Sunday, September 12, 2010

The tug of war for my heart

Seasons change, mountains age, time is seconds away
Colors fade, sunrise shade, the world is yesterday’s day
Yesterday’s gone away
But true are you
You never change, You never fail
Oh God of my heart, faithful and true
You’ve taken my storm, turned my night to day
Oh God of my heart, faithful and true
You are faithfully faithful
I am gratefully grateful

-“True” by Spur58

Let me share with you a little bit of my writing process. At the beginning I had none, I literally just sat down and the words just flowed. Since then, this blog has become an important part of my day. I am taking time to examine what I will write about, usually based on a theme I feel God is pointing out to me about my life or just life in general. Often times I will start to realize where my thoughts and conversations are going and start to examine that material. And, because God is just cool like that, almost always right after I “stumble” upon or remember a song, poem, show/movie dealing with a similar theme, or chapter of a book on it. Pretty much without fail. I almost have too much reference material. It’s kinda funny to me, this is a completely new level of a relationship with Him (and incredibly exciting). I can almost literally feel God directing me as I write these words every day. This blog and the experience of seeking God I have to do to write it is literally saving my life.

Why is surrendering so hard? Why can’t we just let go, even when we know it will be for the best? Is it that we are afraid of what’s to come or just unable to trust God really does have a better plan? That He really is here and really does have a beautiful ending in store. I have to admit, I think I’m probably guilty of using both excuses when clutching tightly to my own control. Not that I don’t KNOW God always keeps His promises, but that I don’t know how to step out in FAITH and trust Him. I’ve lived so long dependant on what I can control (for fear of having none) that I have no clue how to go about living out of control.

I remember thinking last night that I feel like I’m on the verge of losing my mind, that I’m losing control. As I prayed that (in desperation), I felt like God was telling me: Yeah, that’s what you are supposed to feel, that is exactly where I want you. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think God wants to be mean to me, He just knows I’m am stubborn to the end and I need a little more force than some other people. It’s not cruelty, it’s necessity. I feel something big around the corner for not only myself, but specifically those in my small group as well (life hasn’t been the same since we started :O). God is doing something big in our lives. I can see how He has positioned each and every one of us to start living a life built on faith and trust.

My current situation is a little bit of a strange one and I’m sorry I can’t elaborate, but I don’t want to complicate what God is doing in the lives of those around me by giving too much information about their struggles. Because of this complicated situation, I am just kinda stuck, I have many unresolved questions and feelings. I, being the confrontational person I am, would love to ask for resolution or, let’s be honest, demand it. But I keep feeling God say NO, leave it alone, that’s for me to deal with. Needless to say, that answer does not make me happy. I keep wanting to tell Him to give me a chance to figure it out, I’m sure there is a better way, a way to fix this and move on. But Proverbs 21:30 advises, “Human plans, no matter how wise or well advised, cannot stand against the LORD.” I can do whatever I want, but it won’t be what’s right (for any of us). God’s asking me to trust Him, to live out in faith what I believe, to let Him set our paths straight.

Trust is a hard thing to give. It’s not natural to trust and certainly not to some being you cannot see or question. God is asking us to do something supernatural. Christy Nockles (amazing singer) said, “God works all things together for our good and He will complete His purposes no matter what. We have to believe that.” Would trust be possible if we don’t? Would we be able to live by faith alone if we don’t believe? I don’t see how we could. So how is surrender even possible until we learn to trust?

I always assumed surrender would come in the form of a huge weight being lifted off my shoulders. That one day, I would just no longer feel the burden of those areas. That when I surrender them, peace would fill their void and I would be free to live life like normal. I think I was really wrong. I think surrendering is a slow and lengthy process that will probably span over my entire lifetime. I think to expect to never have to worry or think about those things is to fool myself. They will continue to gnaw and pull at me for quite some time. I think true surrender’s packaging looks much smaller. It doesn’t come in the grand and elaborate parts of life but in the small and insignificant moments when you survive the odds. When you get up in the morning and choose to live despite your desire to curl up and disappear. It’s in the moments you do the right thing, even when it hurts because it’s what God asks you to do. It’s in the spiritual endurance you build to turn your focus from what’s haunting you to the one who’s healing you. It’s in those moments that you decide to let joy fill you instead of despair even when all you feel is pain. It’s when you learn to run to God first because you learned nothing else works.

I was sitting in my room today having a hard time getting motivated to do anything but lay there consumed with my thoughts (the weekends have become the hardest because most of the time it’s just me). I looked over and saw a notebook I had not picked up for years. I got in the habit years ago of writing down quotes I hear or song lyrics (seriously I have stacks of them). But I forgot I would also write (I know, how could I forget that?) how I felt, journaling if you will. I kind of skimmed through the book and hit a time around 2006 when I was really struggling. It’s amazing to see some of the stuff I wrote (highs and lows), much of it similar to what I am writing now, but remembering and realizing how little change it had on my life at that time. I wrote the things I knew, but I never learned to gain faith and trust from them. I was living with a head knowledge of surrendering, but not a heart knowledge.

One segment I wrote was when the struggle I was having was kind of right in the center. I said “I decide what this day makes me feel. I can’t control what’s going to happen nor can I control others and what they do or feel. But, I can decide how I will feel and how I react to what happens. I can decide how deep I let words cut and whether I’m gonna let something stand between me and the joy God promises will find me.” Pretty good message (not to brag, haha) but seriously lacking one element. I used a lot of “I”’s but only God once (in a future tense). Where I do believe what I said is true, surrender requires I change all those “I”’s to include “with God.” I can’t hope to control how I feel on my own or how I react to someone without help. It’s just not in our nature, we were meant to have assistance.

I feel like God has me in a very special situation. He is placing me where I have no choice but to relinquish control because I have none. Roberta Martin (another seasoned perspective writer from the aforementioned Perspectives book I am reading) said, “God has you in the season that you are in because that grows our reliance on Him.” There is no clearer reason. I suspect His intention here is to start making suffering synonymous with surrendering. I think He’s trying to teach me to live by faith in such a way that trusting Him with my future struggles becomes my 2nd nature. To stop giving fear (my control) all the power, He deserves it!

Are you fighting God at every turn for control of your life and your heart? Why do you think that is? Fear? A lack of trust? Consider taking some time to examine your heart today.

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