Intensity, Frequency and Duration
Blogging is a new phenomena to most of us who are in the baby boomer generation. At 57, I finally have mastered text messaging, am fairly proficient on the computer and can find almost anything on the Internet. However, until a week ago, I had no clue how to “tweet”. Blogging is basically in the same category for me. While I enjoy writing, I don’t know what people who read blogs want to read. However, I know I need to do it, often, with passion and over a long period of time. Tweeting will become as easy as texting and blogs will be as commonplace for me as emails. As I prayed about what to share, my thoughts returned again and again to the three words: Intensity, Frequency and duration. What I realized is anything that makes a significant impact in my life involves all three of these characteristics.
Three Little Words…
Intensity, Frequency and Duration are words that I use everyday in my job as program director for Family Link, a foster care agency in Austin, Texas. on a daily basis, I evaluate the behavior of children based on the intensity, frequency and duration of their behavior to plan the best services to the children and their foster parents. Using these terms as a foundation, we can easily determine whether a behavior is normal for the child’s age or if it is something to be concerned about. Helping the foster family understand this and helping them create new patterns of behavior also involves teaching them new ways to respond to the child. The new responses need to be intense, frequent and have significant duration in order to be affective. The same is true with my relationship with God, Christ and my spiritual journey.
Not Just a Survivor…
Five years ago, I was just beginning Chemotherapy for breast cancer. I was a newlywed, living with Korine and her family with no insurance and no full time job. In July, 2005, I had a lumpectomy and began radiation treatment. Thinking back, the thought of going for treatment everyday for 8 weeks totally overwhelmed me. It was intense, it was frequent, and in my mind it was going to last too long. My life was good and I did not like my routine interrupted. During the months that followed, I learned that I had to utilize all the tools that I spent everyday teaching others in order to stop my own mind from spiraling out of control. I was not always successful. In fact, Korine can tell you that I was sometimes very unpleasant to be around. At those times, she and others who knew the impact of prayer, capturing my thoughts and building my personal relationship with God, reminded me of how much I was loved and that I could conquer this season in my life.
Breast Cancer forced me to rely on others and on God for my strength because many days, I had no strength of my own. The year that I was in treatment and the years since made me realize that I cannot battle what the world throws at me on my own. I can be intensely angry, hurt or even perceive myself as a victim all the time, but the intensity of those feelings do nothing but pull me down deeper into a dark hole. Just like the children who I work with everyday, I had to become intensely determined to maintain my relationship with Christ everyday. The scriptures tell us to pray without ceasing. Quite literally, I learned that when I talked to God during my treatment, my emotions did not control my thoughts or my behavior. As the co-founder of LAC, I knew all eyes were on my response to this experience which made it more difficult at times to just break down with anyone. However, many people who I had helped, now were there for me. They were Christ’s hands and sometimes His ears and eyes as I walked one of the most difficult seasons in my life.
Living as a Conqueror
The one thread that links these experiences together is the consistency of Christ and His desire for me to remember that change, healing, and growth come from purposeful, intense(passionate), and frequent communication with God through Jesus Christ. When that happens, the changes will last through any trial that I may face. When temptation or the the trials of life turn up the heat, I have to turn up the intensity, frequency and duration of praise, prayer and renewal. Giving up or giving in is not an option. Living as a conqueror is the only option.
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.