I just wanted to begin by saying that this is about a lot of things that I want to change in my life. I have been doing a lot of studying about how I, as a woman of God, can effect the world that I live in, and do God’s Will in my life. There are a lot of things in my personal and spiritual life that have not been “up to par,” so to speak, and I am working on changing them so that I can be the person that I was created to be.
If you have been ‘blessed’ by knowing me in real life than you will know that I am a bit “off.” I think that that word describes me quite well. There are a lot of things that are great about me, not to boast, but then there are some things that make me come off as a mean or careless person. This is not intentional. I do not try to be rude or senseless to others’ emotions and feelings, but I have learned these trades through many experiences in the world. I am not trying to blame the world for my attitude; it is my entire fault for allowing me to become who I was. But through the grace of God, I am changing constantly. (2 Corinthians 5:17) This has been quite a battle for me this past year. I learned a lot while attending school and just by going to church and putting myself in the presence of some very amazing and godly people, and being away from them these past few months I have seen that without the constant growth, I have become stagnant. I am sick of it. I sometimes come across as a person who is very self-centered while all the while attempting to be others-centered. The walls that I put up in my past were walls made of steel and were very cold, and protected my heart from being hurt. I found myself clinging to a false security, settling for “safety” in isolation rather than building authentic relationships. I would much rather choose safety over risk in fear of rejection or embarrassment. But as I grew as a Christian I realized that I don’t really need those walls, but they are already there. So then comes the part about breaking them down. How does someone who has been hurt so much tear down walls that have been set in place to protect them from the hurts of life? It is really hard for me to try and explain this stuff. But I think that I need to at least attempt it in order to bust out of this whatever. Ok, so. There are a lot of things that have left me disappointed in life, mostly about my human nature and past failures, but since I am forgiven of these things, it is not God who keeps bringing it up time and time again. So I am slowly getting over this stuff. I have been working a lot on becoming transparent in my relationships with others in order to form an authentic friendship with them rather than just a casual acquaintance type of relationship, but, that’s hard for me to do. This next paragraph is going to suck. You can skip it if you want to. Last year I let someone inside of my wall and I got burned. My heart was broken and I was left in a state that I should not be in. I thought by letting one person in, it would help me get over some of my personal issues. The whole being touched thing was one of the large parts of that. But I found that I had settled for the cheap imitation of an authentic relationship by moving into situations that I should not have been in. I was pursuing pleasure, but it was failing to satisfy my need because I was trying to fit a man in a God shaped hole, like trying to put a square into a circle. I had become blind to the things that would trap me, and a transparent cage is still a cage. I was in a situation that was only going to leave me tattered and torn. And it did. All of the signs were there, God was waving flags in my face, but I was ignoring Him because I was pleasing me. One more time, I was pleasing me. I had gone way off His path and started down a little rabbit trail that could only end in heartache. For those of you who knew me in those months, you know what I’m talking about. So up went the wall again. I cut ties with this person, but the emotional pain was still there. Forgiveness showed up and I learned what not to do and life has continued. My words of advice would have to be that you cannot microwave an authentic relationship, they take time and any romantic relationship that you attempt to pursue takes Jesus. Another issue that was bogging me down was my anger. It is impossible to live a life of love with a heart full of anger. But the ‘love’ that I once thought defined the word love, was nowhere near the love that was meant when Moses said “love the lord your God with all your heart, all your soul and all your strength.” (Deuteronomy 6:5)What the world views as love is not that. It is infatuation. Webster says that infatuation is foolish or all-absorbing passion or an instance of this: a mere infatuation that will not last. So why is it that the world thinks that we need to be in a relationship? Aren’t we just setting ourselves up for failure? And, if we keep going from one relationship to the next, for sure that “this is the one,” aren’t we just practicing divorce? Who really wants that? I’m not even going to get in to the sex aspect of it. Ok, I will. Too many people today think that love equals sex, and if Billy loves Sally, Sally will want to have sex with Billy and vise versa. Well, not once in the “love chapter” that Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, is the word sex mentioned. You can look in any translation out there that is a legitimate translation of the Word of God, and the word sex will not be found in that verse. So here is when I go back to the old ideals of my past. It is easier to be lonely than to work on an authentic relationship. But God created us to be in relationships with others, to love others, to be authentic with others. In Galatians 6:2, God didn’t tell you to go and yell at everyone who makes your life miserable, He said to carry each others’ burdens. We weren’t created to be lonely, loneliness breeds anger and God’s righteousness doesn’t grow from human anger. God designed us to be liked, it’s not being needy. It is His strategy to free us from loneliness. It is a part of being a person. No matter how independent I will ever try to be, I will always need friends. Needing them does not make me an incomplete person. That right there is a big chunk for me to chew. Somewhere along the way I decided that being lonely sure beats getting my heart broken, and that idea worked for quite some time, because I had friends that were always there for me, but being away from my “God net” has shown me just how blessed I was by having friends. I found out just how amazing it is to be valuable, and not worthless. I am so valuable to God that He gave His only Son so that I may live. This seems to be going on and on. The point that I am trying to make is that We should not settle for the cheap imitation of a friendship, but we should work on building up authentic relationships with godly people. The things that the world has to offer us, (TV. sex, drugs, and alcohol) can only temporarily fill the void. They only prolong the loneliness. We should never settle for where we are. We are not called to live a mediocre life. We should not just set out with the full intention of achieving excellence in our endeavors, quitting when things get tough, we shouldn’t be cheating ourselves out of the very best parts of life- making it to the top of the mountain. We often choose the past of least resistance- the one that lets us hold on to past hurts, allowing us to avoid the selflessness of offering forgiveness by those who have treated us unfairly. The other path requires self-sacrifice. It leads to a life of meaning, joy, purpose and authenticity. It is rocky and risky, but leads to freedom, it requires us to become real with those who have hurt us and those we have hurt. The easy path puts us in a place of mediocrity, a place no one wants. It is a life of aloneness in a passionless marriage or soul-draining romances. The easy path is the hardest place to live. What I am trying to say is that loneliness is optional, not a given. The world is full of people who are dying of loneliness, and, ironically, the sea they are drowning in is a sea of people.
Loving God, loving your neighbor is not complicated, but it is difficult and necessary.
The walls will come down, and hopefully my heart won’t go with it.
done for now…