When Life Turns Upside Down
Updated: Oct 29, 2020
When we look back at 2020 we will see just how ____________________ we are. Fill in the blank and then really sit with what lessons you have learned through this upside down period in history. This is something I have recently done and this blog comes from this exercise.
I feel as though my life has been turned upside down in 2020. I have felt disoriented; ambushed by people and circumstances. I have had deep, dark, lonely times. I have also learned to lean in to my pain instead of run from it or distract myself from it by working long hours. This has been a terribly wonderful lesson to learn.
Throughout my life I have struggled with feelings of loneliness. Each time I have battled loneliness the outcome for me has been a greater, deeper relationship with my Heavenly Father. Up until 2020 I would fight against the loneliness until I reached a period of time where I am utterly exhausted. Recently, I have gone through another season of loneliness. The loneliness was so overwhelming I felt it to my bones. I could not reason my way through the loneliness. I could not work hard enough so that I could ignore the loneliness until it went away. I could not pray. Reading my Bible became very difficult as well. In stead of fighting this time, the Holy Spirit whispered to me, "lean in."
I leaned into the pain and overwhelming despair that comes with loneliness and I found provision for my soul. I surrendered and stopped fighting. After listening to a sermon by Pastor Michael Welch of Clearview Baptist Church in Travelers Rest, SC I was able to refocus from fighting against loneliness and doing more to get my needs met to learning how to "be." In learning how to just "be" I found the strength to "be still." During that stillness is when I was able to hear the Holy Spirit whisper "lean in." The pressure of feeling like I have to be okay and make everything ok is a heavy weight to bear. I felt the full weight of loneliness and despair and I stayed in that space. There were many, many tears. I had to give words to my feelings. God has given me a voice and I had to use it. I had to admit that I needed help. I had to humble myself before the mighty hand of God.
As I sat all alone in a hotel room miles away from home, I began to understand that I have to give up to get. To me, this was upside down thinking. I had a faulty belief system that if I work harder, serve more, love deeper, then my needs would be met; oh how wrong I was. I learned this is an incomplete view of scripture and my Heavenly Father. There are absolutely times that we need to work hard. There are times we need to serve others without expecting anything in return. There are times we need to love without limits. However, I have learned that I do not need to "do" anything to be loved, accepted, belong, or have my needs met. I have learned that I just need to "be." I have learned to just "be still" and allow myself to feel. I have learned to allow myself to be poor in spirit so that I can experience the kingdom of heaven.
Let me say, the Lord does not disappoint. His presence is overwhelming and His love consumes me. I have learned so much by looking back in 2020 to see all that I have learned. I will share more of what I have learned in the next few months in my blogs that I will post on my website, SusanTankersleyFamilyTherapy.com. My goal is to post one blog a month. Hopefully, something I write will be helpful to you. Like and share my blog(s) if you think they could be helpful to someone you may know.