In Truth, I Am More Than A Conqueror

DSCN0133This is a truth I’ve learned: our lives are like a house built upon a foundation. And as the foundation is, so is our house. This foundation holds all our beliefs; all that we deem to be true. And as such, out of this truth comes our behavior; we act upon that which we believe to be true.

This foundation of ours is powerful for that reason. There are beliefs and truths here that bring us goodness, health, and solidify our faith. And there are things here that bring us self-injury, harm, and fear. The good news is that we get to choose what is in our foundation; we get to re-examine and throw out some old beliefs and truths that actually turned out to be lies, and replace them with some new thoughts, beliefs, and truths that we know to be valid, every single day.   So the question remains: What truths have we built our houses upon?

I have had some pretty damaging truths in my foundation: I have believed that I was the super-hero in my own story and that I could save my own little world. I have found out, through the years, that this is a lie. I am no super-hero; I cannot save anyone. In fact, I can barely take care of my own little problems in my own little corner of the world. When discovering this truth, I found I could breathe!  I could turn it all over —  it was ok to fail and make mistakes and not have the answers to every little thing. It was ok to just say: I don’t know. The world didn’t fall apart — it kept right on spinning! What a relief. My new truth: its ok to fall down. Its even ok to stop for awhile.

Recently, I did just that: in my mind’s eye I saw myself sitting down in the middle of the road of my life’s journey. I told a friend how concerned I was about this. I had never seen myself sitting down in the middle of the road of my journey before. I was always on the front lines of my battlefield, armed to the teeth and fighting — with sling-shot and rocks ready to take off heads. But God had been prompting me, over the last couple of years, to examine this behavior. And now, here I was, last winter, sitting down in the middle of the road on my life’s journey. I told this friend: “I don’t think I’ve taken off my boots though”. That was good. Because that worried me; if my boots were off on the long road of my journey then I was in trouble. That probably would mean I’d given up, or was in a depression. So I studied myself in my mind’s eye to see if my boots were still on …

This sitting in the middle of the road and taking a pause was actually the best thing I’ve done for myself in a long, long time. It was a form of surrender, a form of “giving-up” my old beliefs, my old truths. Talking it out with friends, I discovered that I was sitting and waiting because I really didn’t know what the next step should be, in what direction I should go in. It reminded me, in a way, of Dorothy when she asks the Scarecrow about directions and he points in opposite ways; it was like that. So I sat down and waited.

It was at this point that I sensed there were more things in my foundation that needed to be cleaned out, but I didn’t know what they were yet. I had paused my life, and was waiting in the middle of my dusty road, knees pulled up to my chest, for God to show up. This was one of the scariest moments in my life because it was so out-of-character for me. So I continuously checked in with myself, with family, and with friends. No, I wasn’t depressed; I didn’t feel depressed, but I definitely felt different. Waiting, pausing my life, without being depressed. This was new.

As it turns out, this sitting in the road only lasted a few short weeks. Enough to give me a breather. A new pathway did open up — one that I didn’t push or make happen; one that just emerged, not all at once, but one step at a time. It’s still emerging that way — I cannot see the whole thing; God is only giving it to me one step at a time. My job is to walk it out; and so, eventually, I stood up and took a step … and found my boots were still on my feet.

 

 

 

 

 

Aside

The Glory behind the Story of ImageIN THE DESERT

After the death of our dad, my mom, sisters and I were drained. Losing someone who brought so much life — my dad was fun, fun-loving, adventurous, always moving, never still — was hard, and so were the adjustments we now had to make.

For me, my dad’s passing began a season of several losses. My life began changing in ways I had not expected, and I couldn’t seem to stop them from happening. I wanted life to stay the way it had always been; to stand still, at least for a moment, while I got my bearings! I found myself scrambling. I was trying to find what my direction now was. If only I could understand what was happening …

I have a bad habit of always looking back, as if I can change what has already passed. And, during this time of losses, I was obsessively looking back to a time before they had begun. But this view of the past was distorted, not quite in focus; the colors blended together in a swirl as if I were looking through a bowl of water. I wanted to reach out and grab the pictures, but the water just rippled the images away from my grasp and they were gone.

I remember thinking that God was moving and He wanted me to move also — to cross over to some other side. But I really had no idea what this meant. Not feeling particularly adventurous, I didn’t want any more changes — I felt alone. I was waiting. During this time, a scripture kept showing itself to me:

Arise, shine for thy light has come — Isaiah 60:1

I struggled to arise and shine, but nothing I did worked. And the more I struggled, the more trouble I created for myself and others.

The answer, which took me years to discover, was not to struggle, but to surrender. Let go. Let go and let God. I thought about that. Surrender. Surrender to grieving the loss of my dad, surrender to the changes in my family, to the changes in my life. I had resisted doing that … because I had been waiting, waiting to get back my old life, not realizing that it was just ripples in the water. So now I know —

And I am making peace with where I am. This took traveling through the dry desert to get to this place of acceptance — it came in time, not over-night. And, I find that joy, happiness, and laughter are here, too. The season of losses has shifted my life; my life, now, is in adjusting to this shift. And it’s all going to be ok —

 

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In The Desert, Waiting on You