The “Through” in Breakthrough–Moving Forward, Part 2

woman in sunlight


{Here, Part 2 of the conclusion to Making Peace With Time…thank you for joining me; my prayer is that you might make your own peace with time as a blessed result.}

 Just say NO to the deceiver…

As I move forward, striving to live peaceably with time, I must remember the enemy is the one who’s perverted this gift in my mind, twisting it, calling it “captor”, and me, “prisoner.”

So I’m learning…to fight back with a capital “NO” when the deceiver comes calling in my moments, thieving, condemning, and tempting me to worry about how I’ll ever make it to the next place on time, get dinner on the table in a timely manner, or steward my moments to God’s glory.

We’re studying the armor of God in Bible study…and with each page I turn, with each nugget I glean about our adversary’s tactics, I’m becoming increasingly incensed. And increasingly less tolerant of his merciless harassment.

Priscilla Shirer writes,

“If you look carefully, you’ll notice that the battles your enemy wages against you–especially the most acute, consistent ones–possess a personality to them, an intimate knowledge of who you are and the precise pressure points where you can most easily be taken down.” Priscilla Shirer, The Armor of God, (Nashville, Lifeway Press) 29. (Emphasis mine)

Yes, our enemy’s methods are infuriating. But knowledge is power—power to keep us from falling prey to his sinister schemes.

 It’s all about the buffer, baby… 

Earlier I mentioned one of God’s non-negotiables for me going forward: a time buffer. If I’m honest, I’ve resisted it, kicking and screaming my way to submission in this area, even with full knowledge of how much my toddler-like mentality has cost me. A true bondservant to the rush. (Lord, help us stubborn ones–we know who we are. Maybe God should write a new beatitude: “Blessed are the stubborn at heart, for when they fail, they fail HARD, their God-need all the greater.”)

Despite my resistance, desperation for breakthrough has won out, forcing me to face reality—no buffer, no progress. God clearly spoke that 15 minutes was sufficient for supplying a life-giving bit of margin and breathing room as I strive for punctuality. And of course, as promised, I’m finding freedom in compliance; His Divine directives are always for our good…

Keeping appointments with myself…

(No matter how much I try to talk myself out of it…)

Most especially when I’m in my creative space/writing mode, it can be agonizing to shut my laptop and move on to something else I determined to get done that day. Just five more minutes, I reason, which turns into 10, which turns into 20…which ultimately turns into a missed opportunity. My failure to be balanced only adds to my frenzy.

But there’s immense freedom to be found in keeping appointments. I’m learning to discipline myself in those moments, to stop whether I want to or not…and I’m finding that great peace comes from living a balanced life and keeping things I’ve prioritized ahead of time a priority.

 A daily decision–dressing for success…

Maybe it’s my affinity for all things fashion, but I’m taken with Scriptures using “dressing” verbiage…what a great metaphor; equating clothing ourselves in the morning with the virtues we need to wear daily; the latter with even greater intentionality…

“You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” Ephesians 4:22-24 (NIV)

 “So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light.” Romans 13:12 (ESV)

 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.” Ephesians 6:11 (NIV)

I have a new name (VICTORIOUS). So each day I need to dress accordingly—putting off and putting on.

Put off: Late. Scarcity. Exhausted. Not enough. Frantic. Rushed. Joyless. Super Woman. Perfect.

Put on: On time. Margin. Planning ahead. Discipline. Obedience. Appointment keeper. Abundance. Laughter. Peace. Joy. Rested. Perfectly loved. VICTORIOUS.

 Through all of this, God’s cultivated in me a tenderness toward time—where before I despised its very existence. Resented its restrictive grip. Wished it would cease being, and doing everything it inherently doesn’t: slow, wait, stop.

He’s helped me realize the PEACE at my disposal, entirely of Him and permeating every passing minute, if I’ll only embrace it. This incredible gift that’s always been there, woven into the very fibers of me, once realized, enables me to fully embrace all of His good gifts. Even the once-formidable, joy-draining clock. And then move gloriously forward, giving back to the gift Giver: stewarding my time to His glory.

I’ve battled it out on my own Baal Perazim, and He’s brought me to the PEACE PLACE. Where time is no longer a ticking curse over my head, me, sentenced to a lifetime of watching the hours slip cruelly away, condemnation the order of the day. But rather, a blessed hall pass to rest, no longer an unattainable luxury, but God’s gracious command. He’s afforded me a grace filled reframing of this good gift, granting me fresh eyes with which to rightly relish each precious moment.

Though my journey’s not been perfect, nor will it ever be, through its perfect Creator, I’ve made my peace with time. And therein lies the breakthrough.

 Welcome to Berakah

peace with time

 {Making Peace With Time is a blog series chronicling my struggle to harness and live peaceably with time, finding the blessing in all of it. Time, it’s a gift from above…may its Creator use this journey to wash my eyes, that at the end, I might behold it as such, victorious over my ticking captor…}

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