Travel Journal 2018 — Joining the Snowbirds!
October is coming to a close and our time in Iowa is also ending, but what special and precious memories we will be taking with us of our time spent with friends in this state! The past three weeks we have been helping start a Joy Starts Here study group. Speaking as a teacher one of the most, if not the most rewarding thing is to see a “lightbulb” turn on; that ah-hah moment when a concept and reality meet forming a new identity in a person’s mind.
Our last time together, for this year anyway, we talked about masks and maturity. Maturity is about reaching one’s God-given potential. It means maximizing our skills and talents and using them effectively while growing into the full capability of our individual designs. (Living from the Heart Jesus Gave You, p. 33)
And masks are what is used to cover up our God-given potential. Many of us grew up without consistent and strong “glad to be with you” joy experiences. When joy is inconsistent, weak or missing, our fear, anxiety and stress systems shape our brain’s structure, chemistry and growth. The lack of joy leaves gaps in our relational style, identity and ability to respond to upsetting emotions. Before long, these malfunctions become such a part of us that we tend to see them as totally normal. We are the last to know we even have a weakness. (Joy Starts Here, p. 36)
Scripture tells us in Proverbs 15:4, “A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.”
“You are stupid,” said to a child causes that child’s brain to make that statement become fact, as is “You are fat,” “You are ugly,” “You are bad,” all these become self-fulfilling prophecies as they are repeated over and over re-shaping the child’s brain to believe and act on that belief.
Every mask we put on removes us farther and farther from the person YHVH created us to be. We become a shell of what Jeremiah was told in chapter 1:5, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”
Psalm 139:13-14, “For You formed my inward parts; You knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.”
“Be very courageous,” YHVH told Joshua. “Be very courageous,” YHVH tells us. It takes courage to ask YHVH to reveal our masks and again, the courage to ask for His help in removing them — one by one — until the REAL you is finally revealed and you stand fully matured in the Light of His glory and Grace.