I have seen the light at the end of the tunnel, folks, and it was such an easy answer I completely bypassed it. I've been moping around, feeling sorry for myself, and generally disregarding the world and everyone I care about in it. I'm actually ashamed to even share this, but the end result is worth sharing so I'll swallow my pride and share this lesson.
I've been really wrapped up lately in feeling lonely and empty, mostly in the friend department. Wondering about relationships that have changed, wondering why certain relationships haven't developed, etc. It's been engrossing me and robbing me of the daily joy I should be living with my boy and my man. I feel like I've been beating a dead horse as I try to control the situation with all my might. When I finally decide to give up and let it all go, I get my answer. (Bear with me, this might be lengthy, but should be worthwhile.)
I was driving home today after a somewhat tumultuous morning where I lost my patience with my dear boy umpteen times and was just ready for a break. As I was listening to the song "Our God," by Chris Tomlin, I heard the still-small voice of the Lord and it was breathtaking. As my mind wandered with uncertainty about friendship and closed doors, God said, "What about Me? What about our friendship? Why have you closed the door on Me?"
My heart immediately sank and I approached tears. It's so easy. Right there. Black and white. I'm not where I need to be with the Lord. Sure, I pray. But how trite are those prayers at times, when I'm rushing to eat lunch or drifting off to sleep? I'm not in the Word daily. Cripes! I admitted it. This blog is supposed to be transparent for me, so there it is. I'm not talking to God, my friend, on a daily basis like I should. Taking questions to him, looking to him for guidance. I'm trying to tell God, "Hey, I got this. Go deal with someone who really needs it." Umm, hello? I need it. I need Him. You would think this would be second nature to me, having been a Christian for 15+ years now, but, apparently and sadly, it's not.
All of my doing on my own has been undoing what God wants. I've been ignoring the main relationship in my life. Of course the others are going to falter. My primary responsibility is my relationship with God. It's in the JOY acronym. Jesus. Others. Yourself. So easy, yet so hard. I can't believe I didn't see it. I'm so ashamed.
Right after all of this, I heard the song "Take You Back" by Jeremy Camp. Wow! Could God have spoken to me any more strongly and convictingly? He said to me in that chorus:
"I'll take you back alwaysEven when your fight is over now
I'll take you back always and
Even when the pain is coming through
I'll take you back."
Our God is a God of second, third, fourth, infinite chances. For that, I am ultimately grateful. How many people give us a second chance when we brutally rebuff them? Not many I can think of. I've been known to deny second chances, too. I'm so glad God doesn't do so.
My focus now is to get my relationship back on track with God. No more trying to do it myself. It's been said that if God is your co-pilot, you're sitting in the wrong seat. I see that much more clearly now. It means taking your burdens to Him, your every burden. Even the ones that seem minuscule and inferior. Your hurts, your fears, your joys, your passions. Everything.
This is my commitment from this day forward: to lay those burdens down and ask for His help. Let Him solve life's mysteries for me without unraveling myself in the process of trying to control everything in my grasp. He's already told me this in His word, in Matthew 11:28-30: "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."
Release control. Repeat: release control. It's SO hard to do as a woman. I feel every woman has this burden; it's in the nature of who we are. We are nurturers, caregivers; we want to make everything OK for everybody. We just can't do it. Listen to me, girls: we can't do it. We need the Lord. We need to be daily living Philippians 4:6-7: "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
This is so powerful. I'm in awe of these verses. You mean I can be at peace about my questions, fears, and requests? Absolutely. I need only take them to God and let Him sort them out. I'm ready, willing, and able. Are you?
God summed it up for me with this gentle reminder from John 3:30: "He must become greater; I must become less." So simple, yet so complex. I will seek to attain this goal, but only with God's help.
I humbly thank you, Lord, for this lesson. May it be a light unto someone else's path as it has been to mine.