A couple of days ago, I was waiting for a package to arrive at my parents’ house and my attention was drawn to this corner of their living room. Specifically, I was intrigued at the placement of two photographs of gates so near each other and something told me to tuck that away for future reference.
Yesterday, I woke to a terrible funk that I couldn’t think, run, or yoga my way out of. The thoughts that combated my mind came fast and furious: you are not enough, your life has no value, you are forgotten. I begged God for help and He responded with a couple of tough love scriptures and devotionals, reminding me that I had to hold up my end of the bargain. I needed to remember that He has been faithful, and my life is blessed, and that gratitude and praise are the key to moving forward through those dark times. So, though I didn’t feel like it, I praised God and I thanked Him. Things started to shift then, and I thought again of those gates.
When my daughter was little and her brother would give her a hard time, I told her that she was the gatekeeper of her own mind. I said that her job was to stand outside that gate and let in goodness and keep out everything else, that she had the power to allow outside things to affect her, or not. Through the years, I’ve reminded my kids that everything they see, hear, read, and watch becomes a part of them in some way. That’s why it’s so important to feed yourself healthy things…yes, food, but also media, music and images.
Yesterday, God was disciplining me to be my own gatekeeper, and I know I have the power and responsibility to be just that in a world that seems to be going crazy. I can let in worry and fear, or I can choose to trust. I can allow myself to be overwhelmed, or I can see the long view and know that all really will be well. It’s a tall order, but I’m reminded to be brave, and I have experience enough in my forty-two years to know I’m not alone. Interestingly, that picture I took at my parents’ house contains three other elements that I rely on pretty heavily as I walk my sometimes rocky path: my parents, a bird (representing the Holy Spirit), and Mary. Like so much else that came to me yesterday, I have to think it’s no coincidence that those things ended up in that picture. I’m thankful for these reinforcements as I take up duty as my own gatekeeper. They strengthen my spine, and back me up, and remind me just Whose I am.
PS – God was really trying to get my attention yesterday. Interestingly, one of my favorite bloggers wrote on this very subject on the very same day… read it if you get the chance!