Saturday, April 21, 2012

Hurricane

I went to a Ladies Retreat this weekend.  At about noon on Saturday I texted my dear friend and told her that God was smacking me around a little bit and I needed her to pray.  I couldn't explain it all via text; I just needed her to pray.  Same thing for my husband.  Just pray.  And they did.  And I got smacked around some more.  Thanks, you two!

Seriously.  Thanks.

This is the hardest blog entry I've ever written.  I texted my friend and told her I couldn't find the words.  She said to just write what I'm going through so I can help others who are going through the same thing.  But are there really other people who are going through this?

Write the blog.

But God, I think this one can just stay between us.

Write the blog.  

But God, I don't think anyone will "get" it.

Write the blog.

But God, SURELY other people aren't as screwed up as me.  Who else could possibly need to know this?

Write the blog.

But God-

WRITE THE BLOG!  Write it.  Write. It. Down.  Press "publish".  End of discussion.

............fine.


PLEASE tell me I'm not the only one who has these conversations with God.


At the Retreat this weekend we talked about stages of our walk with God.  And it was all about shoes.  Shoes!  Our guest speaker knows how to get down on a girl's level.  She talked about how sanctification is a process, and how we have to take it seriously.  The Israelites didn't take it seriously, and they ended up wandering in the desert for 40 years on a journey that should've taken 14 days.  *headdesk*

She compared our spiritual walk to four different types of shoes:
  • Flip-Flops:  Doesn't really know God or have a deep walk with Him
  • Fuzzy Slippers:  Has just fallen in love with God and it's all about the warm-fuzzy feelings and the newness
  • Tennis Shoes:  A time of refinement; God is making you work
  • Go-Go-God Boots:  Walking by faith
At the beginning of this weekend I would've told you that I'm in the Tennis Shoes stage.  I'm working, man!  But as our speaker talked about the Flip-Flops and the Fuzzy Slippers I realized maybe I had it all wrong.  And then she started talking about the Tennis Shoes, and I KNEW I had it all wrong.  

God is working on me - he's working on all of us.  But here's the kicker....I'm working on me more than I'm letting God work on me.  

I am working on me more than I'm letting God work on me.

All those "bad" behaviors that you read about in the New Testament.  I'm working hard on getting rid of them.  I'm getting my temper in check.  I'm trying to think more positively.  I'm trying to have the mind of Christ.  I'm.  I'm.  I'm.

Newsflash:  It's not working.

It's not working because I'm trying to be in my Tennis Shoes without first getting my feet used to Fuzzy Slippers.

In other words, if I haven't fallen in love with God I'm not going to be willing to do the hard work with my whole heart.  I'm not going to be willing to give up control and become who God wants me to be rather than who I want to be.  I sat in that room this weekend and got this sinking feeling because I realized what a deep  hole I was actually in.  I realized that I need to go back to the basics and find a newness with God.  

Here's the problem:  I don't do Fuzzy Slippers.  Warm-fuzzy is hard for me.  I'm cynical.  I'm logical.  I'm sarcastic.  Chick flicks annoy me.  I don't wear pink (unless it's glaringly bright).  I put up walls, and I fight feelings of emotion.  This is not because of some deep-seated childhood trauma that made me afraid to love.  It's my personality.  It's my natural tendency.  I think I'm a Vulcan.

I was sitting at the Retreat thinking about worrying about how to change this.  How do I learn how to be warm and fuzzy?  How do I put down those walls that have kept me safe for so long?  If I try to let them down won't I be flooded with emotion and end up weeping in front of An Affair To Remember like some sappy housewife?  I'm comfortable in my tennis shoes with my sleeves rolled up and my hair in a ponytail.  I like to tackle things - I like to be moving.  Busyness and hard work allow me to avoid dealing with the deeper issues that nag in the back of my mind.  I am not comfortable with stillness.  I am unsettled when things get too quiet.  And don't even get me started on the ooey-gooey marshmallow conversations that I hear other people have.  But how does that all fit with the spiritual need to spend some time in Fuzzy Slippers?  The need to really discover God.  My stomach was in knots.  My heart rate had kicked up.  I was feeling like things were out of control.  Because they were.

And then there was a quiet little voice in my ear.  And it said "You're okay.  I made you the way you are.  Your personality serves a purpose.  And I'll help you take your walls down.  But you have to let me."

You have to let me.  

But God, I don't know how.  32 years of walls don't come down overnight.  I can't just choose this.

You have to let me. 

Okay, let's say I decide to try this.  What happens next?  What do I do?

You don't do anything.  You have to let ME.


Right.


Are you ready?


Nope.  


But I'll try to be.


I'll help you.  Be still.  I've got a plan.


Okay.

When I was on my way home I plugged in my iPhone and pushed "shuffle" on my Christian music playlist.  And this song came on.  (Forgive the cheesy pictures please).



And I understood.

My prayer right now is for God to tear down my walls.  I'm praying for a hurricane.  I don't know what that means.  I don't know that looks like.  And I'm afraid.  Terrified.  Shaking in my Flip-Flops.

But I'm more afraid to spend my life with walls up because those walls limit what God can do with me.  I don't want to spend 40 years in the desert taking a 14 day journey.

I recently started doing FlyLady's approach to house-keeping.  She starts you with BabySteps.  One little thing at a time.  I'm following the same principle here.  I'm looking for God in the little everyday things.  Like Sam's laugh.  The dog chasing a fly.  The tiny little peppers budding on my jalapeno plant.  The magic of just the right song at just the right time.

There's not a good way to end this post because there's not really an end.  This is a beginning.  What is God beginning with you?  I think hearing about other peoples' struggles and realizations lets us know that we're all in this together.  So I'd love to hear your stories!

3 comments:

  1. I'm so proud of you. The words are on the page. Somehow it's harder to ignore and go backwards when it's out in the open.

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  2. I'm glad we're friends. Or "friends." Whatever.
    God is more than good. He is active. He does stuff.
    I am grateful for you. That you allow him to do stuff. You do it more than you know. I know this because He's used you for me.
    The end.

    (yes, i realize that this is a very ... staccato comment. When it comes to things out of my control, I feel like all I can do to state facts)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad! And I love your staccato-ness. It makes me smile. I get it.

      "God is more than good. He is active. He does stuff." <3

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