Today, I’ve decided to bare my soul to you all. I want to share my personal struggles, whether they seem childish or not, because I want to be as transparent with you as possible. So today, let me just say that…

I fail at being consistent. Not in work ethics or discipline, but in something that has a far greater impact on my life.

I am an emotional roller coaster.

I’m up, I’m down, I’m all around, and then I start over again.

I’m a mess.

It’s at the point that my mom felt she needed to warn my boyfriend the day he asked me to be his gal: “Just so you know, there is no middle ground with Rachel. She’s either on top of the world or at rock bottom and the switch can happen pretty quick.”

It didn’t get any better when he replied: “I know. I learned that pretty early on.”

Le sigh.

Such. Conviction.

(Thanks, dear ones.)

One moment while I disclaimer this: Yes, a large portion of my sometimes almost bipolar behavior is due to my illness. Extreme mood swings are an unfortunate side effect of chronic illnesses and the neurostimulants used to treat them. Pain spontaneously jumps in and muddles my brain and confuses my senses, fibro-fogging it up. But illness can still be just an excuse and I can’t keep making excuses for laziness in my life. End disclaimer.

God has been dealing with me about the need for consistency in my attitude. This world is a roller coaster and I can’t be one, too.

He hears every prayer, He sees every deed, He cares every single day. He is steadfast in His love for me. He is immovable in His desire to see me thrive. He excels at painting a beautiful masterpiece in my life.

I need to respond to that consistency with some of my own.

I should always express joy so that when people see me, they know I am loved, protected and secure.

Even in the face of trials and hurts, I should have that joy. If I can just trust that my life, my battles and my weaknesses have purpose, I won’t be as shaken by them. It won’t bother me as much.

I think that’s what Paul was saying in 1 Corinthians:

Therefore, my dear brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the Lord’s work, knowing that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. (15:58)

I need to alter the way I think about life because my thoughts determine my attitude. The work I am doing for the Lord is not in vain. It’s time I stop acting like it.

I want to wake up with a smile and go to sleep with a smile. I want the joy of the Lord to shine so brightly from me, that people are overwhelmed with the desire to know Christ!

Isn’t that what we are called to do? Be the salt and light of the earth?

I can’t be happy and on fire when Sally meets me on Sunday, and depressed and whiny when she meets me on Wednesday.

I don’t want to fake smiles through gritted teeth.

I want happiness and I want it to last.

So the ease with which I descend into anger, hurt or sadness has to go.

I won’t be a poor reflection of His character any longer.

Since God began dealing with me on this, He has begun a work in me. Last week I posted on how the decision to forgive whether the offender is sorry or not is freeing. I’ve felt so much happiness in choosing to forgive.

But there is still more for me.

I must simply be willing to allow God the chance at molding me into a Master’s piece.