Today, I talked about my fear of being dismissed by so many people in life that I make myself paralyzed. Then, when finally confronted by it, it turns to anger and that person(s) tune me right out which can exacerbate situations. It happened talking to Thia. I used to be able to have great conversations with her. Over the years, things have changed. Nonetheless, I decided to call her tonight. The conversation started out well. Then, as usual (in any conversation with anyone else also), when she asked questions to clarify something, and I began to do so, suddenly she became annoyed and interrupted me. Then, she abruptly told me she had a phone call coming in and quickly hung up.
I wanted to cry like I usually do but the tears wouldn’t come. Have I become numb, I wondered to myself. My thoughts turned to anger feeling betrayed by another “normal” person who just doesn’t want to understand me. Or was I betrayed by someone who spoke ill of me and she’s listening to those rumors? There are a lot out there you know. But overall, once again, what am I not getting?!
Shortly afterwards, I received a notification of the premier of this week’s Faith Encouraged T.V. by Father Barnabus Powell as part of the Ancient Faith Ministries. It was titled “It’s all about Jesus Christ”. I felt this was an excellent cue to redirect my thoughts and feelings before they get the best of me.
Father Barnabus talked about how “the Orthodox Christian Faith is all about making sure Jesus Christ has no rivals in your heart or in your life.” He quoted parts of St. Paul’s Letter to the Colossians 3:4-11
“Fear, pleasure, money, lying, your comfort are some of the symptoms of your slavery to another god. Therefore making them rivals to Jesus Christ as the Supreme ruler in your life. If they rival Jesus Christ, they lead to death. Put off or get rid of anger, malice, lying because those symptoms betray the fact that our devotion to Christ isn’t exclusive.”
Wow! Did I need to hear that! By letting my ego get in the way of what someone thought of me, I took myself off the path away from Christ. Way off to be exact!
He goes on to say “Confession is to free yourself from the “Twin delusions”: “what I hope for” and “what I’m afraid of” because you’ll never grow if you don’t. Need to be so focused on what is real which is not a thing it’s a person- Jesus Christ. If you’re too focused on your career, it will be a source of death for you because it’s taking you life’s focus away from Christ.”
I’ve been focusing too much on my “hopes”: better health, good job possibly Animal Assisted Therapy, a dog or two, mini horse, house, comfort. Daydreaming so much that I’ve been forgetting to complete my prayers at certain times. Or there’s the other twin fear: never getting out of debt, never earning the friendships and love I’ve desired, always being an outcast, health not improving. Again, moving myself into a paralysis which acts as a wall between Jesus Christ and me. If I look outside myself, sure there are plenty of others who seem to be well off. On the other hand, many more are worse off than me. And I should be focusing on God’s Will and what He wants for me because He knows where I need to be and when. Also, how can I lose sight of being thankful for my blessings? Most importantly my precious children, especially when there are those who can’t/couldn’t have children. And my darling fur babies, when my children are too busy to visit, or anyone else for that matter. How can I selfishly claim I’m lonely when I have God, the Theotokos, the Saints, and Heavenly Hosts surrounding me and looking out for me to boot?! And of course, you too Dad!
I thank God for His great mercies because I, the wretched and sinful one, am also guilty of abruptly hanging up on Him many times to follow the “Twins of Delusion”.
With that, my dearest father, I bid you καληνύχτα.
2 thoughts on “Right on Time! Thank you, Father Barnabas!”
Gia, I want to give you the biggest hug right now. Your honesty in this post really brings tears to my eyes. While I would say yes, we need to make Christ the center of our hearts and lives that does NOT negate the need for healing from hurt or emotional trauma or self-acceptance. It was actually an Orthodox priest who set me on the path of healing (I am far from there yet) and realizing that we can love God and be working out some not so easy things at the same time. I have a lot to say on the subject but I will leave it there for now. Except to say this: God loves you, and you are a beautiful human being. I will be praying for you and please pray for me too.
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You are too kind! This is why I struggle with corporate prayer at times. Too busy thinking about the others around me and past events. Regardless, I must continue work on forgiveness to lift this useless unnecessary burden and become closer to God. Your prayers mean a lot to me, and I will definitely be praying for you as well.