A Bit of Vulnerability – Pt. III

Click here to read Part I.

Click here to read Part II.

In Part I of this series of posts, I listed three things that God needed to demolish and properly rebuild in me:

1) My Superhero Complex (my ability to work hard, do things well, and usually succeed)

2) My “Understanding” of Myself (“I’ve been through counseling, I’ve totally got a grip on this!”)

3) My Solitude Complex (I’ll ask my friends, they’ll know what to do…)

So, let’s have a quick review before moving on to the third area of demolishment.  The Lord has broken me into this powerless, inept, non-superhero who has no grasp of an understanding of herself. That sounds like a great person to spend time with. What else could there possibly be to break…

A Bit of Vulnerability… Part III

I get by with a little help from my friends…

I’m a very indecisive person. The answers to the questions – What do you want to do? What do you want to eat? Where do you want to start? How do you feel about that? Would you like fries with that? – all begin with “Umm… I don’t know,” then transition into whichever version of “What do you think?” applies to the situation. Except for the fries. The answer to that is always “yes.” I’m not a communist.

Now, as I have become a more adultier adult, and dealt with my codependent brain (see Part II), being decisive has become less of an issue as I realize I, in fact, do have opinions, and people will, in fact, respect them, whether they agree or disagree with my opinion about whether we should get fries or not. I digress…

One area in my life where indecision and defaulting to others opinions has plagued me most has been – you guessed it – in my understanding of God. Let’s begin with one of my favorite things: an analogy wrapped in a story…

As a kid, I grew up looking through my dad’s old Encyclopedia Britannica set. The copyright was 1957. I learned very accurate, very out-of-date facts. Then I got the Encyclopedia Britannica ’96 CD-ROM for our computer. I think it came with the AOL start-up disc. Any who, I had a wealth of knowledge at my fingertips. I could read and read and read about whatever I wanted and learn the randomest of facts to my heart’s content. But do you know what’s better than reading about things? Experiencing them second-hand from someone who has actually BEEN TO or DONE the thing you’re reading about! My fifth grade teacher lived in Alaska as a kid. One day, she was telling us about Alaska (it fit in with our history unit. She was not one to dilly-dally with stories from her childhood unless they applied to our education), and she said,

“It was so cold, that, during the summer, when sun was out and the temperature got up to zero degrees Fahrenheit, we would put on shorts and run to play outside.”

MIND. BLOWN. I was ten years old and had just learned that the most intriguing facts did not come from the 1957 Encyclopedia, but, in fact, from experience. An encyclopedia would never tell you about putting on shorts when the temperature got up to zero! Only a person who lived in the wonderful, exotic, expanse of Alaska would know such a thing! I would probably never go to Alaska and get to experience things like that for myself, but I knew someone who had. I could learn everything from them!

And that has been my approach to God. I can read, study, and glean knowledge about Him. But I don’t have any experience. I can’t trust myself to hear Him correctly. There’s no way I could ever confidently say the magic phrase, “The Lord told me…” No way. How could I presume to know what God is saying? So, since I can’t, I’ll talk to people I trust who have experienced Him. They can tell me what God is saying. I’ll experience Him second-hand through their relationship with Him. It’s a win-win scenario. I don’t have to worry that I’ll misinterpret Him, but I can still hear and be a part of what He’s saying and doing…

And here’s the thing. God met me in that. He has spoken to me through other people many times. This isn’t a bad thing. We were meant for relationship. We were meant to sharpen one another, to come together as His people and talk about our relationships with Him, what He’s taught us, how He has moved in our lives…

But it cannot be primary. It misplaces your relationship with God into the hands of others. It becomes reliant upon what God is speaking into their lives, and, while it may be helpful, it is not complete. Our stories are not the same. The places God must refine in each of us are not the same, nor will those places be refined at the same time in our lives.

(Side bar: This realization has been years in the making and years in the healing. He has, throughout my life, brought this area to my attention and made some corrections to it. However, it’s only been very recently that the depth of the effects have surfaced and now those are being able to be corrected.)

So, through various circumstances (we lead very transient lifestyles, we missionaries), God stripped me of some of the close friends I was crutching to hard upon. I was now a powerless, inept, non-superhero with no understanding of herself and no one to ask how I should fix it. And with that, the last stone in my wall fell to the ground with a heart-wrenching thud…

Click here for Part IV…

A Moment for Music…

Through this past month, God has brought comfort, spoken truth, and shown joy to me through music. Through songs my friends and I have written. Through leading worship at church. Through songs purchased on iTunes. Through various genres (not just “Christian” or “praise and worship”). He has placed a deep love for music into my soul and He has met me here. I’d like to share one of these songs with you…

John Mark McMillan – Guns/Napoleon

Lyrics:

You’re sinking all my ships
You’re climbing all my fences
The storm upon my gate
The breach in my defenses

Like the sun against the morning
You set your face against the doors in
All the houses where I run
And I’m laying down my guns

And you keep coming on
Like Napoleon
And I’ll lose my head and throne
In the bloody revolution

You fill the hollows of the halls
In the houses where I walk
You’re hanging pictures on the walls
In the houses where I haunt

You’re standing on my harbor
You’re landing on my shore
I’m handing down my armor
I’m landing on my sword

On the brink of kingdom come
And I’m standing in the flood
Of everything I ever was
And I’m laying down my guns

And you keep coming on
Like Napoleon
And I’ll lose my head and throne
In the bloody revolution

You fill the hollows of the halls
In the houses where I walk
You’re hanging pictures on the walls
In the houses where I haunt

[Love can break your bones
Broken bones can sing songs
So I’m laying down my guns
So I can sing along]

Advertisements

3 thoughts on “A Bit of Vulnerability – Pt. III

  1. They say writing is cathartic…… I so hope that by writing all this – this has been cathartic for you!!

    It has been sad for me – knowing that you have been hurting (that is the Mom talking, us Mom’s will, and have always wanted to take away our children’s pain, if we could)!!

    So…… by the time I read all….. I hope you are feeling better about your relationships (with God and others) and just continue to work on what you feel you need to be better (at) and/or better about.

    A parent’s love is always constant!!! Never doubt that!!

    Love you girl,

    Mom

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s