For a few very hard years this word was my mantra.
The word means
-undismayed; not discouraged; not forced to abandon purpose or effort
-undiminished in courage or valor; not giving way to fear
But the truth is, I was often dismayed by everything that had taken place, and I did battle discouragement. I battled fear and doubts. I hurt and was angry, and sometimes "undaunted" sounded more like a mockery than a mantra, and I was determined to be real about all of it in these posts, thus the name, Undaunted Reality. More than that, though, I was determined to live undaunted, not because I'm so great or strong, but because my God is, and no matter what this world looks like, He is the only reality that matters.
I pray I live the reality of Him beautifully undaunted.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Blessing of Others Outside the 24/7 Crisis Mode

"Have learned that even the wellest meaning can't be in crisis mode 24/7...even if you are. Sucks to know that. It's a harsh reality."

First of all, I applaud the courage to say this! Isn't this the absolute truth?!

And, you are right. No one can be in crisis mode 24/7, but I've learned that is a gift.

Sometimes when people aren't in crisis mode, if I give myself permission to step into their reality, it helps me. Either things get in perspective, or I just get a reprieve. Either is good.

For instance, I've had several times when I've called someone and said, "Just tell me about your day."

My closest friends now know that is my code for, "Really hard day. Need to step out of me so I can breathe and step back into it with a clearer mind and less emotion, so I need to step into you."

Usually, they start with, "Well, I did this mundane thing, which was followed by some other mundane thing, and then you won't believe how absurd this other wholly mundane thing was," and I listen and laugh, and we end up talking about all kinds of things. It feels so good to my soul.

When we are done, whatever was slamming me is usually not as bad because I'm not in emotion anymore. Emotion never handled a problem or allowed for healing. Emotions are indicators, not responders. If you want to actually deal with something, you have to think it through and respond. A clear mind is a powerful weapon when crisis comes.

Taking time to step out of the emotion can give the mind time to start grabbing truth, get a solid footing, and stand up to whatever is happening.

Having people who are not in the crisis gives me a chance to step outside of it, too, which allows me to think of how to respond instead of just react.

It's a great thing.

And you may be wondering how to do that. Simple. You choose.

Just like choosing to walk in out of the rain.

If you are walking down a street and it is pouring rain, you are going to get sopping wet. Now, you choose to stop by and say hello to some friends because you want a moment not to be rained on, and they invite you in to warm up by the fire. You walk in and stand by the fire. ENJOY THE FIRE. You aren't in there because you have to be. You aren't in there because your friends need you to be. You are in there because your friends have a fire they want to share with you. ENJOY THE FIRE.

Yes, I know you are still sopping wet, and it is still raining, and you still have a long way to walk.

But for right then, that moment ENJOY THE FIRE.

When I make those phone calls to friends or a friend offers to take me to paint, see a play, etc., I have a chance to step out of the rain and get warm by the fire. I choose not to think about the rain outside. I choose to focus on something good in that moment.
Part of healing is forcing the pain to yield to some happy.

And, yes, I have hurt so badly that no matter how 'happy' things were, I always felt the undercurrent of pain raging below the thin ice where I stood. I remember thinking I was never really happy, and I wasn't, not like I was before God shook up my life etcha-sketch. And there were times I hurt so much for what I had lost I couldn't feel joy for what others had. I think that is pretty normal, but, I refused to stay there.

I tried to focus on one thing that brought a smile to my face. I would pray fervently, "God, help me be happy for this person." I clung to anything that felt "better".

Sometimes, that is all a fire can do--make it better, but make the choice to enjoy the better. Sometimes you have to mentally fight to recognize that moment of better, but it is worth it. YOU are worth it.

And you are worth stepping out of crisis and enjoying the reprieve.

It's not escaping. It's catching your breath, and taking time to get off the battlefield with others who help you think about anything but the crisis raging in you is vital to being able to stay in the fight.

I know. There is a voice in the back of your head that calls it abandonment and disinterest, but I've learned that voice lies a lot.

Maybe God didn't put anyone in your crisis with you because He knew you needed to step out of your crisis for a bit and be with them.

And when the war is raging, a reprieve is a wondrous blessing.


  1. Wow. Awesome. So much insight. Jerri, it may be selfish of me to say, but I'm so glad you've walked that walk in the cold and rain so you could share with me and others how to walk it better...and enjoy a warm fire or two along the way. Never thought of it all quite that way. So much good food for thought there. And yes, that voice does lie alot...alot-alot. ~ Laura

  2. Laura, it isn't selfish. It's just the bigger picture. I have peace with my part in the adventure. I'm just thankfuly God is using my experience to bless others. Redemption is a beautiful thing!

    And as for that voice, it always lies. When it speaks, you know the lie. Look the opposite direction and you have the truth. Run as hard as you can to the truth.

    Blessings, beautiful courageous one!