Saturday, June 26, 2010
Life-altering losses. Multiple moves. Disillusioning disappointments. Mountaintop moments. Beautiful beaches. All in the past eighteen months. My life has been a whirlwind of change. I’ve been homeless – but never without a place to lay my head. I’ve been jobless – but miraculously able to pay my bills. I’ve felt lost, alone, abandoned, betrayed, broken and confused. I’ve seen gorgeous sunrises and sunsets in multiple states. I’ve hiked the Rockies and strolled both the east and west coasts. I’ve made amazing new friends and missed old ones. I’ve questioned virtually everything – from my salvation to my sanity. But this had no resemblance of all the great things I had envisioned for my life – especially by my mid-thirties. I was supposed to have an adoring husband, maybe a couple of kids, several records, a worldwide ministry and a beautifully restored theatre for all the wonderful productions we’d do for free. What I DO have is a precious Golden Retriever, a great Macbook and an awesome Jeep. I also have close friends and family – but have felt distance (some from my own doing, some theirs). In the past couple of months, I’ve reconnected with family – and have been shockingly surprised by the realization that though I love them dearly, I can’t “go back”. Though kind and well-meaning, I can sense the pity they feel for me. It’s not the way things should be. I need my own family, my own home, my own life. And as much as I love my dog, Macbook and Jeep…something’s missing. I’ve struggled with others opinions about me, and the choices I’ve made. I’ve felt shame about not meeting the expectations of those who had such high hopes for me. I’ve retraced my steps – looking for where I got off track, straining to understand why I’m here, why things that seem so normal for everyone else are inexplicably beyond my grasp. I was raised in a Christian home. My parents did their absolute best. I asked Jesus into my heart at three. I was baptized with water at seven, and the Holy Spirit at nine. I lived with and cared for my ailing grandfather, putting my life on hold for nearly four years. I gained a degree from a Christian university and a certificate in Pastoral Care and Biblical Counseling from a three-year internship through my church. I’ve helped feed the homeless, mentored young women, tutored struggling students, befriended the friendless, volunteered for various ministries, etc., etc., etc. I’ve prayed, fasted, read the Bible through multiple times…never realizing that all these things were subconscious attempts to gain approval - God’s approval, my family’s approval, my leader’s approval, my friend’s approval - a performance. Not that I was trying to put on an act, I was simply trying to be the best follower of Jesus I could be, sincerely. I’ve had to un-learn a lot of what I thought I knew about God, myself and life in general. I’m learning how much God loves me – regardless of what I do or don’t do. I’m learning how to love and be loved by Love Himself – and it’s changing everything – every thought, every action, every decision. This is only the beginning. I know God is good all the time and that He has never forsaken me – that’s something I didn’t have to un-learn. But the actuality of those facts becoming a reality in my moment-by-moment life is transformational – and get this, I didn’t do anything to deserve it! So, that’s where I am. Living loved and accepted by Love and loving Love back. I’m learning how to hear Him without any preconceived ideas and genuinely becoming who He intended me to be all along…I’ll keep you posted.