Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Strategy by Susan L.

  One of the upcoming workshops at the centre is how to make paper mache piggy banks. In art therapy I discovered the power of sealing something into an envelope. It's a way of containing emotions or bad feelings. I was inspired to make a "worry bank" instead of a piggy. There weren't any balloons to use for forming the body of the bank so I swung by the dollar store on my way home.
  Rather than getting involved in the mess of paper mache, a bright purple box with a ribbon to tie it closed felt perfect. It's important, being able to lock the worry away. Wanting to decorate the box, I found a book of stickers to colour (another wellness tool of mine). One of the pictures was a bird sitting outside its cage. Inside the cage is a heart. It's a powerful image that reflects my desire to find Jesus in the cage of my anxiety. (I say I found all this stuff but I know Who put them there for me to find.)
  The point of the worry bank is the need to carry pen and paper. When possible, I'll allow myself to explore the anxiety and hopefully (and prayerfully) discover the reasons for being anxious. They will be written down then later placed in the box and sealed away. It's like putting them into a vault never to see the light of day again.
  I know I don't have to figure it all out but by doing this, I am taking authority over something that ruled my life for far too long. It's also taking steps to haul the darkness into the light. It's being honest about what's going on. Suppression leads to depression, fatigue, and being overwhelmed.
  This idea is a smorgasbord of therapy practices like Mindfulness, Immersion Therapy, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and Traumatic Incident Reduction Therapy. I've taken a little bit of this and a little bit of that from all of them. They are all wonderful tools but the one thing that is lacking in all of them is allowing the Lord to speak into my heart and mind. I've added a simple, yet very important prayer, "Where is Jesus?"
  The heart in the bird cage was a wonderful reminder that He is in all things and with us in all things. It's us who loses sight of Him, not the other way around! Those three little words focus my mind and heart on Him in the midst of chaos.
  Thank You, Lord for giving me a plan which I surrender to Your will and desires for my life. Thank You for providing everything. Thank You that I will hear Your truths in all of this.  In Jesus' name. AMEN!
  "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus." Rom 4:23-24
  PS: This was a concept I had a hard time understanding until last Sunday when the definition of "justified" was shared as: "just-as-if-I'd never sinned". Awesome!

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