Sometimes faith becomes more than the intellectual. Sometimes it becomes necessary, real and raw. The last several days have turned into that for me.
There is a lot I could say about this experience and what it has been like to be reeling in faith over the last couple of days. I am amazed how easy it is for me to focus on fighting for control in my life- muscling for things to go my way. My current exercise is to just keep handing over my struggle, situation and fears to God. It is hard- I have to do it over and over and over again.
I cannot remember the verse, but I recently heard a verse at a confirmation service for John's niece about remembering not to look for the approval of others, but rather for the approval of God first (galatians maybe?). I realized at the time how much of my fear around faith comes from this. I want so bad to be in community with others, I sometimes put too much at stake- try too hard to be accepted by other Christians and people in my life. Partnering and giving to others is important, but I realized I sometimes go too far- and plague myself with worry about how to solve disagreements with myself and others. It causes me to lack conviction in my faith.
Given a week of upheaval and reshaping, now I am going to take this lesson to a new level. On a long walk today with my dad, he mentioned I sometimes try to give so much, that I actually make a false god out of my relationships. This brought me back to the bible verse above, and reminded me that I cannot put the opinions of others and the love and acceptance of others first. My relationship with God must always come first- then the rest will follow. I need to let God guide me in my relationships- rather than using them as a measure of my self worth.
I feel this will help all sorts of things fall into place. Being open to and prioritizing the love of God leads to acceptance of self. Acceptance and love for self leads to true giving to others (not pretend in which you are always looking for something in return). Reminds me of this quote below:
“Never forget that once upon a time, in an unguarded moment, you recognized yourself as a friend.”
I do love others so much. But I realize as soon as that becomes my only window to the world, I lose the ability to truly give to them. Something bigger and higher must fulfill me. This is why it is important Jesus was God's son. He was man- but because he was God and had God channeling through him so powerfully- he was able to give at a level that no man or woman on their own can achieve. Makes me realize how much is impossible without God, and possible with him.
I will continue to meditate on this new conviction. Otherwise, I ask for prayers of peace, healing, wisdom. love and wholeness.