Sundays With Rae

a blog for women by a woman who is trying to get her life together while still loving Jesus

But What If?

September 2020

So I was watching this movie called “Irreplaceable You.” If you’re looking to cry and be in your feelings, this is the movie for you. If not, just read this post and be happy. At some point in the movie, they talked about planning and being prepared for the what if’s of life. It sounds like the responsible thing to do and in a lot of ways it can be, but it can also serve as a distraction from what is.

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you know I’ve been planning my wedding since I was a little girl. You know I can be a perfectionist (read more here). You know I have an interesting relationship with time. You know I missed out on a lot of the good after my dad died (read more here). And as carefree as I can be with my day to day plans, sometimes I struggle with letting God be God over my future (read more here). This past Summer, I talked a lot about trusting God through this pandemic. It got to the point though, that I was worrying more about the what if’s than trusting God with right now.

Of course, we have to plan for our futures and make responsible choices and prepare for the unexpected as much as we can, but we also have to live now. We can go over one thousand scenarios of how a situation may play out and still not account for some random factor that influences the outcome. All that time spent trying to predict the future, only to be met with a circumstance you never saw coming. I’ve done it too many times. Despite the many conversations I’ve had with God about giving my future to Him and allowing my desires to be His desires, and trusting His plan, I still have to tell myself, “Jocee, He’s got this. Enjoy your right now!”

What experiences and memories are you creating today that you will be able to look back fondly on? How are you spending time with the people you love today? What are you doing in terms of self-care this week? Spiritually, what can you do today to grow in the areas you need to grow in? The what-ifs of life will always be there. Because of them, we have to make certain adjustments and consider certain options but we don’t have to stop living life. So today, I’m reminding you that God’s got this and all you truly have is now.

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

Back to Therapy

So I went to therapy last week. I tried once before earlier this year, but the therapist wasn’t a good fit for me. Prior to that, it had been over two years. Not that I haven’t tried but my usual therapist was always booked so I just dealt with whatever I was dealing with. Just me and Jesus. I was talking to my friend about some things I wanted to do but I felt like I couldn’t. I’d prayed and planned and I jokingly said I should go back to therapy. My friend agreed.

As a trained therapist, mental health advocate, and previous therapy client, I should be well aware of the benefits of going to therapy. I should prioritize it. I should be consulting God about it. I should be okay with not being okay and perhaps needing help outside of the four walls of a sanctuary. I know all of this and I’m grateful I have people in my life to help me live it. I’m not of the belief that people have to be in therapy for years on end in order to be emotionally well. But I am of the belief that we all encounter bumps in the road of life and God has given us many helpful tools to deal with those bumps, one of which is therapy.

Any seasoned Christian will tell you their spiritual life has had their ups and downs. In some seasons you’re reading your bible every day and you have the faith to move mountains and in other seasons you barely feel like praying and have forgotten what the inside of a church looks like. In those latter seasons, hopefully you are surrounded by a community who will encourage you to go back to your first love and support you in rebuilding your faith.

The same way we recognize when our spiritual cup is running low and we do something about it, we should keep that same energy when it comes to our emotional health. You haven’t failed if you find yourself needing to go back to therapy. You are not weak. You are a human, working out your own soul and salvation (Philippians 2:12). God doesn’t need us to praise Him with an empty heart and depressed spirit. His joy is our strength and sometimes in order to find that joy and get that strength, we find ourselves sitting on a therapist’s couch crying and admitting things we didn’t have the courage to tell ourselves. And after an hour or so, we leave with a clearer view of God and His goodness. Or at least, I did.

Romans 15:13 Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost

November 2019

Handle With Care

I am my own worst critic. Jocee you should have said this, you should have did this. Why did you look like that? Why didn’t you do this? I’m never satisfied with what I present to the world. Even with writing this blog, you have no idea how many times I reread each post, questioning if it’s good enough. However, I’m learning to handle myself with care. The same grace Jesus asks us to give to others (Luke 6:36), is the same grace we need to extend to ourselves.

We should set expectations for ourselves but if we don’t measure up to those expectations, it’s not the end of the world. A toddler who is potty training is going to have accidents. We don’t yell at them for not reaching the goal of staying dry all day (or rather we shouldn’t). The next day you encourage them to keep trying. We should take on this same attitude when we mess up and fail to reach our goals.

As a teacher, I have some of the best ideas and literally spend hours planning. Once it’s time to actually teach, some days it seems like everything is going wrong and it’s all my fault. Why didn’t I make the copies earlier? Why did I choose that story? Why didn’t I use a different example? Why didn’t I account for little Timmy being a jerk today? And if I get caught in that downward spiral, I ignore all the things that went well. I successfully talked Timmy out of running out of the building. They thought my joke was funny. When I asked for all eyes on me, all eyes were on me. I made a real world connection to the standard and they actually understood. Celebrate what went well and make notes of what you can do better and tomorrow, do better.

Galations 5:22-23, list the fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance). This fruit is not just for others, it’s for you. If someone were to overhear you having a conversation with yourself about yourself, what would they hear? Would they feel bad for you? Or would they marvel at how kind you are even under the worst conditions?

Jonathan McReynolds once said the things we are most insecure about are the things we think everyone else is “hating” on. What if I told you, you were your biggest hater? You don’t give yourself permission to have a bad day or moment. You’re not allowed to mess up. And I get it, maybe you have too much at stake. Maybe others are depending on you to get it right all the time. But in helping everyone else, make sure you’re helping yourself by handling yourself with care.