Inward and Upward

This season has felt like a coming back to self. Ever so slowly I’m being nudged back to who I was meant to be and away from who I thought I needed to be. 

With each day, I journey more and more inward… Rediscovering me.

Staying in place has meant dealing with what could never leave: my soul. I’ve found that I tend to run around so much in search for other things that I end up escaping my own self. But after awhile, especially in our current #StayInPlace reality, there’s nowhere else to run, but back to self. 

So while I’m here, safe at home, I’m choosing to not only reconnect with myself, but to connect deeper with God as well. To turn inward AND upward because I’ve found that, for me, one can’t happen without the other.

Here’s why:

If we only turn inward, we become way too hyper-critical of ourselves. We can be our own harshest judge as we go in circles trying to figure out our own mess.

But turning upwards simultaneously? That’s when it all starts to make sense. 

It’s like trying to ace a test without consulting the teacher’s notes. Or trying to build something without reading the manual. You can study. You can build. But you don’t know if you’re doing it correctly unless you look up from what you’re doing to see The Guide showing you how it was meant to be done. Understanding the maker’s intent for the end product, (as Pastor Mike Todd puts it in a #RelationshipGoalsReloaded sermon), helps you understand what you need to do to get the desired result. 

But getting the “desired result” is going to be a process. When you take a test, you have an end goal in mind. A degree. Mastery of a skill. An upgraded title. Whatever your end goal is, there’s often a layered process to get you there that is long, intricate, and requires consistent work. But you know what? When you ace one test, you celebrate. When you get the degree, you celebrate some more. And so on and so on. Just because it’s a process doesn’t mean there aren’t moments to pause and praise.

So as I continue this journey of discovery, I look up to my Maker. Happily. Saying, “I have nowhere else to go, but inward and upward.” I choose to #PraiseInPlace because I trust that looking up to God in the process of self-discovery is essential to moving forward on this journey I’m on.

To summarize, although the #StayAtHome order leaves us with virtually nowhere to go outside, there is still a journey that we can choose to go on. There’s plenty to be explored internally and we cheat ourselves when we try to go on this adventure alone. Looking up towards God gives us the clarity that we need to understand what’s really going on inside of us. It’s like looking in the mirror – the more you look at God, the more you’ll find out about yourself.

Quarantine or not, now is the perfect time to stop running away from the hard and confusing stuff happening within, but to instead lean into it with the right tools and expertise that only the Maker could provide.

Talk about some essential work right there!


Curveballs – Questions to Ask Yourself:

  • What are ways that you can start your inward and upward journey?
  • Do you believe that you can deepen your experience of God through discovering the gift of being your truest self? Why do you believe that?
  • What personal areas do you want to grow in/discover more about?
  • What does praise mean to you? And how can you utilize it on your journey?

How to Catch the Curveballs:

One book that I found to be really helpful to answer these questions about this inward and upward journey of self-discovery is “The Gift of Being Yourself” by David Benner. I highly suggest you check it out!

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