A recent medical review required a stress lifeline. This involved drawing a line representing my life, then marking peaks and valleys of good and bad stress in my life. Abuse, graduation, marriage, car accident, birth of children, miscarriage, etc. It is amazing to then check one’s medical records and see how illness or inflammation coincided with and followed the bad-stress events.
The exercise helped me recall when I first became a Christian and someone asked me to create a spiritual lifeline. I’d been resentful that in the religious setting of my childhood, I’d not been told the whole gospel, and a very wise pastor showed me through the lifeline that it was in that very setting I’d been taught some of the foundational truths that prepared my heart for the complete gospel.
Now I want to complete the course – making an emotional and a mental lifeline as well. I’m sure on the emotional lifeline, I will meet some of the dear friends reading this who greatly influenced various areas of my life. I fondly recall some teachers (not all in schools) who will appear on the peaks of my mental lifeline, along with many authors. The valleys on all of the lifelines, it seems, we have no trouble filling in with incidents or names, and yet we have to be careful not to label all of those with only negative influence.
Just as I discovered what I thought was a negative spiritual influence was actually a preparation for the complete truth of salvation I longed for, many of the difficult valleys of life also teach us, strengthen us, and prepare us for the next mountain top. The comments on our lifelines can reveal those events and things that have and could again tempt, weaken, or encourage and raise us above worldly worries to recognize what God has done in our lives, what He wants to do, and what we need to do to allow Him to work in us again.
Grab a piece of paper and make four horizontal lines – one apiece for physical, spiritual, mental and emotional. (of course for guys, that last one will likely look radically different than ours, gals!) Seriously though it is no test and no results are right or wrong – but the lifelines are revealing and you may even find yourself doing what I did – thanking God for all the blessings I could see in the valleys as well as the mountain tops. Who could help but praise when you can see God in your lifeline!