Saturday, April 19, 2014

Overcome, Overcome

Favorite things of this moment (9:12 pm EST):

  • New music blaring through my speakers (ESPECIALLY Leagues...if you haven't listented to them...get your act together!!!  You can find them here!)
  • This new laptop which really is fantastic
  • Figuring out how to tone down the brightness on my computer (thank you Kayla for telling me about f.lux because it really has been a lifesaver)
  • New playlists mending broken hearts and one for future hope
  • Don't Look Down by Jennifer Crusie & Bob Mayer (you can buy it here, and trust me, you want to)
  • Cadbury Creme chocolate creme eggs...yes
  • NetFlix
  • Unsweet tea
  • Sitting on Shelby's couch because I live here more than home
  • Realizing it's time to take a risk

I have been thinking about this quote since my sweet friend, Calle sent it to me yesterday.  It came at one of those moments where I'd just spent an entire evening trying to pretend like my heart didn't feel like I had just been through a car wreck.  I'd done a good job to be honest because I was surrounded by people who love me and who were trying to have a good night and trying to restore sanity in a world where so little ever seems to truly make sense.  Even after a good night with good people, my heart still felt like a wreck.  

God and I had been having a discussion prior to the heartwreck of last night.  Just an hour before my heart ran full-speed into that wall, I had gone to a Good Friday service.  I'm not always a big fan of these services because I'm never sure if my heart is in the right place.  Sometimes it feels fake to me, and I had been talking to God about this.  I don't doubt God's existence or what Jesus did for me and for you and for the whole of the world...I just have trust issues.  Bad ones.  Ironically caused by the exact creature that made me feel inside out later in the evening (more on that later).

This year at Cornerstone Bible Church here in McDonough, they decide to integrate the Stations of the Cross into the Good Friday service.  I've read about the Stations of the Cross, but I'd never experienced it.  As Pastor Dave was standing upfront explaining a few of the stations, my heart went into this panicky overdrive.  He's talking about a station where you remember what Christ was dying for and at this station (for our purposes at least), we would confess our sins by writing them down and nail them to the cross.  I panicked because I was thinking about how recognizable my handwriting is because I write letters to everyone that goes to the college to encourage them.  I thought about the fact I would be publicly pointing out my own flaws in my incredibly distinct handwriting.  Here I am thinking about how messed up I really am, how screwy I am, how flawed I am, and on top of it, I'm freaking out because I'm realizing I need to confess this (even though God already knows) and nail this to a cross in a church I'm frequently a part of.  

I started really examining my heart.  As I'm standing there talking to God and shifting through all the mess that is my heart (especially lately)...lust, gluttony, fear, all comes back to one thing: Unbelief.  Again, I don't doubt God's existence, but I do struggle to trust.  

I struggle to believe that God has a plan for me.  I can't seem to find a dream that I can hold on to or truly invest in because every dream I've decided to pursue has landed me far from where I had hoped.  Many of them have left me bruised, bleeding, broken, and with pieces missing.  I want to move here, so instead I land somewhere else.  I fall for this guy, but he chooses to marry someone else.  I want to finish my degree, but I get denied approval to come back to my program.  

Don't tell me I'm not pursuing God closely enough.  You don't know me or my heart.  You may well be right (you'd probably be right), but you don't know me.  

Trust is not something that comes naturally to me anymore.  It use to be a much easier thing, but I was naive and I dated a man who I loved completely who promised many things.  He never managed to keep a promise.  I made a mistake.  I made the mistake of putting faith in someone who couldn't deliver, and I realize God is not a liar.  God keeps his promises, but unbelief is my struggle.  This is my sin.  This is the seed that grows into lust (because I'm scared no one will love me, so I let myself lust after men that aren't mine even though that just perpetuates the loneliness and makes me bitter), grows into gluttony (because if no one is ever going to love me or I feel this lonely, why not eat...because won't it dull that ache and fill that void, even if it's only briefly), grows into depression (because if no one wants me and I'm alone and I can't see a new dream or hope...who cares), and so much else.

As the father of that boy in Mark 9 asks Jesus, "Help me overcome my unbelief!"  This is my prayer.  This is my constant prayer.  This is what I was asking God last night.  I'm still a wounded mess of a girl, but God knows my heart.  

I went to that station and decided to be honest about my sins.  I wrote what needed to be written, and God and I spoke about the rest.  Then I turned to nail it on the cross and realize everyone had folded their notes in half and nailed them to the cross.  You couldn't read a single one.  I nailed my note to the cross, and realized that God really used this experience to make me look at myself.  It made me panic enough to suddenly make me realize what all I'm ashamed of and what I've been trying to hide even from myself.  I realized what I need to clear out of my heart, and I realized what I need to be fighting to hold to.

The rest of the service was a constant dialogue between God and I.  

Miraculously, this was exactly the discussion I was going to need to have had before I headed to some friends' house.  I'd been there just a few minutes when I was informed that the man I had planned to marry when I was a senior in high school (yes, he had asked me to marry him and I had unequivocally agreed because I loved him) had gotten married to his boyfriend of several years earlier in the day.

It was a rough night.  Thankfully I was with close friends.  Even better?  I had just had that talk with God.  Had it fixed everything?  Not by a long shot, but it did remind me that it's gonna take a lot more than my past to take me down.  More than that, I know that God's got my back and, more importantly, my heart.  Even though this was a pretty strange blow, I got back up and life will be okay.  

Now I just need to trust.  

ps.  That quote is what I'm working on in my life.  Too short for lame boys or bad coffee.  I'm gonna keep finding good coffee and only cry over people that are worth my time.

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