Today I had a creative encounter! Doesn’t that sound fun and exciting? It wasn’t at first. Rather dull and mundane, actually. But then, Jesus asked me to consider doing things differently.
I was leaving the pharmacy, where there was a problem with my refill yet again. I left frustrated! Now for me, as a 7 on the Enneagram*, I usually don’t deal with my negative emotions. My normal operation would be to brush off my feelings, change the channel in my head, and try to just go about my day. This doesn’t actually work, though. So to learn how to do this differently, I have been practicing the PAUSE. I have been practicing pausing and paying attention to how I’m actually reacting and feeling. For me, I find this easiest to do within a conversation with Jesus.
As I walked from the back of the store, where the pharmacy is located, I talked through the layers of my frustration with Him. First, I admitted the easy pickings. I told Him how frustrated I felt that they didn’t have the refill ready that I had made time to stop for. Also, they couldn’t fix the problem, and I would need to stop again later. Grr! And I shared that I was frustrated that this was actually the second month in a row this had happened at this pharmacy.
Ok, those were pretty obvious issues, and I had all these surface frustrations verbalized in my head after a few steps. However, as I kept walking, I felt Jesus’ invitation to share more. Would I consider looking a little deeper?
Not surprisingly, I realized that under those surface feelings there were some deeper things. Dare I say, even some anger? Yes! I realized I was mad! Mad that I have a medical issue, which makes me have to get medicine in the first place. I was mad at my body, for being weak and not responding to the medicine I had been taking forever. And honestly, I was mad at Jesus. I have prayed and have been prayed for over the years, believing for my healing – and haven’t seen it yet. I told Him about all that mad! Phew!
By the time I hit the front of the store, and stepped out into the sun, I was really at the core and the truth of how I was feeling. It was uncomfortable, as I usually try to stay away from negative feelings, but also oddly freeing.
Right then, I felt another question drop into my mind. Would I consider doing things a new way? I realized that my normal routine would be to shove down and ignore my negative feelings and try to will-power my way back to a positive mindset. This never ended in peace. It usually ended in me managing to keep the negative feelings tamped down until an unsuspecting husband or kid tapped into them!
But this time I observed something different. Something new. As I was honest and processed my real feelings with Jesus, even though they were negative and not fun, I realized I received peace. Not peace because anything had changed. I still didn’t have my prescription, I would still have to come back, and the pharmacy still might mess up the next time. I still have to take the medication, my body still wasn’t reacting great, and I may still pray and not see the healing that I believe God has for me. But right then, I experienced peace. A peace that surpasses understanding took over. It was a huge shift.
I realized that in pausing and taking just a few minutes to acknowledge all these feelings and talk to Jesus about them, I was doing a new thing. Instead of stuffing negative feelings down, ignoring them and hoping they’d just go away, I was able to process them. I was able to exchange them for peace. Wow!
So, what is creative about this? It didn’t end with a beautiful painting or a poem. It wasn’t exciting or loud or colorful. It didn’t even solve the initial things I was frustrated about. But the cool part, the creative part, is that I have a new way of thinking! That as I talk things over with Jesus, and consider what He brings up, my mind is renewed. I start to think differently. I develop new patterns. And I live in a new level of freedom. These simple shifts are incredible. They are life-changing!
God is the Creator. He created us, and He loves to create with us. As we are living life by rote, the way we always have, following the patterns we’ve always done, we get the same old results. But as we live life processing with Jesus, taking time to consider His perspective and thoughts, we get invited to create new ways of doing things.
Ephesians 3:20 says to never doubt God’s mighty power to work in you, that He will achieve infinitely more than your greatest request, your most unbelievable dream, and exceed your wildest imagination! Now that’s what we are talking about. He will do this in big, ah-ha moments but He will also do this in the day-to-day trips to the pharmacy. He’s that GOOD!
Jesus, thank You that You were here on earth and that You did mundane things. And thank You that You are still here, doing the day-to-day with us. We ask you to highlight areas where You want to create more freedom for us. Show us the patterns and habits we walk in. Remind us to pause and consider what You say. Thank You that we will discover new creative ways to be with you, that bring infinitely more than we could request, dream, or imagine!
Ephesians 3:20 (NLT)
Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.
*Enneagram: Interested in learning more about the Enneagram? Check out www.enneagraminstitute.com or listen to the Typology Podcast to learn more!
About the Author
Pam is a fun and encouraging team-builder that brings the best to those around her. She loves people and is committed to serving and mentoring kids, women and families with opportunities to grow closer to God and each other.
Pam is currently serving as Children and Family Pastor at Valley Christian Center in Albany. Pam and her husband, Jared, have been married since 2005 and have three boys. Their family will always be a much loved part of our CitySalt family.