A movie I have seen more times than I care to broadcast. A movie I could recite, unashamedly. A movie that makes me want to look like Eva Mendez (which would be an up hill battle, seeing as I’m a blonde Australian). A movie which leaves wanting to be best friends with Will Smith. The Fresh Prince.
I’d like to take a minute just sit right there… I’ll tell you how I became the [BFF of] the Prince of a town called Bel-Air… (Just FYI, I could own you in a rap battle of this, moving on to Gangster’s Paradise. Don’t let these freckles and blonde hair fool you.)
… But back to my crazy LA night… Inside… By myself… With chocolate. #YOLO
My friend was having a birthday party and I was trying to convince myself that I didn’t want to go. I was trying to convince myself that I needed a ‘chill’ day, even though I’d been in my pyjamas all day. I hadn’t left the house, except for a brief trip to purchase enough on-sale Easter eggs to feed the entire “The Biggest Loser” house… On week one.
I knew deep down (deep, deep down) that what I needed was to get out of the house. I knew that what I needed was to do some writing. I knew that what I needed was to turn the TV off and spend time with Jesus. I knew all that.
For some reason I couldn’t connect my to-do list with my “let’s do this” list.
Why is the thing you know you need to do, the hardest thing to actually do? I think so often when we want to do what’s right, we just can’t.
So there I sat, knowing exactly what I needed to do in order to stop the pity-party I was having such a great/miserable time indulging in. I knew how to get the peace I so desperately wanted, but it felt like a scary battle to get there.
The path to peace? Through a valley of Dark Riders, over a mountain filled with Jabberjays, and passed a gate guarded by The White Witch… And Regina George. Why bother?
Peace seemed unattainable. Ever felt like that? Like the very thing you wanted was so unachievable that taking even one step felt pointless? Maybe when you look at a broken relationship, the path to restoration seems too complicated. Or the path to freedom from an addiction feels so far away that you’d rather sit down instead of move forward. Perhaps there’s an important decision you know you need to make but the fear of the twists and turns and unexpected drops is outweighing the excitement of an adventure. Maybe someone hurt you and the thought of forgiving that person feels so unfair that you don’t even give it the time of day. The path is too painful.
I get it. Trust me, I get it.
So you know what this brave pastor did when faced with the path to peace? Opened my bible? Nope. Wrote a blog? Negative. Got ready to go out? H to the No. I opened another packet of Easter eggs and Skype’d my sister. After all, surely that would help. Surely she would make me feel better about myself, right?
Apparently I had never met my sister.
Leah didn’t waste time in asking questions… She knew something was wrong staright away. She’s so annoying/amazing like that.
“Elyse, what’s wrong?”
“You’re upset. What’s wrong?”
“You’re not fine. Spill.”
“I just need to write my blog.. It’s just weerruukkhhshhskleubbbdge..” (That’s me trying to talk with a mouthful of chocolate.)
I decided to be honest. To tell her about the path that seemed so scary and how I felt lonely and anxious, like no one understood me. Her pastoral response?
“Elyse, stop feeling sorry for yourself. Get off the couch. Go and hangout with your friends. You are exactly where you need to be. Your excuses aren’t valid. You’re being lazy and selfish. I love you.”
She’s so very blunt. But she was so very right.
I really did want to go to this party. But something was stopping me. I was telling myself to be alone when really all I wanted and needed was to be with people.
Sometimes we need to give ourselves permission to do the thing that deep down we know we actually want and need to do. To take one step on a path that feels uncertain.
So I did. And as soon as I got off the couch, I zoomed passed the Dark Knights, Jabberyjays, White Witch and Regina George. Just call me Super-Elyse. I had unlocked a secret power. All in a decision.
It was the best night – full of friends, fun, and French fries. Just kidding, I live in LA. My nights are full of kale. And also wine. So actually, it’s exactly what I needed.
Maybe you find yourself in that situation today. Covering up what you know you really want and need to do with excuses. Let me be ‘big sister’ for a moment.
Do you. Uncover the deep down desires. Take a step on the path that seems shaky and scary. Make the secret decision that will unlock peace.
Know what you need, and do it. Do you boo.