If you follow me, you’ve probably noticed I have been quiet lately. Sometimes we are empty and we don’t realize it, and we need to recharge. Life in October was busy and in that I was unable to sit with my thoughts properly to reflect. I wanted to write, but I could not.
The last few days I have had a few moments to sit and be. I know I have said it a billion times, but the last year has been so jam-packed full of lessons, at times it has been hard to keep up. I have fully understood how God has been changing me, but I am not too sure yet how to rest in this new creation.
It is true that once you accept Christ He slowly transforms you. It takes a life time, but He will take piece by piece and refine it. Some years are long, some are short. It all takes time, and then one day you wake up and see what He has been doing. It is a beautiful thing, but very much like the scripture says at the end of Philippians 2:12 …work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
The sanctifying process I believe to be all up to God, but we need to be willing vessels for the process to go smoothly and in my case I have been dried out clay. What kind of things does God concentrate on? Well in my case, He has focused on my emotional health.
It is hard for a Christian to be effective when bogged down by the past, fears, abandonment issues, trust issues, unforgiveness, behavioral issues, need for approval, self focused, control issues, to name a few. We all come to the Lord in different ways and at different times of our lives, but we all come with some kind of baggage, and it does not magically disappear when we accept Him.
When my pot was stirred this year many remnants of my issues came to the surface for me to see. I watched as the Lord gently removed them. It hurt me more than I thought it would. It humbled me in many areas of my life and left me paralyzed for quite some time.
What do you do when someone holds a mirror up to your face and shows you in love the ugly parts of you? If it’s a person I might freak out…when it’s God I just fall on my face.
“It’s all I know Lord…who am I with out these behaviors, and thoughts? How can I move forward in this newness?”
I think we think, “Yay! I am free of stuff. Now watch me, I am going to rock this!” But the reality is, like any new journey it can be scary. I would like to say I was happy about this new found freedom and presented myself ready before the Lord to move forward, but alas that is not what I did.
I hid. I was scared. I was ashamed of the things He showed me about myself. I didn’t know how to move forward. I tried a few times, but I could still feel myself doing the things I was supposed to change, like a video game I had leveled up, got new tools, but refused to try them out. The problem with that is if you’ve leveled up and received new tools it was because you can’t pass the level with out those new tools. You will have to use them sooner or later.
The lessons I have learned…
My mom was a church hopper when I grew up, so lets say I am well rounded, or a mixed up mess more like it. Over the years God has shown me His truth against different learned doctrines I had acquired. Some of which had twirled itself around my prayer life.
The first humbling experience was to remind me that name it and claim it is not the way God works. He is not a puppet we control. He is sovereign. We can present Him with our heartfelt requests, but ultimately it is His will and His plan be done.
The next thing He showed me was who’s approval I was after. Apparently I was after those around me. This one was hard for me to see and learn. I have received it and I am beginning to grasp it. This was painful for me.
After that He showed me my abandonment issues and how they were still there. After a few lost friends, and even the stability of my church, my eyes were opened to where I was putting my energy and how I depended on others more than God, and when these relationships were shaken I was faced with the underlying belief that no matter what I did it wouldn’t be good enough for God and He would still forsake me just like the people in my life.
The last thing that has been a real bugger to learn is this underlying belief that I have a responsibility to pray for those around me. But in a codependent way. I feel like if I don’t pray things will go wrong and that I am somehow responsible for keeping up the prayers. Yes, I know it’s crazy.
In all this I have tried many things. I quit praying all together for a while, I took a break from friends as well, I pretty much isolated myself. Spoiler alert that did not work very well. Next, I started to get it, and for a few months found some balance, but my ritualistic ways were still present. Let’s just say I did many trial and error approaches, none worked.
I got dismayed. I threw my hands up in the air. I didn’t quit, but I built a tiny wall, and sat behind it for a while, throwing a fit, until finally I hit my knees. And it all has come to this…
be quiet, listen, let the Holy Spirit lead.
All the things I have been learning about myself is that I don’t trust and therefore have adopted things to control. In those little things, I have found safety, but God doesn’t want us to depend on anything or anyone but Him. And HE loves us soooo much that He will continue to tear down the walls we build. He will continue to hold up the mirror and gently show us where we end and He begins.
We end at dirt. He begins at life. It is easy to forget He created it all. He is in charge of it all. He is not surprised by our day to day. He is not overwhelmed when we are. He is not scrambling to fix our messes. He is never changing, all knowing, fully powerful, and in charge of ALL OF IT!
I am to be quiet and listen during this season, most importantly I am to show up. He knows my heart and all its burdens, it is time to be still and know. (Psalm 46:10)