Know what I mean?
I looked up this phrase to better define it. Here's what I found:
"Why do we describe a distraught person as being 'beside himself'? Because the ancients believed that soul and body could part and that under great emotional stress the soul would actually leave the body. When this happened a person was 'beside himself.' (In an extreme state of some emotion)."
Have you ever felt like that?
Like you're two people living in one body? Like your mind and your heart are warring against each other? Like how you're feeling just isn't meshing with what you believe?
This sums up what I've been feeling for the last few weeks.
Gripped in a state of anxiety that is battling for my thoughts. And yet, holding on to what I know is true, and in what I believe.
Fearful thoughts and trusting heart.
Can they exist in the same person?
Evidently so, for this is the conflict that I've been experiencing lately.
I find this co-existence exhausting.
You see, I'm an interesting mix of feelings and thoughts. I have a big heart, I'm very sensitive, and I care about things deeply. I'm a feeling person.
But, I'm also a thinker. Thoughtful in my approach to life – analytical, pondering, ruminating – always searching for answers.
So, I have an interesting way that I'm doing life.
Something will happen. It causes deep feelings. Sometimes confused by these emotions, or feeling out of control of them, I try to figure them out. You see, to me it seems that if I can understand what I'm feeling, then I can manage and deal with it.
But sometimes life isn't that straightforward.
This year has brought so many things. And my feelings are out of control. At least it seems that way, for I cannot always understand why I'm feeling what I feel. And that just increases my sense of anxiety.
On the other hand, my faith is deepening. Gradually being strengthened by an unshakable belief in a God who is there. A God who is in control. A God who loves me without reservations – unconditionally – with His whole heart.
A God whom I love the very same way.
So, I feel like a split personality.
Two people in one.
The emotional person and the thinker. The fearful person and the believer.
The *wearied-by-being-me* person.
I'm hoping someone can relate. I hope someone understands. I hope there's some *two-in-ones* out there in Blog Land like me.
I do know there was someone in the Bible like me.
His name was Paul.
Paul struggled with the two natures that lived within himself. The sinful nature, and the Spirit-filled nature.
He knew what it was like to feel torn apart by warring thoughts and feelings.
"The trouble is with me...I don't really understand myself..."
(Romans 7:14, 15, NLT)
Helpless and hopeful. Scared and secure. Confused and confident.
And, in the end, it boils down to this dilemma…
Sinner and saint.
Yeah, beside myself.
And yet, beside my Savior, too.
Digging in close to Him, though I cannot figure out my life or myself. I still want to understand, and I'm still trying to understand, but failing in both.
So, this is what I'm praying for:
That He will bring to my tired mind and helpless emotions the restful repose found in the hope that only He can offer.
That He will free me from my fears and fruitless worrying by reminding and reassuring me of the security I possess because of His salvation.
That He will replace my internal confusion and desperate need to understand myself with the confidence that He knows my heart, knows my name, and knows what He is doing.
And through it all, I truly want Him to become greater.
Paul understood that, too, and said it this way:
"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me."
(Galatians 2:20, NIV)
You know, I think I'll always be a bit confused by all the paradoxes that exist within me.
I think I'll always be a unique (and often frustrating) mix of feeling and thinking.
And I know that the battle between my flesh and my Spirit-filled nature will rage on until I am made complete in eternity.
Take heart – we are not alone in the battle.
We are promised a High Priest who understands – our dear Jesus.
For He was also a *two-in-one*…
God and man. Divine and human. Infinite and finite. Humble and glorious.
The death that saved us, and the Life that lives on within us.
In Him all things come together and are made complete.
And someday, all the warring and confusing and paradoxical things that exist in us will be united and perfected.
For in the twinkling of an eye, we will become all that He has intended for us since before the creation of the world.
One day, we will be like Him, for He is coming back.
"Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding…Be not wise in your own eyes…" (Proverbs 3:5, 7, ESV)
"The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding." (Proverbs 9:10, NIV)
"For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin." (Hebrews 4:15, ESV)
"He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less." (John 3:30, NLT)
"Beloved, we are God's children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is." (1 John 3:2, ESV)
"And when Christ, who is your life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory." (Colossians 3:4, NLT)
What is something paradoxical that exists in you?
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