My Eagle Eye View

Though not as eloquent as my last post, and not quite my part II, I must share my intermission… downloaded from the sky. #milehighBLOGclub


Clouds (trials) provide the conditioning of the ground (our hearts) to receive the blessing of life through the Sun (Son). Without that conditioning, the ground will be ill equipped to receive that life. It is not that the Sun threatened the ground with death, but in fact the ground was never open to receive life. Trials open our hearts to the potential of our full purposes. Do not neglect the rainy seasons, for out of them SPRINGS of living water produce great fruit.

IMG_7439

Let’s Break This Down…


Clouds provide the conditioning of the ground to receive the blessing of life through the Sun.

[Let me rephrase…]

2002

The trials and hard times we face in our lives provide the “Miracle Gro” for our hearts to receive the blessing of abundant life in Christ.


Without that conditioning, the ground will be ill-equipped to receive that life

Maturity is only produced in the S T R E T C H. Regardless of how we want to accept that fact, no strength is produced without a fight. The same goes for us when we aspire for the purposes of God in our lives. There is a reason why Jesus was sent into the desert and tempted immediately after being called out and blessed as the Son of God. (Matt 3:17-4:11) Even after being recognized by GOD HIMSELF, Jesus did not preach a WORD until AFTER He proclaimed Who and Who’s He was. It’s funny how quickly we forget that Christ Jesus was first just Jesus… the man, with dreams and aspirations for “something great.” He didn’t come into this world with the Limited 1st Edition Bible packed with commentary and complimentary maps of the region! He was a spitting image example of trusting the God of heaven to direct Him in His carnal blindness. If Jesus did not take on the flesh of man… how would we ever believe a God truly understands our sufferings?


It is not that the Sun threatened the ground with death, but in fact the ground was never open to receive life.

The Sower never stops giving… Even when we don’t deserve the gifts given. Let’s be real… not ONE of us deserves the gift of Life through Christ… so let’s stop trying to qualify/disqualify, quantify, pontificate the posture of privilege that is our salvation! It was a gift FREELY given… kinda like the streusel samples given out at COSTCO… 2003nobody is paying for that… but if you want it, TAKE IT. You have not because you ASK not!

Let’s be real, we’ve all been exposed to (or an active participant in) the story of the Prodigal Son(s)*because BOTH had an issue of the heart* In one season or another, we have been in one of the three character’s roles… Father (hoping and yearning for the return of your beloved), Home Son (feeling neglected, unloved, unchosen, invisible), or Gone Son (feeling damned, ambitious, rebellious, failure, naked, embarrassed, ashamed…). Personally, I believe these parables are given to us as mirrors to examine the inwards of our own hearts. All that being said, it’s too easy to see the Father as an embittered resentful parent, filled with I told you so’s and good-riddance’s. But we see the Father as the complete opposite depiction… More like a Disney Movie #happilyeverafter#isthisreallife??? Truth is… it is. Because God has promised us that His arms are ALWAYS open and though He is ALWAYS there, WE have to fall into His arms… He ain’t gonna snatch us up like your grandmama’s-en-dem would do! He wants you to know that You are His BeLOVED, and HE will NEVER leave you nor forsake you… It’s more than just a phrase read at weddings. This love is REAL and ACTIVE… and more than that… it is PERFECT. Best part about that?

PERFECT LOVE CAST OUT FEAR!


Trials open our hearts to the potential of our full purposes. Do not neglect the rainy seasons, for out of them, the SPRINGS of living water produce great fruit.

Open heart surgery right???

yeah… I’m aware.

But if growth were easy, wouldn’t everyone be fulfilled? Wouldn’t the world be an easier place? Wouldn’t we ALL prosper??? Or perhaps… maybe our #Fear of growth (more on this later!) stunts our potential, not by default, but by happenstance? Maybe, like the man with ONE talent, we just bury that buck under the mattress rather than invest it into Facebook or Google (better yet the Kingdom!)? Or like the 10 Virgins, how many of us push that gas gauge to RIGHT past E, because… we can always “fill up in the morning?” (YA RIGHT!) Time comes and goes, and we missed our opportunity… to step into the greatness of our destiny… all because we thought we had time… ” Come on, don’t leave me hanging on this one… Realistically speaking… write them down… How many Talents (or Resources) have you been given? and to what percent are you actively engaging those gifts? Are your muscles atrophied? Do you even know what your muscles are called?!

Take at least 10 minutes and do this… write them down.
You’ll surely need these for Part II.


Finally, you can never neglect the purpose of trials. Let me just tell you a little story…

I’ve got this friend… 2004I referred to him in Find Peace… as my new Fitness Guru. Let me just say… it’s been a WEEK and I’m still INCREDIBLY SORE from, what would be considered, an easy intro into kicking this well-endowed bod back in shape! All pain aside… I straight up said, I can’t start this up on a sporadic schedule, I need a regimen! I can’t be living in the valley of indecision! I need change, and I only know one way to get it… THROUGH PAIN. It is not that pain is fun or enjoyable, but when your perspective is shifted to knowing that pain will produce fruit, your approach to that thing that once gripped you with FEAR will be restorative and invigorating rather than depressing and debilitating. I want THAT level of resilience in my walk… like PERIOD… no ifs ands buts hmms or whatevers. I want it to be written that I was all in… NO MATTER the Cost… 

IMG_7438
This is what happens when He speaks in the wee hours #sleepless

I mean… look at Jesus.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross,scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
Hebrews 12:1-3

#nuffsaid.

p.s. this is MUCH longer than I expected it would be!!!!!

Imani Tahira
#TahiraSpeaks

Advertisements

Find Peace…

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:6-7

Be Anxious For Nothing…

These 4 words could be enough to make or break your stride mid-step. I’m going to cut this statement in half and focus on the inevitable path-of-logic that ensues my brain…

giphy

Be Anxious.

Whew… if I could fully articulate how much of an expert I am at this simple statement.

Be anxious. I’ve got that covered. Maybe it’s the type A (for Anxious), perfectionist, detail oriented, OCD mentality that I’ve inherited, more or less from my father’s side? Or maybe it’s just the infinite possibilities from within my imagination take precedent when it comes to my thinking? [#catastrophizing] Either way, it is the thorn in my flesh, crippling my every step [almost as much as my new fitness guru AJ].

giphy1

Honestly, I don’t know when the worrying began, but I know that worry is one of the old friends from my past. You know the ones… Who shared some good and bad times, but always seemed to get you in trouble? Ya that’s the one. Despite my distain, I know her very well. She accompanies me as I approach every decision, every problem, every relationship, every risk, every plan… every day.

[I guess you could say she’s that friend that calls too many times and you’re not in a place where you feel like talking to her but you feel bad that she has no one else to talk to…] That sucks to say. But it’s the truth.

200Checking is a term used as a symptom to general anxiety. A person who may often check to make sure the car is locked, or return back home fearing that the stove was left on from mornings eggs, or changes passwords frequently to be sure that their accounts are secure… These people (and I) are checkers, and just like any game, I came to win.

I frankly don’t know when my checking got out of order. But before I knew it, my worries and anxieties overly consumed my life. Overthinking and self-criticism crippl(ed) me in social settings with not only strangers, but friends I’ve known my whole life. As I’ve told my students many times, English is my second language… dance is my first. More frequently I can communicate the depths of my soul through movement, long before I can articulate them clearly with my words. So it’s no surprise that, when worrying about a situation, the dialogue occurring in my head is not easily resolved, but instead continues to churn like butter or broken record, over and over again.

giphy2Be anxious.

Yup I got that.


Lately I’ve been doing my best to take care of my anxieties more aggressively. The summer is a teacher’s playground to rebuild what’s been lost in the grueling school year. I desperately needed this summer to rebuild and I took it upon myself to focus on filling the gaps in my thinking in regards to my everyday life and my relationships. But still even with a clearer perspective, I struggled with keeping my anxiety under control. Though I had become hyper aware of its existence, I struggled to maintain a clear understanding of what was truth and what was untruth. Leading up to this weekend, I was consumed with negative thoughts bombarding my mind. I did my part to not keep those thoughts to myself. I spoke to people that I know, love and trust to try to conceptually get to the bottom of those thoughts. After much discussions (and much shared wisdom), I really felt more equipped to break down the barriers that have entrapped my mind and kept me bound by the bondage of anxiety. giphy3Still, even with the motivation, I stood looking at the feat before me and felt as if I lacked the tools necessary in order to accomplish the task at hand. Though therapy is something I’ve stood behind, maintaining relationships with mentors and accountability, and even having to resort to medication to regulate the imbalances within me, I still felt ill-equipped to tackle this beast that is been present in my life for so long.

But God.

giphy4


For nothing…

Let’s just brew on that for a minute.

How on earth can you be anxious for nothing?

These four words have haunted me for most of my life. That sounds super overdramatic but I’m speaking the truth or at least MY truth, from my own experience. It seems the way of Christ is perplexed with juxtapositions  and oxymorons if you will. What seems naturally impossible for us, is then supernaturally asked of us to pursue and acquire as everyday ways of life.

The last shall be first [Matthew 20:16]… That one definitely came in handy with two hungry brothers, getting in line for dinner. Being at the back of the line gave me free pass to jump in front! LOL.

But really, what does nothingness truly encompass? Realistically speaking I have to first decipher what makes me anxious.

  • Financial stability.
  • Companionship (or lack thereof).
  • Maturing in wisdom of Christ.
  • Fully maturing in the destiny and purposes of Christ for my life.
  • Loneliness.
  • Fear of being unknown.
  • Division and discord in my family.
  • Dissatisfaction with the injustices in this world.
  • Lack of understanding of hard times.
  • Not understanding the darkest places in my heart or why I have had so much pain.
  • Holding the pain of others.

This one I really struggle with… My heart aches for others more than I truly realize. I find myself bearing the burden that I know I was never meant to carry. And yet I know that that is part of the calling God has given to me. …To mourn with those who mourn and rejoice with those who rejoice. Like Hannah, I intercede with moanings and groaning, but my understanding of the depth of intercession has been skewed by the context of clinical anxiety and depression. I would never say that I have not struggled from these things, but I definitely understand more and more each day that these struggles are carnal, and my spirit man has experienced different aspects of the broken heart of God. If I cry for the wounded and murdered individuals scattered around the world due to injustice, how much more does God ache for that brokenness in humanity? If I am filled with so much love for the wisdom, knowledge and guidance of mentors, pastors and friends around me, how much more is God delighted in their trustworthiness and faith?

So rather than looking at what I should worry about, how about I seek to see what God is revealing within me. The truth is I have no control over the things that are around me, I only have control over how I choose to see it.

Be anxious for no thing.

If compassion and empathy are gifts that Christ has given to me, then what I feel is only a glimpse of what He feels for His people and His creation. How much more does He plan to take care of the hurting, the wounded, the broken? And if it means He is giving me this heart just so I can be the hands and feet of His love to others, then what better way to walk this road and share that love with you?

Thoughts of worry and stress were never meant to be held within us. In fact anxiety is a trigger meant to help us. When we have worry or thoughts of danger or concerns, ARISE, for power is attained when we give those concerns to God. Be anxious for nothing, for his yoke is easy and his burden is light.

And only then will we find true peace that surpasses all understanding.

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

Philippians 4:4-9

#BeAnxiousForNothing #ThinkOnIt #FindPeace

Imani Tahira

giphy5

p.s. Stay Tuned for Pt. II