Saturday, September 4, 2010

Surrender, Day 1

I have had so many thoughts going through my mind lately. God is revealing so many things to me that I'm almost overwhelmed. I am struggling through the hardest time I have experienced so far in my life. The last few weeks for me have been a combination of pain, fear, anger, and now finally surrender. I can proudly say I have taken the first step toward giving control of my life to Christ. I am not talking about my salvation. I thankfully have walked with Christ the majority of my life. I am talking about the next step in my life & in that walk with him, to step out in faith and give my control to him. For those of you who do not know me, control is my crutch. I am a Blue/Red (for those of you who are familiar with personality profiles). For those who aren’t, it basically means I’m controlling and bossy. At least those are some of the “negative” expressions of my personality. I like to have my way and that way is right, at least according to my personality. The problem with that is, there doesn’t leave a lot of room for God. How can I truly walk in an intimate relationship with Him if I have all the control? That’s the problem, I cant.

I decided to start this blog to be an honest reflection of how I feel about my life right now. My goal is to open my heart here to what I feel like God is teaching me. I don't want this blog to be about current events or just a chance for my “friends” to see what I’m up to-check out my facebook, myspace, and/or twitter for that. I don't want anyone to be deceived about my intentions here. It's to let God speak through my heart. It's hard to do that on one of the social networks. It's hard to proclaim your faith, period. What will other people think? Will it be shocking? Offending? Overwhelming? Cliché?

There's too much thinking going on, I should know, I'm one of those that think over everything. I literally dwell on everything to the point of exhaustion. I worry and doubt and let each of those consume my every thought. I worry daily about my future. My future husband, children, job, home, etc. I worry about the kind of person I am, want to be, don't want to be. I am constantly worried about how I will be perceived: lame, funny, too good a person, too heartless, too "christian", not "christian" enough. These thoughts then lead to doubt. I often doubt that I will ever be a worthy enough person to make a difference. I have felt unlovable and insignificant. I'm not trying to feel sorry for myself, I just think that the honesty of the depths of my lows will show how much God is growing me...even this very second as I expose my inadequacies.

I'm a proud person, more so than most people who know me realize. I also suffer with a lot of self-esteem issues, not so much about physical shortcomings any longer (although they do still exist), but more about drive, significance, talent, & meaning in my life. I think the root of the unhappiness I have experienced most of my life comes from feeling the need to be significant. In other words I have always had an identity crisis. I can’t even deny I knew about it.

I have been reading Francis Chan’s “Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by A Relentless God” and I highly recommend it. It has already changed my life or rather been a medium where God has. Chapter 8 is titled Profile of the Obsessed. He gives the definition of being obsessed as “to have the mind excessively preoccupied with a single emotion or topic”. While reading this chapter, I realized we are an obsessed people. Think about it. We are all obsessed with something, someone, some place or maybe a feeling, time, sport, music. I could go on and on. There’s 24 hours in our day, even with sleeping, working, eating and other commitments like family, friends, school, etc we still find time to do the things we like and/or spend time with the people we want to. Look at how much TV we watch or time spent on the Internet. Hey I’m not judging or knocking it, I’m right there with you. But it does get me thinking about my own obsessions.

I have always been obsessed, for a lack of better word, with falling in love and getting married. I had no delusions love is hard and it wasn’t the solution to all problems. I’m actually surprisingly somewhat cynical about love. But I secretly felt that when that day comes, when two people become one, I would finally feel whole. I would have someone to share my life & decisions with and then I wouldn’t feel so lonely, my life would have meaning. I know logically it doesn’t work that way, but logic and feelings often work independently of each other. For those of you who are married (I am not), you know this isn’t true. You still struggle with your own identity, you are still responsible for your own feelings on top of having a relationship to sustain.

I recently fell in love for the first time and am now single. This is not my way of bashing him or trying to embarrass or hurt him. He is a good man who had no intentions of hurting me and I still love him very much. But God has been revealing to me just what kind of burden I allowed to be put on his shoulders. I, somewhat unconsciously, expected him to fulfill my needs, make me whole. You see I suddenly started thinking as a couple, but forgot to keep living and thinking as an individual as well. I suddenly had no opinion about things (remember Blue/Red control freak-that’s very uncharacteristic), I could not make a decision about food to eat, things to do, shows to watch…my everything became about wanting him to be happy. As I look back I can see how I acted and, although I didn’t usually mean to, I let that obsession control who I was. I wanna stop here and make sure it’s clear he had no fault in this particular area. He always encouraged me to do what I wanted and he would make sure I was happy with whatever was decided. The problem was I became happy with anything so long as he was with me. I was obsessed with him (not in a crazy way, just an all-consuming way) and the feeling of love.

There are many reasons I believe we become obsessed. Boredom, hormones, genuine love all come to mind. You see, I think God created us to be an obsessed people. I just think we all get caught up in the wrong obsession. We were created to be obsessed with our creator. This is a completely foreign concept to most people, believers or not. Even those of us who have grown up knowing about God’s mercies and grace still struggle with the concept of putting Christ first, of surrendering our control to him. As I read Francis Chan’s chapter about people obsessed with God, I realized surrender is unattainable if not accompanied by an obsession for God. I can’t actively pursue Him and trust unfailingly without being obsessed with His presence in my life.

I had not intended to go this route when I started writing this blog especially revealing so many personal feelings, but my goal is to write what I feel like God is revealing to me and unfortunately, you have to see the stains to appreciate God’s ability to wash them clean. The week before last I spent focused on surviving a major change in my life and the direction I believed my life would go. This last week I have spent fighting myself, God, and the enemy for the rights to my heart. I literally called my closest loved one’s with panic attacks for this weekend. I knew for the most part I would be here alone and the thought of that shot me into panic. But with the wisdom of some beautiful women in my life who let God use their words, I realized this weekend was going to be a turning point in my life.

I like analogies, so bear with me. I feel like these past few weeks (and years of my life for that matter) I have been driving around a corner on two wheels teetering back and forth. I feel like God is trying to push me back on all fours and set my path straight and the enemy is trying to tip me over. But I’m just driving, clutching the wheel for dear life. The problem is I suck at driving (haha I always say I’m not that great a driver). As long as I (wo)man the wheel, I’m just gonna keep swerving.

Today I took my first step toward fully surrendering my control to God. I will spare most of the details because they are between me and God, but a lot of what is written here was revealed to me as I prayed to let go of an area of my life. Granted it was only a single step, not full surrender, but I feel closer to who God is creating me to be just by admitting I could take the first step. I am not saying I am in the clear. In fact I have struggled with that very area multiple times in the few hours since I “vowed” to let my control of it go. I am very aware that I will, in some way, struggle with it for quite some time. However, I am proud to say I somewhat almost look forward to some of the pain. I am excited about God defeating this hold in my life and getting to experience the peace that accompanies it. I am excited to become obsessed with God.

1 comment:

  1. I am glad you are writing. It sounds like you have a spiritual journey ahead, and I wish you the best of luck in finding what you're looking for. Just remember that you're not the only person who has these feelings. We all are our own worst critics, but don't forget you're a good person too!