By Judy Villanueva
“If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” (John 8:31-32)
“An embrace of reality always supports the life of both spirit and soul. Both thrive in the soil of acceptance of that which truly is and shrivel when we wander from a commitment to such truthful living.” (Benner, Soulful Spirituality)
The smell of fudgy goodness filled the kitchen as dad stirred mom’s birthday surprise and I scrutinized the candy thermometer. I was in town for a visit and while mom ran a few errands I got to hang out with my dad. I noticed that his hearing seemed to have worsened and, at 88, the onset of dementia continues to interfere with his memory. These changes feel sad at times, but as we talked and taste-tested chocolate, I also recognized my dad’s sense of humor and the joy he feels being together in the present moment. While I miss being able to talk like we use to, it helped to focus on what is still good and be grateful. I am thankful that my father still knows me, and glad that, despite his memory loss, he remains loving, kind, and content.
My family has a saying that we’ve borrowed and say often. “It is what it is.” When we say this to one another, we are actually inviting ourselves to know and accept reality.
To know “what it IS” helps us get to the harder step of making peace with whatever “it is NOT.”
This peace-making is necessary if we are to bring our real lives to God and receive His grace and strength to move forward.
In other words, when we stop resisting reality we can start becoming constructive agents, free to cultivate love and gratitude in the “what is” of the present moment.
Sometimes this means accepting that the people we love have the right to choose their own way even when it breaks our hearts, or making peace with changes in life that we didn’t sign up for (or want). Living “real” also means coming to terms with our disappointments and surrendering in faith to the life that is ours. How do we let go of what we wish were true in favor of being held by the Truth that came to set us free?
Oh how we need the reality of Jesus to bear down on our lives with truest Love!
God redeems our past and holds our future but, it is in the present moment that He wants to be our Defining Reality. The “It is what it is” of life can be hard on the heart sometimes but invites us to turn to God who always was and always will be who He is — faithful and full of love — the Great I AM and the Truth that keeps setting us free.
“Father, it is hard to know and accept reality sometimes, especially when good things change or when I can’t understand the why of things. Give me courage to accept what is and trust that you are always faithful. Become my defining reality. Amen.”
What about you?
Is God part of your daily and defining reality? What might that look like?
Are you freed by His love to know what is true of your life, past and present?
How are you doing in accepting the realities of your life? It can be hard but pretending can only offer a temporary peace.
God is who He is always and wants to be your defining reality.
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