Because God doesn't force himself on us

“I’m good, you’re good, we’re all good.” (insert rolling eyes)

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I’ve been complaining about the way people lie about how they’re really doing for years, but somewhere along the way I watched Madagascar and picked up some really bad habits from the monkeys & penguins … I never flung poo at anyone, well … not any real poo … but I got really good at, “smile and wave boys, smile and wave.”

Because let’s get real, people ask you how you’re doing, but they don’t really give a rip … and if you actually unload it all on them, they start avoiding you … AND if you expect the real, raw answers from them when you ask...they avoid you even more.

So … somewhere I picked up the notion that to be humble and meek and exemplify the fruit of the Spirit that meant doing the good I know I ought to do. …. And the good things were to overlook offenses, consider others better, be kind, use your words to build up, be gentle, love covers a multitude of sin …. And although all these things are true … straight up truth from the Word of God … they have no power to set you free if you’re doing it all in your own flesh.

Tucking away every negative emotion, I created a breeding ground for bitterness. Never did I identify my emotions, never did I say, “Hey God, I’m feeling a little lonely, feeling a little taken advantage of, feeling like I’m not really known or understood.”

It wasn’t common practice to find a safe place to share my heart without inviting criticism, judgment, and even gossip, so instead of running to the shelter of Jesus, I habitually started stuffing my emotions down into the dark places of my soul where the enemy works, and began snipping off the nasty weeds that peeked out on the surface.

Pretty it was not, but pruning never is, right?

Feeling anger start to boil … snip snip … anger doesn’t bring about the righteous life God desires .. snip snip … choose joy! …. Negative thoughts … snip snip … take every thought captive and make it obey Christ … snip snip …. but she is a lying whore … snip snip … she is made in the image of God and is loved, have compassion … snip snip … urg…. What an idiot …. Eek .. snip snip .. God hates pride … be humble…. Feeling taken advantage of … snip snip …. You know the good you ought to do, just do it .. snip snip.

I battled every lie and negativity with the truth of God’s Word, yet still I spent most of my time snip snipping away at the byproduct of the huge root that stayed lodged deep in the pit of me. We can all manufacture fruit in our flesh, but without the Holy Spirit it’s powerless.

Learning about emotional health jumpstarted my ability to ask myself great questions about how I was feeling? “But why do I feel this way, what is the root of it, why does that bother me so much?” As I began to ask really hard questions when I faced such raging emotions, I started inviting the Holy Spirit into the healing process. I couldn’t snip anything else away, I was tired of snipping and wanted it gone.

As I confessed these emotions to the Lord, as I brought them into the light where His power heals, I began being transformed by the power of His Word. I no longer had to snip off the tips and manage them, He just began to pluck them out one by one. I could safely confess loneliness and He gently answered, “I will never leave you, I see you, you are accepted by me.” I could offer my anger and acknowledge what His heart is concerning it and He so kindly took it, saying sweetly, “Rejoice, give thanks, pray, seek my face, be still and know.” I could admit my pride and He would respond, “Good, sweet child, now that you’ve admitted it, we can deal with it.”

Life giving power truly is only found in the Spirit of God, nothing in our flesh has anything good to offer. My flesh could snip at things that lingered in the dark day after day after day, but it wasn’t until I let Him help me bring my own junk out of the darkest crevices of my heart, saying them in confession so light could wash over them, that healing began to take place, that life-giving power began to change me from the inside out.

I was convicted quickly, repented quickly (most of the time), and felt like I was in a sweet spot of fellowship with the Lord, being led by the Spirit, and experiencing emotional health.

But then….

I started using an essential oil that inhibits the enzymes that breakdown elasticity and collagen, these forty year old eyes trying to get crow’s feet need all the help they can get. This oil also can be taken internally to support a healthy inflammatory response (hello old joints) and promote a healthy metabolism (this body isn’t as fast as she once was). So...internally and externally I diligently used this blend designed to be your go-to for a true inside-out approach to aging, vitality, overall wellness, and quite frankly, that fountain of youth glow.

After about a month, my skin was awesome and my eyes looked more fresh than ever, but something funky was going on emotionally that I couldn’t wrap my mind around. I had always been good at identifying my crap, working on what I could fix, and inviting God into fixing what I couldn’t, but this …. It was a new something I still can’t really pinpoint, but it was yucky.

Another month went by and I quit my marriage twice, stopped mothering in my heart, gave my kids away in my mind, and had a screw-the-world-and-everybody-in-it attitude. And God … forget that crap too because I just wasn't sure if following Him was worth it. I was believing all kinds of new lies and I was miserable!!! (and all my family said amen!)

I wasn’t able to fix my own mess, nothing to snip, I couldn’t even identify my feelings to confess them, I was foreign even to myself. Desperately I just kept fighting to believe truth, losing mostly, but fighting nonetheless.

Two months into my wrecked out crisis, I read a friend’s post that started something like this:

“If you have felt taken back to a dark and painful place, if a dam has been opened and the tears won’t stop, if you are hurting from something you thought was long ago closed and the only thing different in your life is the new bottle of Yarrow Pom essential oil you have been using .. this is for you."

WHAT … I’m a wrecked out mess and don’t even know what my problem is and the ONLY thing different is that stupidly expensive bottle of Yarrow Pom!!!!

I kept reading and had no idea the emotional benefit (benefit mostly comes after brokenness) … she went on to explain that when our bodies are introduced to new chemistry, especially pure perfect plant chemistry (like essential oils), then our bodies have new tools to work with, like having a new key that opens the locks to areas that we have previously not been able to access and clear out. YEP!

So this Yarrow Pom, unknowingly by me, had been the tool God used to unlock the door that had been holding this root system of heavy burdens and bitterness, both physically and emotionally. When it was unlocked, all kinds of junk oozed out into me … confusion, disappointment, hurt, lies ….all of the enemies tactics and schemes that fester in dark places … loneliness, bitterness, pride, jealousy, anger …. You name it, I think every cell in me felt the overload. Every area of my life was impacted by the unlocking of this secured dark place that only the Lord could heal.

There I was in awed revelation that my funk was triggered by all the junk that had been dormant for years, but still I couldn’t do anything but feel it all … feel it all deeply, and acknowledge and identify every nasty emotion, thought, and feeling to the Lord.

I found myself asking, what can I do to fix this, to get this over quickly, and all I kept hearing was … LIES!! More lies from the enemy …. Yep, everyone wants Yarrow Pom & Jesus now, right?

I clung to truth, even though my mind didn’t feel it was true. I kept washing myself with the Word but never felt like I would get back to that sweet spot. Sadness and grief and all kinds of emotions that I hadn’t felt in a really long time threatened to drown me.

Then one day, just like that, I walked by my rose bush and remembered they would need pruning shortly and God spoke in my mind, “You will come out here and cut back this rose bush and in due time they will grow back in full force, producing more buds than last year. Pruning is good and purposeful. But, if you were to come out here with your shovel and dig up the root of your rose bush, there would be no more sign of roses. You have been pruned long enough. I told you that this next year would be one where you help women believe truth over lies, don’t you think it was necessary that we dig up all of yours first? I had to dig out the root!!!"

And just like that all the nasty funk and emotional junk was gone. There was no transition back into the sweet spot, it was immediate fellowship, immediate mindset shift, immediate flooding of truth to be believed.

I can’t explain what all God did in my heart. I can’t even identify and label all the areas He healed up in me, all I know is that I’m not who I was just a few months ago, and for that I am thankful.

He could’ve brought me into these new places without the use of essential oils, He is the ultimate healer, but He chose to use a tool that works with the chemistry of my body to unlock the hidden places I had stored in secret for so long.

Jesus is enough for us!!! He gives us everything we need for life and godliness, He is our source of hope and strength and deliverance. He is ALL WE NEED, but thanks be to God He gives us tools and resources and help to draw us into Himself. He gives us people to commune with, beauty to behold, dreams to offer hope, and acorns to recognize greatness has small beginnings…. and even essential oils to open stuck doors because He isn’t a God who forces Himself on us.

Maybe you need the life-giving power of Jesus today … maybe you need the unlocking potential of Yarrow Pom …. I’m here to help you with both.