Kellie Alexander's Blog

December 1, 2008

Filed under: forgiveness,Mental Health,relationships — kelliealexander @ 4:37 am
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I am a championship grudge holder. I guess it’s part of my personality. I have carried grudges from kindergarten into adulthood; no exaggeration. I’m good at it, I know how to do it, and I will be honest, there have been times when I have truly enjoyed nursing a grudge. But, let’s face it, it isn’t worth the price.

In every case where I have chosen to forgive, the freedom and the fellowship that I have enjoyed were far worth the supposed price of letting go. I don’t necessarily mean fellowship with the offender. Sometimes, that’s just a bad idea. But, the reality of it is like this. Suppose an unarmed man walks up on your porch one day, knocks on your door, and when you answer, he demands that you give him your wallet. Instead of doing just that, you also hand him the keys to your house and car and surrender all your possessions to him, then run out the door crying about becoming a victim of this guy. Read back. I said, “unarmed man”.

Unfortunately, too many dear people of the faith have been like this unarmed man. Let’s face it, Christianity is full of people. And, sadly, sometimes people can be real jerks. They may embarrass, intimidate, or otherwise make you extremely uncomfortable. They may even genuinely harm or wrong you in some way, but they don’t really have the right to take away your peace, joy, or happiness until you give it to them. Forgiving is like taking back the keys to your stuff. Here’s a bonus, they don’t even have to know about it!

I’m not saying I have this thing totally under wraps, I’m just saying it is an area of growth for me and I’ve had some golden opportunities to learn how in recent days. But, the neatest thing about it is, I’m not being asked to do anything that the Father hasn’t already shown me how to do in His dealings with me personally. “Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.” (Colossians 3:13, NLT)

It can be done. It must be done. And, by the grace of God, I will.

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November 14, 2008

Solution or Desolation? It’s your choice.

Filed under: Mental Health — kelliealexander @ 2:51 pm
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I just read an article about a woman who was so addicted to plastic surgery that, over the course of a couple of decades, she subjected herself to so many surgeries that her face became horribly disfigured. When surgeons refused to operate on her any longer, she was led to begin silicone injections. Finally, her perspective became so warped that she was found to have injected a foreign substance under her facial skin believed to be cooking oil! What is so tragic to me about this story is how truly lovely the woman was in the beginning. When you see her “before” picture, it is remarkably clear that the one thing this woman could not do was see herself realistically. She was absolutely stunning, and her “addiction” turned her face into something that didn’t even look human. One asks the question….why? Why did this once beautiful woman turn her own face into a human pincushion? What made her believe herself to be so ugly and so unworthy of attention that she actually turned her own body into an object of disgust and horror. The article stated that, after all the fuss, now she wants her old face back. Sadly, it is too late for that.

It makes me think of close friends and family members I have known in my life who listened to a voice that promised them something wonderful, but delivered nothing but pain and destruction. Instead of approaching whatever emotional or mental pain they were bearing face-forward (no pun intended), they chose to go another route. The route of avoidance. From cases I’ve witnessed (as well as a few unsavory experiences of my own), I have determined that this is primarily achieved in a two-step process. Step One: Block out all accountability. This way you cannot and will not hear the truth when it is spoken directly to you by friends and loved ones. Step Two: Destroy yourself. This is done by either picking up some self-destructive habit or perhaps by making yourself impossible to be around. The methods are many, but the results are almost always the same. In the time spent glossing over or running away from a problem, the problem grows worse, and many never recover their equilibrium. The price of avoidance is always high!

I am reminded of a friend who had a rotting window frame on the front of her home. I suggested that we look into having the wood replaced, but she chose instead to simply paint gobs and gobs of thick exterior paint over the visible problems. Did she get rid of her problem? Of course not! In fact, in that scenario, there is a very real danger of the window frame rotting so much that, under the weight of the glass within, the frame could actually buckle and cause the whole assembly to come crashing down at the peril of anyone who happens to be nearby. Her method of avoidance was decidedly not a solution to the problem of rot. Neither is addiction, or some other equally destructive habit a solution to our unmet emotional or spiritual needs.

The Bible, in 2nd Corinthians 11:14, tells us that Satan masquerades as an angel of light. He and his minions will always be ready with a bad idea to try to deal with life’s difficulties. But, it will seem like a good idea to the listener. That is why we must be on our guard. Matthew 10:16 says to be as shrewd as serpents and as innocent as doves. This is a surefire defense against the wiles of the devil. Pay attention and do not sin.

As always, I encourage everyone to read the scriptures and know what they say. Get into a solid Bible study with friends who can be trusted to steer you in the right direction — always pointing to Christ as your source — and unafraid of being honest with you about your own shortcomings where necessary. Give God the glory for your successes and trust Him to cover your failures. In your anger or confusion, resist the temptation to bang up the people around you. That will only make things worse. And finally, no matter what happens, never, EVER put cooking oil under your skin!

Blessings!

October 28, 2008

Not to oversimplify….

Filed under: Mental Health — kelliealexander @ 10:19 am

I, like most people, have always heard that happiness is a choice. For a person like myself, this is usually a galling thing to hear, and not at all welcome to my ears. I think I tend to want others to make me happy and don’t really want the responsibility of taking things in hand. But, when tragedy strikes, I realize more than ever what an important reality that is. That I can — in the midst of all that I go through — experience life and happiness and even joy and peace depending on where I allow my mind to dwell.

This is so real to me because I personally have such a propensity to focus on the negative things in the world. It’s just where my mind naturally wanders if I let it go unchecked. But, I have noticed that allowing my mind total free reign to dwell on things that are unsavory, I can very quickly find myself in a dark and despairing place. And, that is NOT where I want to remain!

Let’s face it, as a part of the healing process, we must at times visit the dark places in our hearts for a season. If we allow the Lord to be present with us in that place, the time spent will be worthwhile and will have a distinct beginning and an end. We will go down into the valley, so to speak, and we will absolutely walk right back up out of it when the time is right. After all, valleys are very fertile places. But, they also do not get much light. So, for the believer to venture into them is almost certain. But, to stay in them, not only is unnecessary, but it can actually stunt our growth and cause us more trouble. Also, Scripture seems replete with warnings about dwelling too long in the dark corners of our minds.

The Bible says this:

“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.” Psalm 23:4 NASB

I take this to mean that we will absolutely experience dark places in our lives. However, we are also instructed throughout Scripture to keep our focus on the Lord and not on our circumstances or our feelings.

Isa 26:3 Thou wilt keep [him] in perfect peace, [whose] mind [is] stayed [on thee]: because he trusteth in thee.

Phl 2:5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

1Pe 1:13 Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;

Phl 4:8 Finally, brothers, 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.

Phl 4:9 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.

These are wonderful, life-giving words written to us by our Father Who loves us more deeply than we can possibly imagine. In them, I get strength and direction, and hope for a new day that is to come!

God Bless You!

Kellie

written October 28, 2008

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