• Barb Lownsbury

Pandora’s Box

Being brave, grabbing a better vision for your life, and making choices to move toward growth and healing is one of the most powerful processes you can embark on. When you do, you will find not only do you move closer to who God’s called you to be, but you become a blessing to those around you. Yet anytime I have reached toward positive growth, I’ve noticed I tend to get hit head on by challenges and circumstances that can knock the wind out of what I’m trying to do. It can be a bit like opening Pandora’s box. Remember Pandora? She’s the mythological Greek lady who was so curious to discover what was inside a box she was told not to open, she opened it anyway, and all sorts of evils were released into the world. In other words, things got really, really bad for a time. Yet when she got to the bottom of the box, Pandora discovered an important weapon in combating all those evils – hope.

As you start working through what’s blocking you, don’t be surprised if it feels harder before it feels better. It doesn’t mean you’ve taken a bad detour; it means you’re one step closer to grabbing a hold of genuine hope and vision for your life waiting for you at the end. Holding onto your vision as you work through such challenges is crucially important. It keeps you from losing heart. Sometimes we’re like a baby who wants to stay in that dirty diaper—at least it’s comfortable and we know and understand it. Give yourself permission to take breaks when you need them, but don’t quit! You willget there. God has promised you, and He’s true to his word.

Be sure to do things that nourish your spirit as you go through this life season. When dealing with all the challenge, it’s easy to get lost in the struggle. Take time for yourself, however small. Get that manicure; take that walk; drive and listen to the station youlike at the volume you prefer. Watch that movie you know you’ll love. Take a nap. Get out in nature. Play that round of golf. Do whatever it is that makes your heart smile, and remind yourself of the many blessings you do have.

Paul tells us in Philippians 4:8:

“Finally, believers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable and worthy of respect, whatever is right and confirmed by God’s word, whatever is pure and wholesome, whatever is lovely and brings peace, whatever is admirable and of good repute; if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think continually on these things [center your mind on them, and implant them in your heart].” (AMP)

You will have to deal with a lot of ugly as you work through your challenge, but don’t forget to look for the good things all around you, too. Search for it if need be! And remember—God is holding your hand through the process. It is a roller coaster ride with many highs and lows, but with God, over time, the ride evens out and you will disembark to continue forward on your life’s journey, better for the process.

For Further Thought: This week, take some preemptive measures to get yourself ready for the challenges that lie ahead. Make a list of all the blessings you have in your life. Not only will you feel encouraged when you do, but when you’re feeling attacked and defeated, you can take out your list and remind yourself of your blessings. And think of 1 sure-fire thing you do that always refreshes your spirit. Make a decision to do just that the next time you’re feeling overwhelmed by your emotions or circumstances.

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