Tear down the damned high places

Whenever I read through the Kings and Chronicles of the old testament, I get frustrated at this statement that’s tacked onto the end of almost every single king’s reign- whether he was evil or righteous –  “… but he didn’t tear down the high places.”

I’m not theologically schooled enough to fully break down what “high places” meant for the ancient Israelites or the full spiritual symbolism, but to me it symbolized an evil stronghold that even the good leaders of that time didn’t have the will or guts to get rid of.

Seeing this phrase annoyed me so much that it stuck with me… and became irritatingly relevant.

Ya see, there was a habit in my life I was holding on to that was not good for me. Eventually, I half-heartedly built a barrier to keep it out of my life. But… my wall had cracks all in it. I kinda sorta maybe left ways for this habit to worm its way back into my thoughts. After a few times of thinking about the habit, it started to seem less harmful.. silly almost. Then I thought “I’m strong enough to handle this,” and started to dabble in it again. Then dabbling turned into regular use, regular use into bingeing… Which of course made me feel especially guilty and terrible, because I knew I was fully re-immersing myself in a behavior that — at my best — I didn’t want.

holeinwall
Feeble wall building =  lamé

But later in my life, my amazing wise sister came to visit. My sister cannot stand this habit, and especially what this habit did to me. I was explaining to her how my most recent entanglement with this habit had upset me. Although she was sympathetic – dear soul that she is – I could also tell that she was frustrated. And in my heart of hearts I couldn’t blame her! I was choosing to let myself be hurt.

So I set my face like steel, and this time when I cut this habit it out, I pulverized it. 100%.

That same week, I met my next boyfriend.*  While we were dating and sharing about ourselves, this habit came up… as they always seem to do … and he asked me straight up if I was still a regular user, so to speak. I’m telling y’all… it felt amazing to look him in the eye and be able to honestly say “Nope. That is 100% donezos.”

Before, a part of me was unwilling to cut this habit off completely.  Because like almost all habits that enfold you and steal your heart away from wholeness, this habit could be, well, quite enjoyable. But eventually, I did tear down my “high places.” It wasn’t because the habit stopped being appealing, it was because the idea of freedom from this habit become even more appealing.

(Let’s make sure we’re all on the same page; the back channels of access to this habit were my “high places.” Despite all of my other “reforms,” these last strongholds were irksome markers of my own rebellion.)

Do I miss this habit sometimes? Yep. Maybe I always will, at least a little. But at the same time, I’ve never regretted cutting it out, and I have honestly never received so much positive feedback from all the people who *love* me after I built a real wall, with no cracks, no back-entryways into my life.

“For freedom Christ has set us free..” – Apostle Paul (Galations 5:1)

So… tear down the damned high places in your life. Be free 🙂

freedom
Me rn

— EDITORIAL NOTES —

*Granted, that didn’t exactly end well. But THAT’S NOT THE POINT

 

 

Baby Boomers: Get off your arse and harass a millennial

Something happened to me this week that blew my mind, and then it blew my mind that it blew my mind– totes meta.

The background: I met this hilarious, encouraging, Spirit-filled lady at my church who’s probably 30ish years my senior. We had similar life passions so we decided to get coffee and chat a few times before church. The last time we met, it was ambiguous if we would meet up again, and I thought “well, she’s probably busy. Maybe we’ll see each other around.”

barney
Actual picture of us chatting. Jk. FROM THE BEST MOVIE EVER MADE

This week, I get an email from her titled “WHERE ARE YOU.” Apparently I had missed an email from her inviting me to hang last Sunday.

Here’s the outrageous part- she followed up! THEN when I explained that I had missed her email, she invited me to something else!

💥💥💥

^my brains

If you are underwhelmed right now, let me ‘splain.

It is incredibly easy to ghost people. I don’t like to brag, but I’ve done some hardcore ghosting through the years. Even MORE easy is to ghost Christian community. There’s nothing brag-worthy about this- most churches are so concerned with attracting new people they forget to care about keeping them there. Many a time your little Gallo has slinked her way out of Christian community like a spiritually dry ninja. 🙅🏻 So when this lady was like “Yo yo! where you at, boo?”* it meant a lot to me that she 1) noticed 2) cared an 3) wasn’t putting up with any passive-rebellious nonsense.**

Even more fundamental though, is just that this lady has taken the time to Make Concrete Plans! Stick to Them! Meet Me Face to Face! Follow up!

Even MORE fundamental- at risk of sounding pathetic – it actually warms the cockles of my lil heart that she simply … took an interest in me.

But wait, there’s more!

When we meet, somehow without condescending or dismissing my struggle bus rides, she encourages me. I always feel optimistic and positive about life when we’re done meeting. For realzzzz, how many people can you say that about??

I say all this not *only* because she’s my #WomanCrushWednesday, but because I want you old fogies ( 😉) to know how little you have to do to be a huge source of light and encouragement to a millennial.

I Love You Hearts GIF by Feliks Tomasz Konczakowski - Find & Share on GIPHY

Instead of sharing articles with each other bemoaning how the Youths are always staring at their phones, you could rock their world by busting out those social skills you grieve that we don’t have and 1) initiate a conversation 2) make a concrete plan 3) be a consistent, stable force of good in their lives.***

What an opportunity! Show us how it’s done, baby boomers!

 

— EDITORIAL NOTES —

*that was the gist 😉

**even though this time was a mistake, she didn’t know that!

***sorry for all the enumerations. I just 1) have a lot of points and 2) I don’t really care so 3) I’m really not sorry

 

 

 

the 6 stages of post-break-up grief, in gifs

#1 – Nothing but pure, unadulterated despair

Sad Diane Keaton GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

#2 – when you realize it’s really over and most of the great men in the world got married when they were 19

Feels Breaking Dawn GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

#3 – you let all the positive affirmations from friends and family sink in.. maybe goes to your head

I Am World Tour GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

#4 – you decide you hate men and resign yourself to be a cat lady forevs

Adopts Cat Lady GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

#5 – but then your hormones make a strong case for staying in the game

How You Doin Flirting GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

#6 – hope for the future

Claude Rains GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY