Here’s a special post for you from Judy Hensley. You will be blessed!
I really don’t know why I try and write, but I think I do because when I hear something or ‘get some thought clearer as ever before, I think to myself, “That’s worth sharing!” So, here is my effort at sharing. It’s not even close to being as insightful as others who write, but it’s what is of interest to me today. And maybe someone else like me needs to read something in this meager attempt at telling you how this journey is going for me and how I deal with this illness, PD. Even if you don’t have PD, maybe there is something that you have to deal with in life that is unpleasant and you might be looking for some encouragement to help along your journey. I hope something here helps.
Some days, don’t you feel so entrapped in your circumstances that you wish you could throw off your back the burden so that you can be free? I recently purchased the DVD of the 2007 women’s conference called Amazing Freedom featuring Patsy Clairmont as one of the speakers. I listened to Patsy and she spoke about how to be free to dance in this life. She really had an amazing way of using personal examples to bring home these important criteria in order for us to enjoy God’s gift of amazing freedom of our spirits through His love to us.
I’d like to fill in some of my thoughts on her main points.
Patsy’s first requirement is for us to live lively.
My experience with PD for 9 years has put up some roadblocks to my vision of lively living. You may feel this way with any chronic illness, or if you have a mother-in-law(teasing), or in fact if you work or go to school, are a stay at home mom, or you are a caregiver. In many life-situations, you may have days when you feel living lively is out of the question. Isn’t it typical for us to become so cynical, so pessimistic, so overwhelmed, so defeated – that we can’t even imaging how to get an ounce of fulfillment in the day or even only a minute to stop and dream? If you will try this: just look around you, find a blessing, recall something you have overcome, or just look at someone else who lives with trials you could not even fathom, and thank God for what you have noticed – see if your heart doesn’t find a song to sing. And if you are truly amazed, the rest of your body might start movin’ and put on a groove move with a smile on your face! And for however long it lasts, it feels so good to free our spirits and dance, or hug, or whatever you do to rejoice …doesn’t it? Can you remember how it feels? If not, then it’s been way too long. I’d suggest you might try this tip ASAP!
The next thing Patsy recommends is to love lavishly. Yeah, we all say ‘Bring on that lap of luxury and I’ll take a nice long break for that.” Hold on!!!! She didn’t say for you live lavishly; she said you should love lavishly. “Oh, I already do that!” I thought to myself. I love my husband, my daughter, my friends, my ‘lil buddies, and a few other groups right nicely, I think. In fact, if they loved me back like I do to them that would be a big help each day. Here’s where I tell you this little exercise in becoming free gets hard.
Patsy said to love lavishly is to love someone, knowing that you will not be loved in return.. Ugggghhh… Patsy, are you sure I can do that? You mean…be like Jesus? And you mean love…. my…(gulp)…enemy? How? She advises some serious talking with God about changing our heart and ask for a big dose of patience as well. Just think how sweet it is gonna feel when the one you have loved lavishly responds likewise! You may have just found a new dance partner.
The third suggestion (ok, it is really more like a challenge) to help gain this new kind of freedom is to FORGIVE and to do it FREQUENTLY. Excuse me? Some of my friends better be grateful for me forgiving them at all! That is one of the hardest things to do – to forgive. I just know that when I’ve held back forgiveness, I have such weariness and am left to wonder if forgiving someone will make them a better person. (There I go assuming that their action I just forgave will happen again.) I myself have had to ask, many times, for people to forgive me, so I should start working on my frequency of forgiving.
As Patsy wraps up her talk, she reminds us all of how hard it is for us to forgive ourselves. God forgives us over and over. There is an amazing freedom in us when we not only forgive our neighbor but ourselves. It is no telling where our new steps that we take in the wake of forgiving others and ourselves will take us!
Just remember that God has a plan for your life, no matter what kind of of perceived or real problems we have in this life. In John 10, Christ tells us that He came and sacrificed for us to have an abundant life, now! Wow, abundant = no worries = forgive; the abundant life is full of new opportunities to live the way God intended us to of live (getting a ‘lil excited and want to break out in a dance yet?). Abundance means filled up with so much love and mercy that it will overflow to others, and the dancing only gets better with more joining. Abundantly living and loving and abundance of forgiveness to be free to dance with one another is in His plan.
Look at the word..a-bun-dance… you know you want it ! And it has ‘dance’ in it, so what are you waiting for? Dance!