Friday, June 02, 2006

Breaking Down the Prison Wall

It's interesting how God makes us all so vastly different, yet we're able to live together on this big, huge world and we end up connecting and forging acquaintances, friendships and relationships along the way. Those who know me, know that I'm a person who drinks things in and then really reflects on them. I've always been a thinker and have to say that I don't feel it's always the best trait to have, especially combined with my introverted mindset. But, in the same sense, there are times when it truly brings me to my knees, and causes me to make the hard changes when God calls me on them, and that is a really good thing.

Lately, I've had pieces of comments and posts stick in my head...three in particular the last couple of days. I know why they stuck...they went hand-in-hand with what my reflections have been in the last couple of months. I've been doing a lot of thinking about continuing to work to connect relationally with those around me and also thinking a lot on God's current calling and pondering what the future will hold in terms of His direction.

"If God tells you to do something you shouldn't have to think about it you should just do it. That's part of submission. When He tells you something keep it in your heart. So it can be part of you." (~PJ)

I read this quote from PJ while reading the beginning of a discussion on submission. This quote impacted me deeply...I've been reflecting on why I've been having such a "battle" of sorts in terms of putting myself out there to meet people relationally and to also grow those fledgling friendships/relationships, instead of simply keeping a lot of them at a surface level. This quote told me point blank, that God called me to move and He also has called me to live life to the fullest degree each and everyday. I gave Him control of my life and have stepped out in faith to follow His leading more than once and know that if He leads us to pick up and continue the journey elsewhere, that we would, because we truly believe and know that when He is firmly planted in the driver's seat, that our lives go down the exact path they're supposed to. Through my reflection and self-examination of some of my actions, I've realized that despite trying my hardest to relinquish all control to Him, I haven't...I'm holding desperately to the relational aspect of my life and honestly, really trying hard to not let Him move in that area. Just looking at the line I just wrote makes me feel like such a full of remorse, but also filled with fear. I've never claimed to be perfect or sinless...I am trying harder to recognize the sin which I do have more control over getting rid of and this is definitely one!

Right now I've got the hugest prison, electrical fence of a wall placed around me most of the time. Why would be the question I've been asking myself lately? It's been a long process of working through things and trying to figure out the root cause, not just the surface problem. I came upon a quote while reading on Curious Servant's site and then stumbled across another quote in the comment box, which both hit home and have left me reflecting, yet deep down knowing I need to relinquish control and let the fence fall completely.

"When we talk with those close to us the stakes are higher. We are hurt easier. We hurt others more easily. We avoid tough talk with those we want to impress, talk tough to those we feel owe us." (~Curious Servant)

Curious Servant hit the nail on the head for me with this one, but in a very different light than you might think. I know the stakes are higher when you let your guard down and talk with those who are close to or who are reaching out to be there to hear and be close to you. It leaves you very vulnerable and exposed to so much. But this wasn't the root of my problem and as I continue to think and reflect I exposed and am now beginning to deal with the root head on. You see, this is our third church family which we've experienced together as a couple throughout our marriage. Both times we have moved our family, we prayed to God and asked His guidance and direction. In the first situation, restructuring occurred and a new job was provided in a new city. I never thought anything would be tougher than all that occurred with that move and transition into a new church, as we were at our first church the longest. But I was truly wrong in that thinking. Last winter when we began to ask God's direction, in terms of the fact we felt some things needed to change, a new job was again provided and it meant moving our family again to another city and making another transition into a new church. I never imagined the pain I would experience through the move, yet as I sit now typing, I'm stronger than I've ever been with God and my family...I know this is because of following His call and going, despite leaving everything I did behind. Does it make the relational aspect of life any easier for me right now? Not really in some aspects, but it'll come in time I'm sure.

"those closest to us can inspire the greatest growth or inflict the greatest pain." (~Jollybeggar)

Jollybeggar has this extreme nack of picking my brain with some of his posts and this time he managed to do it with a line in someone else's comment box. This past year and a half has inspired some of the greatest growth that I've experienced in my life, but at times I've also experienced an extreme amount of pain. It's really weird how that pain tends to color me or help with building up that wall at times. For me, I brought the experience of two moves and what happened relationally...first, as I let my guard down and allowed people into my world, allowed God to work and begin to build relationships...but then also leaving those behind and finding out what was a 'true' friendship, one which will stand the tests of life, time and distance and then what was simply a relationship or acquaintance...something which seemed strong while living life together, but once gone, it seemed the old saying lived out true and strong..."Out-of-sight, out-of-mind". For me, I'm finding that after going through this twice, I'm having a huge rebellion in terms of submitting this area of my life.

The root reason which I've finally located and now have to figure out how to deal with and submit...I'm scared that I'm going to begin to grow friendships, get close and open up to people, find mentors and that once things are established and strong, that God's going to direct us down a path which isn't here.

I know we're not supposed to know His plans for our future...He reveals things to us in His perfect timing and when it's purposeful for us to know. I never fathomed that with each move it would take a shorter time to connect and grow close to people, but it has. Now I am faced with the challenge of not allowing my sinful nature of fear and rebellion to overtake and overshadow my life and what He wants it to be. I know the wall needs to go and that I need to embrace life with my friends, enjoy everyday I get to spend getting to know them and embrace every opportunity I have to share in the joy of people's lives, to support them in the difficult and dark times of simply be there in whatever way He wants me to be. I can't predict what His direction is going to be. I do know that this body of friends He's brought us to is the most perfect fit...we feel welcomed, loved and blessed to be getting to know them. So in amongst everything going on currently in this life of mine, I will be working hard to demolish the prison wall and the fear and it will be placed firmly in His hands to handle. My role will be to simply embrace the life and people He's brought me to and enjoy every moment of it, because each day is precious and so is every memory and connection which comes along with that!

Acts 2:42-47 (NIRV)
The believers studied what the apostles taught. They shared life together. They broke bread and ate together. And they prayed. Everyone felt that God was near. The apostles did many wonders and miraculous signs. All the believers were together. They shared everything they had. They sold what they owned. They gave each other everything they needed. Every day they met together in the temple courtyard. In their homes they broke bread and ate together. Their hearts were glad and honest and true. They praised God. They were respected by all the people. Every day the Lord added to their group those who were being saved.


Corry said...

Let go and let God.
We are where we are for a reason and we have to start from where we are at. Even if that means over and over again. Mistrust and fear can not be the motivating factors and you hit the nail on the head in that. They will get you on the side-line and you will totally miss God's perfect plan. Yes, you may get hurt but God will provide:-)

Hugs, dear sis.

God's Grace.

Kc said...

That love between you and others is the only thing that is eternal. The separation is only temporary and you have forever to enjoy the reunion. ;-)

audrey` said...

Hi Cinder :)

Sending you hugs and smiles across the miles.
Jesus loves you very much!

Please take care.