“I was praying about you and the awful situations you are going through,” she said sincerely, leaning over to grasp my hand, “With this level of spiritual warfare, you must have a great destiny in the Lord!”
I wanted to say, “If this is a war I am losing. I would trade destiny and everything else to have a husband not die, to be able to walk, to have children free from fear and anxiety and to live anywhere but here.”
“Thank you for praying. I appreciate it,” I said and then walked away. I wish I could have as easily distanced from the fury her comment inspired.
So all of this is supposed to be about my destiny?!?!?! It’s supposed to be preparing me for some great work for the “Lawd”? Burying my parents, crippling poverty, nearly losing my husband and parenting kids who watched their Pappy die are all part of a plan to prosper ME? If it is-count me out!!!!
My friend recently preached a sermon called, “It’s All About Me” and it’s really messing me up.
Messing me up by challenging the comfortable martyr status I’ve settled into.
Messing me up by ripping the band aid covering an ancient wound of mistrusting God and His promises.
Messing me up by reminding me it was His people who used and abused me in His name-it wasn’t Him.
Messing me up by raising the level of accountability to life and death levels.
Messing me up by taking scripture and applying it to the reality of what it means to “take up our cross” daily.
Messing me up by taking me out of the equation and making it about something so divine, so deep and so loving it will take me a lifetime to fully experience it.
If you have time today, will you listen to her sermon? She will HATE that I am sharing it with you, she doesn’t know how much her life, her witness and her heart mess me up. It’s one of her best character traits.
Listen then please share if it messed you up.
To quote lyrics from the musical RENT, “I’ve got baggage. I’m looking for baggage that goes with mine.”
Bring yours in for a bit. Let’s set it on the side of the “It’s All About Me Highway” and journey forward, eyes on the horizon rather than ourselves.
I woke up this morning with this thought. “I have behaved like a spoiled child, of late, and it’s time to stop.”
My attitude, to be honest, has been crap. My effort towards this project, again to be honest, has been crap. In short, I have been mired in, well, crap.
I don’t know what broke me from my self-inflicted, navel gazing, martyrdom. Could have been the half bottle of vanilla vodka I shared Mother’s Day with. Could have been the recent uptick in praying with friends. Could have been the Holy Spirit stepping in to look me in the eye and say in his best Fatherly voice, “That’s enough.”
Or maybe it was a book.
My dearest friend, LDC, has written two young adult novels. They are exquisite stories mixing quantum physics, young love and heroic tales of overcoming some hideous personal obstacle. Even in their raw, as yet unedited, first draft state they are also the best Christian allegory I have ever been privileged to read.
She brought to stark, soul shredding reality what Christ endures when we are unfaithful to Him in our thoughts, attitudes and eventual actions. I use the word unfaithful because it is betraying the lover of our souls. He isn’t a grand judge holding a measuring stick and a mallet. He is one who knows us more intimately than we know ourselves-for before the foundation of the world He KNEW us. No living creature could have known us that long or that deeply.
I wept with her main character Corey as he was betrayed again and again by his one true love-the one he has loved for 1000 years. Despite the pain he pledges to love her for 1000 more. Jesus pledges His love for me. Though I betray Him, again and again-He still loves me.
You see being mired in crap is a decision I made. I left the comforting arms of the One who loves me and knows me inside and out. I stopped talking to Him because I was mad I didn’t get my way. I stomped my foot, grabbed my toys (given to me by Him in the first place) and huffed into the other room.
I stopped engaging in this very simple blog project: eat less, pray more and love abundantly. Instead I chose to look at circumstances which made me eat more, pray less and hate more abundantly.
So now what do I do?
In the past I would have given up and moved on. I am an expert at walking away, particularly from myself and my God. In the past I would have convinced myself that “I am okay,” despite every indicator to the contrary.
For today, I choose to step out of the crap. I choose to eat less. I choose to pray more. I choose to love abundantly.
I choose God. I choose to believe in the one thing He says to all of us, whether we hear Him or not. “I love you. I love you so much I have a plan for your life. I have a future and a hope. I loved you before the foundations of the world. I. LOVE. YOU.”
I will answer back. I. Love. You.
The rest we will figure out together, Him and I. Perhaps you and I will figure it out together too.