Dear Tabernacle Family,

Connection. It’s what gives purpose and meaning to our lives. But why is it that we subconsciously fight connection? We fight it with control, with fear, with shame, all to self-sabotage.

When we try to control our lives totally with the “self we think we know,” self-awareness is inhibited. Instead of owning and understanding our emotions, we ask God to “take them away.” Instead of seeing shame or guilt as an opportunity to understand ourselves better, we pray for them to somehow magically leave. Or we simply avoid time alone so we don’t have to face these feelings at all. We can even use otherwise “good” activities, like Bible study, small groups, or church work to stay far away from what we really think and feel.

You can’t heal what you don’t acknowledge. You can’t transform what you’ve pretended doesn’t exist. Emotions are not the enemy. Anger. Sadness. Guilt. Fear, even Shame are cues. They need our attention and understanding. When we ignore our emotions (an integral part of who we are), we cut off access to parts of ourselves. If you’re unable to connect with yourself, it makes it very challenging to connect with others.

Become aware. Self-awareness is knowing what season you are in and how you are doing in this season. It creates compassion in your life for your capacity and ability to function within that season. Self-awareness helps us make healthy adjustments to our lives and to our expectations of ourselves. Once you are aware of where you’re at in life and what your capacity is, it frees you from comparison with other people. Because most likely, most people are in different seasons than you.

Allow yourself to experience the beautiful and sometimes messy collaboration of your heart and intellect. Find yourself in your story. In God’s story. Because what you do and who you are matters. You are enough. This is the place where we stop screaming and start listening. We’re kinder and gentler to those around us; and we’re kinder and gentler to ourselves.

Lord, even when your path takes me through the valley of deepest darkness, fear will never conquer me, for you already have! You remain close to me and lead me through it all the way. Your authority is my strength and my peace. The comfort of your love takes away my fear. I’ll never be lonely, for you are near… So why would I fear the future? For your goodness and love pursue me all the days of my life. (Psalm 23:4,6)


Cheri Leight

Creative Marketing Director

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