Recently, I celebrated another birthday. 31 years to be exact. My husband asked me what I wanted as a gift, but I hadn’t thought much about it. I mean, we just had a baby less than two months ago. My mind has been focused on nourishing and care taking. My birthday was the least of my priorities!
However, his persistence caused me to ponder. I recognized that I wasn’t in need of anything. I joked, “I really could use a good massage”. Then I realized, maybe I wasn’t joking at all! I really wanted a good massage, as I had been experiencing some tightness and pain in my right shoulder.
It eventually dawned on me that a friend from my church is certified in therapeutic massage and bodywork. So, I called her up to schedule an appointment. Little did I realize that my session would be more than just a physical intervention. Instead, it was a divine appointment-meant to spiritually intervene and heal my soul.
Upon beginning, I apologized to her for sweating so badly. She replied by saying that I need not apologize as my body is a temple of the Lord (1 Corinthians 6:19). I’ve heard that scripture numerous times in my life. However, it never resonated more to me than it did in that moment. I meditated upon those words. In combination with the therapeutic massage and her welcomed prayers, the Holy Spirit had given me some revelations about my temple.
I saw three versions of myself in different rooms of my body’s temple. These rooms each represented relationships:
The first version walked through the threshold of a room titled, ‘Unforgiveness’. The walls were enveloped with ‘taking offenses’ and ‘holding grudges’. I had specifically taken offense to a friend who spoke an ugly lie about me. I instantly held a grudge against her. Anytime I heard her name I cringed inside. And as a result, I had a hard time forgiving her.
The second version walked through the threshold of a room titled, ‘Anger’. The walls were concealed with ‘spiteful thoughts’ and ‘sharp words’. I was reminded of a loved one that I’ve known throughout her lifetime. Over the years, situations developed that made my anger intensify more toward her. Every time I talked about her with someone else, I generated spiteful thoughts and spewed sharp words.
The third version walked through the threshold of a room titled, ‘Control’. The walls were masked with ‘perfectionism’ and ‘high expectations’. I discovered how I deprived a loved one of his control because I always tried to control all matters. I agonized over perfectionism and high expectations in an attempt to magnify myself and be in control.
Once I entered these rooms, the doors were locked behind me from the outside. And, I was holding its keys inside. I could see myself screaming, begging to be let out. So, I began to pray within, “God I surrender all of my strongholds to you”. Those “rooms” were indeed my strongholds; “anything on which one relies”. I relied on the unforgiveness, anger and control, instead of relying on God. I clenched the keys that belong to the rooms of my temple, instead of handing over the keys to the Holy Spirit.
With the help of my friend’s therapeutic massage, and her prayers joined with mine in spirit, I felt healing from within and peace. I left that day feeling changed. I knew I had made a choice to be obedient to the Word of God.
I am called to forgive. Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts..- Colossians 3:12-15 (NLT)
I am called to throw off anger. And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received.. Then the God of peace will be with you.- Philippians 4:8-9 (NLT)
I am called to give up control. Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.- Philippians 4:6-7 (NLT)
Upon surrendering, I acknowledged that I wholeheartedly rely on God. I handed over the keys of my temple to the Holy Spirit. Thus, I received His promised peace.
“Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.”- Romans 8:5-6 (NIV)