This time last year, I was heading into 2017 on a mission to “detox the stress.” And to be honest, I fell flat on my face! Last year was one of the most stressful years of my life! I seemed to accomplish very little yet, it ended on tremendous revelation and hope.
We moved around quite often with ideas we could stay put and I could cut out all the bad things from my life and really develop my next project. We took on projects that were too much to handle and we honestly bit off more than we could chew. Which made my issues with jaw joint dysfunction far worse. Pain ensued and insomnia set in.
I saw numerous doctors and specialists throughout the year who gave me many medications and supplements and dietary restrictions. I took a sleep study which showed nothing wrong with my breathing. I saw a TMJD expert and bought a mouthguard that made my head hurt worse. The pressure was mounting. I was overwhelmed. We had intense travel planned and there were plenty of good times (especially during our trip to Israel) but, I was tired and I went into the holiday season an absolute mess.
I prayed, I sought advice, I got counseling, I bought books. (If you could see all of the how-to books I have that I am about to pitch into the bay behind me you would laugh or cry. I say, “Laugh!”). I didn’t know how to get out of this hamster wheel.
During the Christmas season, my friend told me about a lady in Tennessee who might be able to help me pinpoint the source of my issues. Without going into too many details, I went into her office and immediately started crying. I told her that I was a mess and she said, “You’re in the right place.” She did some testing and found my thyroid was off, which I knew, and put me on four supplements that made a difference the first day. She didn’t shame me for being “a mess.” She didn’t charge an arm and a leg. And she was confident that I would feel better.
She knew that I had severe joint issues through her tests. She also picked up that I had been bitten by an insect which could be the source of all of these off balance results. I didn’t tell her any of this.
The day before, I had been in Target wanting to find things for the kitchen and bath that were peppermint. When she tested to see what scent could help me as she is an aromatherapist, she tested and said, “Wow, I never thought it would have been peppermint.” More tears!
Her company is called, “Breath of Life.” The night I saw her, I pulled out my clay bracelets with small brass charms and the one which fell on my wrist said, “Breath of Life.” Tears of hope came again.
I realized I had put on a Detox the Stress challenge without really knowing how to de stress last year. Nothing had worked out like I thought it would. Everything I counted on by self effort was falling apart! And many things I was doing I was doing out of shame and fear.
I began to look UP for my new season rather than right or left. I knew I had exhausted all of my own resources and I needed to let go of the firm grip of control that I had been exercising. (Insert, “Clean yourself up, Suzanne.”).
I started to go to people who were important to me to tell them how much they meant to me and to tell them I was sorry if I had hurt them. It felt so good to release things that had hurt me, too. Just to forgive. Forgive. Forgive. And to be forgiven. And to know I was forgiven by my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, was being renewed in my heart.
The word, “Reconciliation” kept coming up in my spirit. Then, I heard, “Restoration!”
As the new year approached and the rain stopped, the wind picked up, and the fireworks exploded, I felt freer than ever in my life.
It feels good to admit my mistakes and self-effort. To expose my pride, shame, and fear is okay to me if it might help you loosen your grip over your life. You know, that grip of perfectionism. I was stuck in it. I was stuck in people pleasing and failing to please anyone! Ha!
But when I really started to have grace for myself and others, I started to see a new level of being free to be who God made me to be. To begin to hear and receive how much He loves me and made me uniquely began to beat in my heart.
This 2018 New Years Challenge is named “Restore & Release.”
No matter your faith, you are invited to join this challenge. I love you and want you to know that you are not your baby abs, cellulite, thigh gap, size, or body weight or anything else that tells you otherwise.
Restoration is coming. Open your heart. Loosen your grip. Exercise with JOY. And remember, You Are Worth This!
Love and Happy New Year!
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