A young vibrant guy who conducted an interview with me on Cancer Awareness stepped back, arms akimbo, with an exaggerated comical look and blotted out “No Way Ma! ah,’You are too young and fine to have cancer! How can? Oh please be serious! – Oh yes! I smiled back at him. “Forget the stage make up, the girlish attitude and the glamorous accessories you see, “Yeah! ‘This girl is a survivor” and for the next 5 minutes, everything became still and silent, we became deep in thoughts, hands clutched together like a praying mantis as he began praising God.
October is national breast cancer awareness month. It is one of those months that challenges me to sit up and be proactive in the campaign for raising awareness about the importance of early detection and treatment. Not necessarily because I am a cancer survivor, but more so, it is a season for me to reflect on the peaceful acceptance of finally stepping away from my confinement.
When we hear the word “PRISON or CONFINEMENT”, many times we get cold feet, we tremble and begin to panic. Our imagination begins to run wild and far, flashes of hardened looking incarcerated criminals in jumpsuits, locked up behind metal bars, dangling and clanging of handcuffs, organized and monitored scheduled visits with restrictions as prison security officers stand by with un-assuming looks tough enough to crush a wandering cockroach! But, that’s just the physical aspect of the lockup, and with time upon release or admonishment life goes on.
But really, our emotional state of mind (feelings) is actually one of the most dangerous and poisonous prison we have created for ourselves, without even knowing. It is our man-made confinement. An habitual lockup. A casual second skin jail. A renowned penitentiary that usually needs no administrative admittance. We casually stroll in and out of it without realizing it or knowing the damages it’s capable of. Hmmm.
There are many emotions that cause us to slump and become crippled emotionally. Worry wears us down. Regret ruins our confidence. Hatred hardens our hearts. Unforgiveness stains our souls. Bitterness binds our hearts. Insecurity incapacitates our capabilities.
Not knowing what our God-given purpose is or suppressing our enthusiasm or pessimism is a form of imprisonment. It is not only when we are locked up or detained physically. Being blessed with a story and not using it wisely for its purpose, is an emotional confinement. Not creating or maintaining a desired platform is a jail term. Our conscience becomes the court of law that requires no physical judge.
Are you crippled emotionally today? Do words from your past tell you “not good enough,” Procrastination and inadequacy were my two close companions. I didn’t like these two lurking shadows, but they followed me everywhere I went. Stalkers, that’s what they were. They stalked me, yelling taunts and accusations that no one heard but me. The more I listened to them, the more emotionally crippled I became. Until I re-branded my passion by turning my pain into someone’s gain.
Are we aware that there is a message for us all during our time of confinement? To be able to declare God’s goodness in our lives. That we are indeed a living testimony irrespective of our past, our shame or our dirt!
As you are reading this today, Ask yourself, what is my prison? Is there something in my life that is crippling my spirit? Pain? Unforgiveness? Bitterness? Resentment? Guilt? Sorrow? Worry? Regret? Comparison? If so, let’s cut it loose with the saber of praise, cast it off, and throw it away. God calls us sheep; and sheep are not pack animals. We are not meant to carry such burdens with these scrawny legs of ours. If we try, we will only bend under the pressure we were never meant to bear.
Get out of your confinement and join me this weekend, as we prepare for the annual MAKING STRIDES FOR CANCER AWARENESS 4k WALK ON Saturday, October 17TH @ 7:30AM, right in front of the PLEASE TOUCH MUSEUM, MEMORIAL HALL, in PHILADELPHIA PA. No more slumping in self-doubt or hunching in half-hearted conviction. But rather LET’S stand up to the full stature of a confident being, equipped by God, empowered by the Holy Spirit, and enveloped in Christ.
Yours in HOPE as I share Mary Mary ” Shackles”.
“Set me free from my prison that I might praise your name’ (Psalm 142:7a NIV).