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In a nut shell : I'm a full time working mom, a Star Wars geek, comic book nerd, Disney enthusiast, hockey Mom, a breast cancer survivor of almost a decade and oh let's not forget such a happy, sassy, southern mess!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Life Lesson #154 ~ Trust Me, It's Not the End of the World!

"Trust that an ending is followed by a beginning." ~ Unknown

Ya it sucks, but keep calm. It's not the end of the world! How many times have you heard that one? But honestly isn't it some pretty good advice? If we react to everything life topples down on us, then we'd never get out from under anything. We'd always be digging ourselves out of a mess or running around like Chicken Little, warning the sky is falling continually. Now that said, life can get out of hand and absolutely feel like the world is ending. Life just has this way of crashing down suddenly, without notice and sending you your very own dancing Chicken Little. It's not the fear inside us that messes us up but what we do with Mr. Little's echo , "the sky is falling." It's our own version of the chicken dance which ultimately defines each and every particular chapter in our story. I think we tend to forget we have a choice in how we respond and react to adversity in our lives. Not everything in our lives deserves a fall out shelter or a nuclear meltdown rehearsal. Rachel Wolchin is so right when she says, "People too often forget it is your own choice how you want to spend the rest of your life." And that's the reality, we do have a choice. We can fall apart, let our world come crashing down, knock our own walls down and prepare for the end of the world. OR we can reinforce our foundation, trust God isn't going to let the sky fall down on top of us and walk out our front door confident in in His grace and mercy.

I can speak from experience, and I don't say this proudly...I have had my share of Chicken Little's appear out of nowhere leading me on more than my share of wild goose chases. More chapters in my story than I'd care to admit have gone sideways and even more sad, unfortunate moments have occurred while I knocked myself out trying to get into a poorly made fall out shelter. These are just those times when I wish I could have realized it wasn't the end of the world. But hey, we all learn from experience right? I'm not an exception to that rule either. Life can be puzzling, unexplainable and quite honestly maddening at times. Who's to say what's really going on behind the scenes or what spiritual battle is taking place, knocking ceiling panels down on our heads and releasing Chicken Little out on the cross streets of sanity and unhinged. The reality is even if it was truly the end of the world as we know it, God has this. Jane Clayson Johnson says it best. "It takes a lot of faith to put everything you have on the altar of God, trust in Him, and know that His plan is better for you than the plan you have mapped out for yourself." And that is the core of what we need to understand. Just because life doesn't go as planned doesn't mean it's the end of the world.

Loss is hard, Nothing about loss is ever easy, no matter what kind of loss it is. We hurt, we grieve and we let go. If we don't let go that same loss will consume us, and destroy us sending our lives into a nuclear meltdown. The reality is, we can lose everything if we're not careful. The simple truth is we have to allow what's happened to shape us, but never to eradicate our hearts and minds to the point of madness and hysterics. The fact is, "We never get over great losses; we absorb them, and they carve us into different, often kinder creatures." So yes while it may appear, even feel as if the sky is falling, it isn't. Our lives change yes, but our hearts grow and so should our faith. If not for times of great adversity I wouldn't appreciate those precious moments of peace and joy in my life. I'm made of many wonderful and beautiful memories, times that fill me with happiness and joy. But it is also those dark moments, the days when the sun seems blocked, the sky looming with smoke, and the air filled with ash that I find my purpose. If not for both the dark and light I wouldn't be the woman I am this very day. And to be honest, I've fought way too hard to become this woman to regret any of the darkness it took God to carve of me while sculpting my life into His masterpiece.

What I know is simple, and quoted beautifully by John Piper. "Every person or thing we trust will eventually fail us, except Jesus. Only He can bear the full weight of our HOPE." What we see as the end of the world may simply be a plot twist in the beginning of a brand new chapter of our story. I am forever an optimist, but I've had those moments when I too went chasing off after Chicken Little. I've been found guilty of carrying around a panel from the ceiling convinced it was the sky falling. We all have, let's face it. But to be a real optimist you have to understand that it "requires taking a step backwards after taking a step forward. It's not a disaster, it's really more like a cha-cha." So stop running around like a chicken who's lost it's head, grab your senses, take a step back, put the pictures back on the wall, don't rampage through the house or tear apart the pantry in a panic. Go ahead and  slip that ceiling tile back in place, sit down and take a load off your feet and mind for that matter. Not everything is going to go your way, and not everyone is going to like you. That's life. If I've learned anything in  my near 44 years it's this, "You cannot make someone love you. All you can do is be someone who can be loved. the rest is up to them. I learned that no matter how much I care, some people just don't care back. And it's not the end of the world." (lessonslearnedinlife.com)

Even in the middle of all that chaos, life is still beautiful no matter what is happening around you. That fall out shelter is still there, the crossroads leading to bonkers and cuckoo are just ahead. Don't worry if you haven't reached them yet, you will. But if you trust in the One who made you, you have nothing to fear. I am a stubborn, strong-willed and at times obstinate woman, but I have learned by experience when it comes to my fear, and the unseen battle behind the curtains of life, God is fully in control even if Mr. Little is convinced otherwise. Proverbs 16:9 says this, "We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps." (NLT) Look at Life Lesson #154 ~ Trust Me, It's Not the End of the World like this: it's going to suck that's a given, but it will pass and when it does you'll have quite the story to tell now won't you? Life is a constant balance of emotions and we have to be willing to ride those waves without panicking. I say when the pain comes, when the overwhelming need to take cover inside a self made bunker, remember to sing to Jesus. Also keep in your mind this little gem much like Rebecca Cambell does, "bless the thing that broke you down and cracked you open because the world needs you open." And so does Jesus my friends because being open means you've let go of what's been holding you down. It shows Chicken Little you mean business and you're ready not only to follow Jesus out of the darkness but to lead others out of their fallout shelters too. It's not the end of the world, it's the beginning of a new day.

"Close your eyes. Clear your heart. Let go." `Unknown

~ Christina

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