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  • Writer's pictureJoellen Kemper

This Present Moment

Back at the beginning of March, I had surgery to finish up reconstruction. Praise God, it went smoothly- the first surgery I've had where I didn't get horribly nauseous afterwards and I did not have to take an ounce of pain medicine! But goodness, it must have been the straw that broke the camel's back because my energy levels just hit a wall and plummeted to its lowest depths there afterwards.

I started out discouraged by it, but I decided after the first couple of days to just embrace it. To pay closer attention to my body-when it needed rest and really hone in on what was most essential.

Giving in to this need of my body has been the very best thing and a couple of weeks back I felt like the only thing left was to delete my social media apps from my phone. I have gotten better over the years at not letting it steal my joy but I was realizing how much energy was still being depleted from me [at exponential rates] every time I got on and scrolled! I don't plan on completely giving up social media, but I also don't have any idea of when I'll really return.

This has allowed me to really tighten things in, I'm only managing that which breathes life into me. I do think there will be a time when social media can be a part of that life giving force again. But for now, I'm training myself how to be totally present. I'm very future minded, and social media is something that feeds into my thoughts of the future. Being present has allowed me to be more sensitive to the Holy Spirit and more mindful of loving on my family. I'm learning to not worry over the future, that as long as I'm surrendered in this present moment to God, He will provide all of my needs.

I've taken this being present one step farther- when I'm in the waiting room at my radiation appointments, I normally don't let myself read. When I read, I'm closing every one out and I've actually had some great conversations with the people in the room with me because of that decision.

God has been calling me into further obedience of seeking humility and being more open to the people around me. As a naturally shy introvert who is often off in a world of daydreams, it's been tough for me to lay these self giving desires aside.

But what I'm noticing is creation and redemption is taking place due to my obedience. I am getting true joy out of connecting with others and my environment more. I can minister to my family's needs more effectively and the Holy Spirit is emboldening me to be a part of even strangers' lives. Judah and I have been enjoying walks in nature and have been taking weekly trips to the library. And I've reached a better sleep schedule that allows me to wake up a couple of hours before the rest of the house so I can have my own personal quiet time. That normally involves getting myself ready for the day, reading from the Bible, praying, and then figure drawing practice. God knew I needed alone time, and He provided a way for me. A way that doesn't idolize my need for solitude, but subjugates that need to my greater need of obeying Him and being present to love others.

I'm truly enjoying this way of living, it allows me to pinpoint what is most important and completely immerse myself in them. Our culture is so ingrained with the fast, productive, and validating, no wonder we are all so anxious and enraged. It's in these moments of surrender to God, patience, and faithfulness that human life truly flourishes.

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