It’s sweet, the way the gentle scent of lavender infused with the harsh aroma of coffee grounds in the air hit my nose when I walked in from dropping Daniel and Abram off at work and school. Almost as if the two smells teamed up and said, “We won’t allow her to be down today.” Well, it worked. I feel inspired to create and breath freely. I can’t say it was the same for yesterday, and I don’t know if it will be true for tomorrow, but today… today is fresh, and the fog in my heart has dissipated. My flesh fights to scare my mind into thinking that this cannot last, but my mind tells my flesh to hush. For it knows the truth: happiness very well may fade away, and tomorrow might feel dark. But worrying about that now only turns bitter the sweetness of the lavender and coffee grounds that fill my soul. No, no need to control. Control isn’t mine to dictate time and day with anyway. Contentment, however, is lavishly given to us for the taking.
It’s astounding, once I am sober- minded, to think about the thoughts I had prior that I would use to justify the propitiation of sin.
And by sober-minded, I mean having repented of deep, dark sins, leaving me clear- headed. Like a blindfold taken off of my eyes.
Seriously though, let’s really think about this. When we are completely consumed with the chase of earthly joys, we are drunk in sin, running aimlessly about, never really catching what we want. We stumble around without any clear vision or realization of how much we are hurting ourselves, and it is only until we wake up the next morning, with a massive headache, that we realize the bruises on our arms and the cuts on our feet.
I haven’t been doing very well with the coffee. I wrote a few weeks ago about giving up coffee because it had become an idol, but one does not simply kick over a golden calf, destroying it with one pathetic push (especially if it is not truly repented of). Remember how much work it took to build it?
Same with food.
And with spending money.
And with wanting a fairy-tale marriage.
I’ve been really sick the past few days. I actually cannot think of another time in my life when a sore throat was this painful. My body aches, and my face is draining slowly. All of this led me to sit down with a cup of very hot tea this morning while Abram was taking a nap, and dive into God’s arms. Putting the pain of my flesh aside, it was incredibly restful. I heard deep, deep down within my soul the holy spirit asking me why I keep chasing these things. We simply started conversing. I was reminded of why I permanently had the word “Beloved” tattooed on my wrist, the reason there is a tree with vines on my shoulder, and a sparrow that rests on the skin below my ear.
Oh yea. I forgot about those.
I then felt lead into a much needed time of repentance, where I desperately yet fearlessly let these idols of coffee, food, money and marriage go. With each sin repented of, I followed it with the request that God would break the chains and set me free. Very deep, relieving breaths followed.
I tell ya, there’s nothing different from those moments this morning to the moments I sit in this afternoon. My throat is still in excruciating pain, and my bones still ache. But I feel free-er, stronger. Ready to fill this clean-out body and soul of mine with something better, more joy-everlasting.
I even had a plate of broccoli for lunch…. because I wanted to.
But let me just say this, and please pay attention: We, as humans, are by no means one time fixes. I am repented of and free from those idols and sins in this moment right now, but the second I turn my gaze away from Christ and onto something else, I gladly open my door to sin that does not belong in me. And it is so easy to shift our gaze, when we are not constantly and deliberately seeking after and spending time with Him, asking Him to pursue us even more.
Is this where you find yourself today? Drunk in sin, getting no where and feeling miserable? I don’t care where you are right now or how important your “task” is at the moment. If you are like me today, then stop what you are doing RIGHT NOW and go rest in God. Let him heal and free you.
I confidently say that nothing else could possibly be more important.
I bet you just read that title and thought all kinds of sucky things.
Well, yes. What I am about to share is sucky for me. Sucky for fleshy Megan.
A couple of conversations at camp last week mixed with a couple of conversations this week brought about an eye- opening conviction today.
Coffee is my functional savior.
I’m sure some of you just dropped your head with a sad, slow shake, because you know what’s coming next.
It all started last week, when Jesse Carbo told me he had given up coca cola. I’ve known Jesse for 6 years now, and if there is any one thing that gets him bad, it’s that sweet, eye-watering, carbonated beverage. It’s a mountain that he has tried to conquer for years, sometimes coming out victorious and other times failing. It’s very encouraging how transparent he has been about the whole thing.
Little conversations about coffee kept popping up last week. It was mostly in fun, but the truth is, I wasn’t able to make it through a day without it. I even had to leave campus several times to make a Starbucks run. And that was ON TOP OF the Cuban coffee Jesus made every day (pronounced Hey-Zeuss… Christ was not makin us coffee) .
Today I was hanging out with my two lady friends, Melissa and Laura, while our kids destroyed a play room. We were talking about weight struggles, foods and drinks we can’t live without and the things that keep us from being healthy. The truth hit as I was saying it out loud how much I NEED coffee. Isn’t it funny how God speaks to us often through our own mouths?
I don’t have any control over my days. With a child, I’m not sure if the day is going to go exactly as planned or if it is going to be an epic disaster. The one thing I can control and find comfort in, no matter how my day turns out, is my praised cup of coffee. Whether I make it myself, or I purchase my very specific beverage at Starbucks, it is mine. The smell and the taste makes life a billion times better.
And that is not o.k.
“You shall have no other God’s before me.” – Exodus 20:3
First commandment. Plain and simple.
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” – Matthew 11:28-30
God is who I should be going to when things feel out of control, but even more than that, when things are perfectly fine. That time that I take each morning to worship the art of making/drinking coffee and is time I could be chasing God through scripture and just being at peace in His presence.
So, no more coffee for me! I’m sure some may think that that’s a bit extreme.
I mean, it is extreme. It’s extreme to let a beverage rule your life, and determine whether or not you are going to be happy or sad.
So extreme cases call for extreme measures.
I’m not under any kind of “spiritually high” illusion that with Jesus, this won’t be difficult. I’ve tried giving up coffee in the past, and obviously to no avail. It effing sucks. It’s not easy at all, and the first few days are excruciating, riddled with migraines and rage.
I also decline to be under the false pretense that I won’t fail. There is a likelihood that I will. No no, I’m not jinxing it before it even starts. On the contrary, I’m starting off realistically. I know myself too well, and if I tell myself that “this will be the time!” then I set myself up for a guilt-filled failure. I can’t do this without God, and it is for God that I am taking this on in the first place. Grace and relief is what I will rest in this time.
I’ll need lots of encouragement for the next couple of days. Don’t be shy, and feel free to share your stories of idols and how you abandoned them.
Or, if you are struggle in such a way as I am, let me know. We’ll do this together.