Thursday, March 10, 2011
What a concept. Instead of giving something up, I'm attempting to completely give up. And not in the bad way, where you're so helpless you can't do anything yourself... in the GOOD way, where you're so helpless you can't do anything yourself. Dig?
(Yeah, I said 'dig'.)
What I'm trying to say is, I am nothing without God. This is gonna get a little Jesus-y for those of you who tend to run in the opposite direction. I'm giving you an out, but I'd rather you hear me out. I was created with the personality that I have for a reason, the look that I have, the talents and interests and abilities that I have, and was meant to serve a purpose by serving Him, exactly because of who I am. The trials I've faced, they are to make me stronger to fulfill my purpose. The blessings I've been given, they are to assist me along the way. The thoughts and ideas and knowledge I've received, they are to guide me. The talents are there to pave the way. The personality -- well, I'm not a big fan of it, but God created me this way, so I have to harness the good points and weed out the bad ones if I'm going to continue to seek this path.
But all my searchings, all my plans, all my hopes and dreams -- they are, as I am, nothing without God. I can say, believing with all my heart, that I'm moving to Las Vegas the year our daughter graduates... but if that's not what God wants, that's not what will happen. I can say that I will be out of debt by the end of the year if I continue to follow the financial plan I've set out for myself and my family, but if that's not what God wants, it certainly won't come to fruition. I can try everything in my power to have a baby, but if it's not a part of the plan for me and my life, it doesn't matter WHAT I try, or how much money I sink into the endeavor, it will not occur.
I have to learn to surrender: my thoughts, my hopes, my dreams, my plans, my will. In this surrender lies true freedom. I don't have to conform to the world's ideals, or to the expectations of others. I don't have to be in control. I don't have to scramble around trying to force circular pegs into square holes, and I don't have to exhaust myself trying to be something, or someone, I'm not. I am free. I can breathe. I can be.
One of my favorite musical artists lately is Francesca Battistelli - here are some of the lyrics to her song "Free to be Me":
"When I was just a girl I thought I had it figured out
My life would turn out right, and I'd make it here somehow
But things don't always come that easy
And sometimes I would doubt...
Sometimes I believe that I can do anything
Yet other times I think I've got nothing good to bring
But you look at my heart and you tell me
That I've got all you seek
And it`s easy to believe
I got a couple dents in my fender
Got a couple rips in my jeans
Try to fit the pieces together
But perfection is my enemy
On my own I'm so clumsy
But on your shoulders I can see
I'm free to be me."
Whoever we are, however often we fail, in the end, it's His plan for us that matters. The more we attempt to seek and align ourselves with that plan, the closer we are to being the best version of ourselves.
I'm reading "The Me I Want to Be" by John Ortberg. I'm not very far in, but it's got some great things to say and I'm looking forward to finishing it.
I've also found the entire serenity prayer (not just the few lines that everyone knows) and have been re-reading it each day. It says:
"God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.
Finally, it comforts me to remember Galatians 5:1, which says, "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery." I don't have to be what anyone else on this Earth wants me to be. I only have to answer to One, and he's the only One worth answering to in the first place.