that yes, in fact I am the common denominator, but that I needed to look at where my focus was. And that He was using these loved ones to mold me, shape me, and ultimately strengthen me. And that through my own pain and story, it offers hope and inspiration for others who have a similar experience. And then a big ‘ah-ha’ moment struck me between the eyes…
It’s time that the old shovel gets a restoration of sorts. And that shovel is me, it’s me!! I no longer want to see the rusty version of the shovel, I want to allow God to do the restoration work He is doing, while being fiercely faithful in the process. And the stuff in the ground that was buried, I don’t have to dig it up as I stated because it is part of my soul story, but I no longer have to hide it or bury it. I can share it and THAT in itself is the uprooting. It no longer gets to have that kind of control over me. And through this I can see that it is part of the restoration to be made new again.
Before my dad said those hurtful things, before other close family and friends said things that may have made me begin to ‘filter’ things in my life so that I wouldn’t make them uncomfortable. Even sometimes, often times, dumbing myself down, so that I offer grace. This is how I ‘thought’ I was suppose to offer grace. I now know that wasn’t grace, I was compromising who I was/am so that neither of us had to feel uncomfortable.
So, in ending, I am so grateful that this happened today. I came out of it with a bigger feeling in my heart that this is the process that God is shaping me. I actually used this analogy, and it is that God is making me into wine. I am in the process now where the grapes are being crushed. There is pain involved with that, but it wouldn’t be wine without going through it. And then the wine goes into the fermenting process. So I think the bible study I am doing each morning and sharing it #unfiltered with the world on Youtube, is the fermenting process God is doing on me and through me.
Do you have things that you are trying to bury, or not look at hoping they will go away? I hope to encourage you today, to ask God to UPROOT and MAKE NEW today. We all deserve the grace for ourself.
May today’s message of soulfood nourish you today, here is to your purpose and all that you are,
“My mission is to help others see who God created them to be and share their soul stories with the world, so they can serve God, make an impact, and lead a fiercely faithful life. “-Jena Harris
This was too good not to share, and you can find this on an awesome website I use a lot and it’s called Got Questions, https://www.gotquestions.org/narrow-path.html
THIS IS FROM THEIR WEBSITE HERE: Jesus says that the narrow gate leads to a “hard” road, one that will take us through hardships and difficult decisions. Following Jesus requires crucifying our flesh (Galatians 2:20; 5:24; Romans 6:2), living by faith (Romans 1:17; 2 Corinthians 5:7; Hebrews 10:38), enduring trials with Christlike patience (James 1:2–3, 12; 1 Peter 1:6), and living a lifestyle separate from the world (James 1:27; Romans 12:1–2). When faced with the choice between a narrow, bumpy road and a wide, paved highway, most of us choose the easier road. Human nature gravitates toward comfort and pleasure. When faced with the reality of denying themselves to follow Jesus, most people turn away (John 6:66). Jesus never sugar-coated the truth, and the truth is that not many people are willing to pay the price to follow Him.