International Women’s Day

Happy International Women’s Day.

My master’s thesis was titled “A Systematic Review on the Impact of Cultural Contexts on Emotional Regulation in the United States.”

Lots of words.

Basically I pulled together every single peer-reviewed study to find any patterns in the ways the contexts we are a part of shape our emotional health.

The conclusion: it’s complicated. There’s no way to isolate a single cultural context enough to assess how it’s impacted you because none of us are only part of one culture.

It’s the combination of cultures we’re a part of that impacts our emotional health.

Where we belong.

We’re still in the early stages of this #rebuilding project, but already – as I learn to use my voice again –  I am learning it isn’t fear that has controlled me. It’s the desire to belong.

I called it fear, but fear was just the symptom. Fear is a pretty normal reaction when you know the choice ahead of you seems impossible: be you or belong.

Too long.

In Studio 60, Matt Albee says this:

“I didn’t say anything because I was scared and I’ve been scared for 5 weeks and that’s too long for a grown man.”

***

I understand.

I understand why Moses said no to a burning bush and the visible glory of God. And maybe it wasn’t because he didn’t trust God. And maybe it wasn’t because he didn’t believe God could do what He said He was going to do.

Maybe it was too much, too terrifying – to go back.

People are complicated.

A few months back, my pals over at The Verge Network invited me to lead a coaching cohort.  We brainstormed about topics and landed on “discipleship of the whole person.”  Cause if there’s one thing I know it’s that people are complicated.

In fact, ‘discipleship of the whole person’ is just kind of a churchy way to say – hey!  If you’re a counselor, parent, leader, manager, teacher – or any other person who spends time in your life helping those around you be the person they were made to be – you gotta understand how the body, soul, and mind integrate.  You gotta learn how to listen to people, seek to understand them uniquely and call out the fullness of who they are.

Because I can’t wait.

I DON’T KNOW WHAT I’M DOING.

That’s basically how I feel about trying to do ministry stuff on my own.  I’m a fairly confident person, but something about doing this stuff alone makes you feel weird and unsure in ways I’m surprised I feel.

But this December has my heart all…renewed.  I am watching fruit come from things I wrote in dark days.  I’m sharing my Jesus; I’m sharing the curves of His face as He has revealed them to me and the soft and solid sound of His voice in the night; and the feel of His hand gripping mine. I made Advent to give that Jesus away.