Grace to You Hands

Grace to You Hands

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Struggle

I am in a battle. 

When I was in high school, I read a lot of historical novels that dealt with the Civil War. I have no idea why I was fascinated by that era or why I found that content engaging. Yet, I read and allowed myself to picture the smoke covered hills of Gettysburg and smell the stench of death wafting from the tired paperback. I heard the agonized cries of anguish, dying soldiers cut through the darkness as I turned each page. The reality of war is unconscionable and paralyzes me to think that men looked at death's face and continued to fight. It astounds me. 

Yet, we are all fighting a battle right now. A battle that leaves us wounded and alone. We sometimes have blind courage while other days we lack the ability to get out of bed for fear of the unknown. I have fought many battles and won but this fight seems different. It feels like the stakes are higher. It feels that this is the battle that will claim victory over the war. 

I have always believed that to change you must change the way you think. 

I am vigorously attacking the word of God, trying to make sense of my situation and make a way of escape. I feel I must do something to overcome my situation. Force myself into a new way of thinking. What do I need to "do" differently? What do I need to change about myself? 

I need to know now and I need to know quick. I am in the midst of battle and I can't find my weapon to attack the oncoming enemy.

God is calling me into a new way of thinking about him. A new place of trust. He is asking me to live by faith. I don't think I have ever known what that means nor (honestly) ever wanted to. Why can't I live to make more money? I know the formula. I work harder and I get paid more. What about living for my spouse? What if I live for others? That seems pretty selfless. Honestly, I have been trying to put a plan together for my life and it is coming down to one fact. Live by faith and lose your life. 

Do I need to quit my job? Do I need to have no need for income and trust that my bills are paid by God and not my boss? What do I need to "do" to live by faith?

Every time God propels me into a new understanding, I ask what I need to "do" to get there. Any time a bad situation arises and I am seriously in trouble with someone, work or financially, I ask what I need to "do" to fix it. I am literally realizing this as I am typing. 

But, I hear my spirit becoming excited. I hear God in me saying, "Now, we are getting somewhere. Now, I am going to get a chance to really show you who I am."

My spirit knows that the battle is won and my fight is over. My flesh thinks I need to "do" more to get there. The flesh invites me into a need to please and forfeits the grace that is found only in Christ. I remove Christ when I say I can "do" to get there. 

I have no control. No control over the outcome of my life. I can take back my life but why did I invite Him in when I was a little girl just to say I am boss. Thanks for saving me from hell but I got this. I can be spiritual, holy, prosperous and successful without you.

I am in real trouble. All I want to do is strategize an escape route and God has me doing the opposite. I have been painting pumpkins, listening to preaching podcasts and taking a full lunch break. I am not figuring a way of escape right now. Right now, my feet are propped on the coffee table and  I am writing a blog. How stupid. I am really in trouble and I am not doing anything to fix it. All I am hearing God say to "do" is rest. How can I rest? I can't pay my bills. Here is the worst thought I am having, "I should be further along than this". That is a like a shot to the heart. That one is keeping me tightly bound in feelings of failure and loss. 

Why is living in Father so different from the world?

I cried out to God today as I was eating my frozen yogurt (which I am not supposed to eat on my diet) and said to God with tears of frustration streaming down my face, "All I want to do is live in you. That is all I want." The world pressures you into conformity. It pressures you into ideals. I think I need to be the following:

Thinner
Richer
Better person morally

I will be happier when I am thinner, richer, and do the right thing. I need my events in my life to be more fulfilling and I need more accolades to be successful. I need to do more to get more so this void will leave. 

I get people. I get why they just stop trying to lose weight or stay in a job they hate. I get why they just say "screw it." The main thing I see in people is that they just focus on one or two things and give up on the rest. It's exhausting. Think about it. In one day, you are supposed to eat healthy, exercise, work an 8-10 hour day, spend time with friends and family, spend an hour on yourself, and include God in all you do. That has to happen in the 14-16 hours we are awake. We feel a strong unction to do this regimen of perfection every day for the rest of our lives. That is impossible. How can we juggle all these important tasks and maintain healthy, moral choices in our own ability? 

We all think we must do these things and not fail. That lasts about 3 days and then we get tired of trying. We quit and hate ourselves for failing. We chase our tails trying to measure up to ideals. I asked myself if I really wanted to be thinner and richer. I asked myself what I really wanted out of life. It was a hard question to answer. I still haven't answered it. In all honesty, I would like to lose a few pounds but I actually like my weight right now. I could be a lot thinner but I am kind of content. OMG! Does that make me lazy? 

I would love to be richer but is that really what I want right now. If I got it would I be fulfilled. Ever long for something unattainable, a few months or years pass and you receive the unattainable. There you are with everything you wanted and there is something else you want. 

I watched that Katy Perry movie. I know. Don't say anything. It was free and I was bored at 11:00 on a friday night. It chronicles her year of utter explosion as a pop star and yet she fights through intense sadness as she loses Russell Brand. It was startling to me that she could not perform to 10's of thousands screaming her name because of the hurt inside her heart. She had it all and yet her commitment to love until "death do you part" was crumbling. She had it all. How could she be depressed? I can't imagine that type of success. She was experiencing what only 1% of humanity get to experience and she still had daily hurts and anxieties that needed ministry. 

No matter where we are circumstantially, we need the spirit of God to minister to us. Whether we are rich, poor, fat, thin, successful or unemployed, we need Jesus to minister to our hurts, fears and loneliness. It's the emotions that are stirred from the events that require His love and constant ministry.

What if we could live in a place where circumstances fail to vary our faith and we are comfortable in the uncertainty of living? We are comfortable with our financial status and see God move miraculously on our behalf. I can't change people and I can't change my circumstance. However, I can know God on such an intimate level that He becomes my faith, my certainty that all my needs are met. God is bringing me to a reality that basks continually in the knowing that I am beautiful and wealthy. God is my source of self-esteem and provision. As certain as the sun rises, he performs on my behalf and gives me profound blessing. 

I was walking on the beach earlier and God said very clearly, "I do. I do it all."

Ever since I had been awakened by God's love, I have gone through an evolution of refusing to do more to fix my life. God took the "do" out of our relationship. I know I don't have to pray, read his Bible or tithe more to get God to love me. He took the "do" out of going to church. He took the "do" out of believing God for victory in relationships and removed the need to fix people. Now, he is taking the "do" out of needing to fix my financial circumstances. 

I am realizing that the struggle I am in is not the circumstance but the unwillingness to allow God to will and do of His good pleasure in me. I feel it irresponsible to spend time with people, craft or get on Facebook when I am in the financial trouble I am in. 

I feel the spirit of God saying to me: You thought you knew how much I loved you. Now, see how lavish and reckless my love is for you!

That is all I know and that is all I need to know. I know in Him, the struggle is over. All I can do is surrender and watch him do in me a new work. He gives me the ability to trust him. I don't have to make a decision or do something drastic to prove my trust. I just surrender and tell God my struggle. He tells me "it is finished" and I get to play while daddy fixes it. 

Irresponsible? No, just a child who loves her daddy and believes He loves me enough to fix it. 

Miracles await.