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When Hard Is Actually Soft

christian fitness

(When Losing Is Actually Gaining….continued)

Over the next few days, I created space for God to speak to me regarding this heartbreaking memory. I was desperate for Him to re-write this part of my script according to His unfailing love.

The Father began revealing to me that as a five-year-old little girl, with a temporary disability, you are pretty sure of one thing–THIS is your BIG moment! I was bracing myself for endless hugs and kisses, a diet of ice cream and Snicker bars while staying home from school and watching reruns on T.V. This was my moment! A special time of special favor. A time of great tenderness.

The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. – Psalm 34:18

Instead, the message I received, loud and clear was “Toughen up” and “Laugh it off”. That teaching would be the one to play on an endless loop, throughout my entire childhood, into my awkward adolescence. It’s been my greatest ally to keep me from giving up or giving in. It has kept me strong and able to say “No” to the things that threaten my well-being. Whether in my pre-Jesus, common grace days or my post-Jesus amazing grace days, default character trait of mine has served a real purpose. Real but not necessarily true.

It’s important you know that God is not shaming my character (or my parents). He is inviting me to give it a rest so something new can arrive.

This is my season of greater. He wants to show me something greater than any well-intended human or self-help book can. He wants to be God. My God. His trust and favor are everything I have asked for, and yet it seems they always come at the cost of my comfort.

Over the past weeks, I have a had an ongoing revelation and surgery of the heart. I have become painfully aware of how deficient I am in gentleness and kindness. Ugh! I am so deficient! I crave kindness and tenderness from others (target number one, my husband), but I run from it when it comes to me because it’s so foreign. Or I run right past kindness and gentleness when it is the cool water first needed in all heated and hard situations. I have been trained to meet hard with “be tough” and “be strong.” To extinguish hard with kind sounds idiotic, weak and unsustainable.

But wait a minute…is that not The Way Of Jesus?

Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? – Romans 2:4

lisfranc injury

(Removing the elephant’s foot. I cried when the fresh air hit my skin. I cried when the technician gently washed my foot with an alcohol wipe. I cried at the kindness of the Lord for the tiniest of things.)

lisfranc injury

(A lisfranc foot injury: known to be one of the smallest injuries to the human body causing the greatest effect. A.k.a..surgery)

Shoot. I am screwed. I’ve been found out. And I am being asked to turn myself in and receive something kinder and more gentle in exchange. I’m taking it! And I am deathly afraid of what to do with it, or how to steward it, once I have it. Good thing I am promised that the Holy Spirit whose job it is to show me how this whole thing works.

This is me, turning myself in.

Comments (9)

  1. Thanks for taking the scarlet and making it white as snow! Not so much in a sin sense, more of what we do with what we have and turning it into I have because He gives. I pray you will be able to receive gentleness and kindness from Him until you feel like your going to explode! In a great way explode!! Perhaps an explosion of gentleness and kindness to yourself and others that wasn’t always there before! Looking forward to part 4!

  2. I loved your post. Feel like you wrote what is in my heart, but can’t begin to find the words, or grasp the understanding of the place I am in . You are a blessing to soo many. Thank you

  3. I was raised in the same way. Now as a caretaker of my Mother, I need to turn myself in as well. I need to be more compassionate toward her for little things. I often wonder if she ever thinks that my responses are those that were taught? Thank You HOLY SPIRIT. . .You are welcome here!

  4. Alisa, your strength is truly from God and His Word. Thank you for sharing your testimonies. They give me hope and encouragement. May the Lord’s Spirit bring you healing inside and out, and surround you with His compassion and love every day. Amen.
    “Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name.
    Bless the Lord, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, Who satisfies your mouth with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s” Psalm 103:1-5
    God’s blessings and love be with you sweet Sister, and keep shining His Light.
    In His love,
    Sis Pam

  5. Alisa, God is using you intensely in my life right now. Like you, I am a fitness instructor and on January 2 2016, I had a tendon in the back of my hand severed in half. I am a bootcamp/yoga instructor, writer and mother of 3. My life, my identity halted. I had to undergo surgery as well, and was required to slow down, sit with God and abstain from the activities I love for several weeks (no sweating include-UGH- kill me now). God was so faithful during this time and He is overhauling me. I am thankful for my injury and for the season of greater He is moving me through too. I’m not going to lie, there is tension and this cutting away of my heart, and who I thought I was is painful- but I trust… if only, I can OBEY and stay close now.
    I am so encouraged to read about your journey as well, and today’s post on gentleness and kindness sent me further into the arms of my Heavenly Papa. You, my friend, are writing about MY heart’s ache. We are on a similar path, and I am so thankful that God has given me your words. How can this be?? Your struggles are so reflective and so similar to mine??? I am stunned- and so grateful. Please keep writing… I will see you in May at the Retreat, as I have just wrapped up my 95 hour Holy Yoga training and am in the middle of the Leadership Training as we speak.
    I HAVE to meet you.
    I will be lifting you and your mama up in prayer.
    Much love, Amber

  6. Receive to reproduce…definitely strikes a cord close to my heart as well. Thank you for sharing! Prayers for you!

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