Joy Center

There is a phrase that I have heard before called “walking alongside one’s self”. This is a state of being where there is a too much thinking going on about one’s self and one’s circumstances. Instead of being able to enjoy the present moment, there is constant evaluation of situations, of the self, and thinking about other things (future plans, concerns, etc.). Too often, I find myself walking alongside myself instead of living from the center of who I am.

For me, I notice that walking alongside myself or living from the center is an issue of TRUST. When I try to be my own shepherd and keep myself “in check” by my own strength, that’s when I find myself walking alongside myself. When I rest in His leadership, trust Him to shepherd me, and remember His words to me “I want to be responsible for you”- that’s when I live from the center of who I am.

When Papa said that to me, “I want to be responsible for you”- He means that He is able to take care of me. I can trust Him to communicate to me what I need to hear, to remind me of what I need to know, to help me with what I need help with, to provide for me what I need.

When I live from the center, it feels like joy. A very tangible marker for me if I am living from the center or walking alongside myself is how easy it is for me to laugh and smile. When I am feeling serious and prone to defensiveness, this is an indicator to me that I am walking alongside myself and not living in trust. When I am quick to laugh and smile and be playful, this is an indicator that I am closer to living from the center of my true identity as His beloved daughter.

I have heard it said before that one marker of emotional maturity is a person’s ability to remain in joy; and when they are “bumped out of” the place of joy, how quickly he or she is able to return to that joy center.

It boils down to this:

Walking alongside myself looks like having my eyes fixed on myself. Living from the center looks like having my eyes fixed on Him.

This is the lifelong journey of walking with Jesus… do whatever it takes to keep your eyes fixed on Him. In whatever season you are in, whatever your circumstances are, search out what it looks like for you to fix your heart, mind, and eyes on Him. Then look again and again and again and again…

Jesus, thank You for being the Lifter of our head and the Lifter of our eyes. Thank You for being our Helper, Holy Spirit. We trust You.

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