My husband came home for lunch this week and the first thing he did was go smell all the candles in our house. At first, I raised my eyebrows and then it dawned on me that he was checking to see if he could still smell because he thought he might have Covid. Now before I go any further, this is a regular occurrence in our house. You may be just like us… Covid has had a way of convincing us that even an eyelash stuck in our eye, could be this virus.
Prior to him coming home for lunch, I was working my way through 2 Corinthians 4. I hardly ever come to my spouse with a need to share these types of things but this time felt different. I grabbed my journal and read…
“We are afflicted in every way but not crushed; we are perplexed but not in despair; we are persecuted but not abandoned; we are struck down but not destroyed. We always carry the death of Jesus in our body, so that the life of Jesus may also be displayed in our body… So then, death is at work in us, but life in you.”
I documented that I wanted to pay attention to my body and how I might be outwardly “wearing my affliction” so that I can be more prepared to display the life of Jesus in me. When I began to share this with my husband, his demeanor changed and what he thought may have been Covid, he now realized was him wearing anxiety.
I am by no means giving anyone permission to assume they don’t have Covid. Or if you have serious recurring pain, please go get that checked out by a professional. There is a WIDE range of people reading this and experiencing pain. I don’t presume that I can relate to clinical anxiety. If that’s you, I see you. I am however asking, what is your body’s response to stress? In my life, it looks like shooting pains up my neck and into my head that creates tension. It looks like waking up in the middle of the night with a rapid heart rate that won’t slow down. At times, it’s my gut health. It has a way of paralyzing us in life. The things we feel in our body can lead to an overall, stuckness.
There is a hormone that releases in our body to relieve stress called Cortisol. If this hormone doesn’t get let out from our bodies, it gets physically stored and can cause a chain of serious reactions that negatively impacts our lifestyle. My way of coping is usually working out. Well, I don’t blame anyone if this year has kept you from doing that. I haven’t worked out in months. Many of us go through seasons where we get fit, take a pause, and then do it all over again. Circumstances or lack of motivation can lead to this back and forth movement. But we need to find ways to release our affliction in our bodies or we will be forced to submit to our bodies rather than our bodies, submitting to us.
We are MADE to live a life to the full as we build the Kingdom of God right here and right now. That won’t happen if we can’t at least acknowledge how we carry our afflictions.
First, define your affliction today. What do you feel needs to be addressed in your body? Name it. Claim it. Write it down. Tell a trusted friend.
Next, commit to a release. Find a way to liberate. Help your body submit to the way you want to live out your God-given life. Could you simply go on a walk? Could it be journaling? Honestly, a good scream would do it. Maybe it’s time for you to seek guidance from a professional. Therapy? Spiritual Direction? Coaching?
Learning to channel your affliction will give you the ability to even more boldly display the work you were designed for! We won’t despair forever. There is hope. If you feel inclined, take a few moments and leave a comment below with your responses as you process.