Wednesday, February 29, 2012
During this time preceding Resurrection Day...called Lent by many Christians in various streams of faith...we are to find a way to participate in some small way in Christ's suffering. I do this to remember just what God did to make a way for me to come into His presence. It is also a time to allow God to draw to the surface the things we do, the attitudes we have developed, our defense mechanisms and the deep wounds that hide in the corners of our heart...where we have fallen short of His plan for us. It is those things we confess to Him and ask Him to renew a right spirit in us, replacing them with His ways and His thoughts. So the following...in some way...is my confession.
I don't know why I over-react as much as I do. There are some things that are very close to my wounded heart. My emotions are so near the surface on those things. I confess I hurt others when I over-react. Instead of responding out of Your heart I react out of my emotions and personal pain. At a deeper level there is an issue of trust. Not just of others but of You too. I don't always think about it that way but as the layers come off...I have to admit that I don't trust You. I want to trust You but it seems so much filters through as not trusting other people. But I know there are some in my life because You put them there to guide me, teach me and bring healing. In not trusting them, I am not trusting You.
Other people hurt me as well. I have taken offense and been angry or been afraid for things I value. My job is important to me...it pays the bills. Even though there are tremendous difficulties and that kind of job isn't a good fit, it is the one You gave me and are keeping me in for now. You have provided this job for me at this time to do more than meet the expenses of living at this time in this place in my life. I know that You have me in this place for a reason. Usually Your reasons have to do with teaching me something or to touch the life of someone else or several someones. Not sure I am doing a good job at learning or reaching out. I just keep showing up.
I confess not loving You. Maybe I better confess not understanding Your love at even a basic level. I confess allowing the walls to knowing and understanding love to stay up. I guess those walls have served a purpose but it's time for them to come down. I'm thinking this goes back to trusting...again. I want to say that I am willing to trust You...but I hesitate because You know I am not entirely willing. There is a part of me that reserves the right to not love and not trust. Not sure why that is and not sure how to move that one to be willing to be vulnerable. I'm asking You to move inside of me, to speak words of truth...to give me the words to speak inside. It's time to step out of the dark corners and risk trusting and loving and receiving love.
I am tired of fighting...I don't want to be here anymore...I want to see You, touch You and talk to You. Bring a part of Yourself to my heart, bring a hint of heaven to my life...I need Your breath on me. May Your exhale be my inhale. My walls are crumbling...better You take them than to be left with no protection. Sweep through and bring down the walls....I know You will catch me when I fall.
Saturday, February 25, 2012
What do you do when a challenge so unexpected and unprepared for hits you? A challenge that doesn't come from the pulpit while you sit in your seat, that you are able to mull over, pray over and make a decision to change or act on the challenge?
My challenge hit me when something totally unexpected happened involving individuals who have been an important part of my healing journey. They were important to me. This sent me reeling emotionally. I felt betrayed. I felt like I had been blind-sided. I knew I needed to back off and allow the feelings to subside so I could actually think through what I needed to do. I backed off pretty far...blocking email addresses and attending a different church. My emotions wanted those actions to be permanent but deep inside I knew to hold those decisions lightly, as temporary measures. I knew I didn't need a lot of people. I knew that I needed to appeal to Jesus for comfort and wisdom. I napped, I cried, I prayed and even remembered to eat. When I get upset I tend to reach for food, when I get really, really upset I tend to not eat and then only what sounds good which usually isn't what is good for me. Again I knew this hiatus from healthy eating would be temporary.
There are unanswered questions that need to be answered. The main one is why did I panic and back off? Why were my emotions so out of control? I know the surface answer is because the situation was out of my control and a request of mine wasn't honored. But the real answer is buried and hidden. The real answer has to do with events and people long ago...perceived patterns of actions from others and how a “pathway” of responses has been established. This pathway is likely even etched in my brain.
From conversations with other abuse victims and reading their blogs this kind of response to interpersonal challenges isn't unusual. From a young age, even infancy, we have experienced betrayal and abuse. The shock to our bodies, minds and spirits cannot be measured. We had to respond in ways to survive. We had to form a paradigm of relating to others in order to protect ourselves, even when there was no apparent reason to be on defense. Twenty, thirty, fifty years down the road we find ourselves adults and hopefully in “safe” relationships and more or less in control of our own lives...we still freak out and hunker down when something in those relationships goes wrong. We still look for patterns in others behavior, we still often perceive others personal decisions as possible rejections of us. We are often processing all this information like an ego-centric 2 year old.
I have re-read some of my blog posts and seen the truth that God revealed to me. I can't walk away from it. I can press into God and this current situation. Does fear well up in me when I think about it? Yes. Do I want that to be my reaction? No. Ignoring it..again...won't make it go away. Confessing it won't make it go away although it is a first step toward allowing God to guide me to it's roots. That's what I have to do in order to allow reconnection to take place and then it will be another round of dealing with my emotions and my head will swirl with all kinds of thoughts and emotions and I again will have to find a way to get a grip and make choices based on facts and my faith. I wish this would all be over.
Thursday, February 16, 2012
I recently watched the kid's move “UP” again. In it the curmudgeon and a local scout end up on an adventure floating away in a house powered by the wind, their imaginations and balloons. They find Kevin...who loves chocolate. Kevin is the elusive bird that Charles Muntz, the boyhood hero of curmudgeonly Mr. Fredrickson, is pursuing. Muntz was stripped of his scientific and explorific medals and credentials when scientists decided the evidence he brought back of "Kevin" was manufactured. Charles Muntz returns to Paradise Falls and becomes obsessive in his search for the bird who successfully eludes him for 70 years more or less. Then along comes Russell the scout with his chocolate bar. Hungry Kevin is hiding in the tropical bushes nearby when Russell pulls out his treat. Kevin takes a nibble and another and another and becomes addicted...just like me. Kevin takes a liking to Russell and Russell to Kevin. Russell, not being as totally clueless as he seems, lures Kevin along by leaving a trail of chocolate behind him. Good ole Mr. Fredrickson keeps his eye on the goal....Paradise Falls and barely tolerates Kevin. Kevin manages to not peck Mr. Fredrickson's eyes out in her devotion to Russell and the chocolate.
God knows my heart, my mind, my soul...He created them. His desire is for relationship, not to sit on some lofty throne listening to babies in diapers play harps badly. He created us to fulfill that relationship and He created us in His image to desire relationship with Him. Humankind fell...and we fell hard. He has been luring us with “chocolate” ever since. Don't protest...He made chocolate too. Chocolate didn't exist as far as we know when Jesus walked the earth, at least in Israel, so it wasn't for Him exactly. He made chocolate for us! That is how much He loves us!
God knew what it would take to draw us back to Him. He had to make us fit to be in His awesome holy presence for one thing. That's where Jesus comes in, His life, His ministry, His sacrifice and His resurrection. But it takes an act of our will, a choice in order for that part to be complete. We choose to believe Jesus. We choose the whole package of His life, ministry, death and resurrection. We also choose to repent...to give up ourselves, all we have done, all we are, our entire being to Him. That is the commencing of our relationship with God...not a culmination. The Great Adventure begins...reaching the elusive depths of our heart while simultaneously reaching God's throne in heaven where Jesus is more real than our jobs, our spouses, the distractions of this world and the pain of past abuses. God lures us with His amazing Word. The more I read it, the more I want it...and the more I want it the more I read it. Sounds like chocolate for the spirit! Perhaps its more like chicken soup but this is about chocolate. He touches our spirits with music He has inspired those gifted to write. We in turn raise our voices in praise and worship. We hear the words He has given to those He has commissioned to lead us. He knows what feeds our need for relationship with Him. He also knows what we do to try to fill that void. There are industries, some barely legitimate and others not that exist to fill that void. There is also a whole industry out there in order to help us when we engage in our distractions to excess...and without Jesus it becomes a distraction itself.
Follow the “chocolate”....find what Jesus has for your spirit, what He has provided to satisfy us to the depths of our souls. No one needs to go hungry or thirsty. He is always present, willing to give living food and living water.
John 4:13 and 14 Jesus answered “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water I will give will never be thirsty again. The water that I give will become in those that drink it a spring of water that bubbles up into eternal life.”
Thanks to my friend Celeste who reminds me to eat chocolate every day.