Ever have one of those days? Where at every turn a person challenges you, how you think or how you act. They call you out on how you have been treating the world lately? That’s who last Friday started for me.
It had been a crazy week at work and I was finally feeling caught up and went to have lunch with a friend/mentor. I thought it was going to be an easy lunch. I mean, it was our first one. I had just planned on asking her to pray for me. We discussed so many different thoughts, ideas, and life applications that I’m not even sure I have processed them all well. I did I share with her that I was going on this retreat because God had told me too; but I was going “kicking and screaming”. She challenged me to not hold my hands so tightly closed; but to lay them open and let God give and take away whatever needed to be this weekend. It was shortly after this lunch that I realized most of my crazy week; had distracted me from preparing my heart for whatever it was that God would have for me in the next 48 hours. Looking back, I understand why all the trouble.
You see, I finally know what I want to be when I grow up. I want to encourage women to understand who they are in Christ through the written and spoken word. And because I see a small portion of how God is weaving my life into part of His bigger story. I thought I would just take off and run with the puzzle piece I had. I was confident I could figure it out.
My lunch on Friday had left my heart raw. I wasn’t quite sure how I was going to make it through the weekend without being all blubbery and boo-hooey. It helped prepare me to become completely humbled before the Lord. Brokenness, I believe that’s what it’s called.
As a recovering perfectionist, brokenness is hard. It means you do not have it all together and although you already know this; it still makes you want to scratch your eyes out when you are confronted with it.
Friday night Chris Brooks talked about how God crosses over our excuses and confronts us with Himself; basically answering all our insecurities and excuses by saying “Now what?” Saturday a.m. consisted of being challenged to royally waste your life on the cause of Christ. In these two sessions he briefly mentioned what success looks like. A lot of times we in the Christian sub-culture take a look at what the world calls successful; stamp a the word “Christian” or “God” on it and call that success. But really, what does success look like in the Kingdom? It’s not about our being famous; but about royally wasting our lives to make Him famous. The struggle is this: What makes Him famous; will do nothing for us.
Over and over again I hear God tell me “dream big, baby girl, dream big.” I now have to ask myself…has my definition of success, have my dreams been about Him or about me? What does success for the kingdom really look like?
Saturday evening Chris talked about a great deal of things that my hands were held to tightly closed to receive. I remember three things. First, that it’s ok to still be struggling with the same issue you were 10 years ago, let me say that again...it is o.k. Second, you need to forgive. Third, he mentioned chocolate cake and Bill Cosby.
At this point I don’t have any more space in my head for the information God was giving me. Right before the Saturday night service, I had a conversation with a friend about how unforgiveness holds us back, my heart was still so raw from lunch on Friday and how I go about defining my success; and all I could see was how royally messed up my life has been as of late; and I couldn’t even seem to find a plate…let alone chocolate cake…it was a very low point for me.
Then we started on our way to the bonfire. I saw a friend up ahead that I wanted to give a hug, so I took off running. And well, it was dark and I fell; scrapped hands, bruised knee and everything. It had to be funny to watch. As I rolled over; I realized this is exactly where God wanted me. In that split second I heard the word “dependant”. Somewhere along the way I had been working/teaching/living independently. I’m still not sure where the disconnect occurred; but what I am aware of is that I do not know how to be dependant. I don’t know how to be o.k. coming to him on a daily basis. I do not know how to reconcile in my brain that its o.k. to bring the same issue to him day after day after day.
My prayer is that I would understand the glory of the daily; that He would help me pray with hands open; and that He would remind me what falling face down before Him is really about.
My mom had asked me how the retreat was. I said “hard”. Again, as a recovering perfectionist it’s hard to be confronted with all of your “blah”. Its hard to pray with hands held open; allowing God to give and take away. Its hard to be still and understand this is exactly why He came; so that I could be in these places and know that His great grace and mercy have made me dependant, daily.
There is so much more to process. I am not comfortable here; but I am thankful. I am thankful that I do not understand. I am thankful that He is increasing my desire to pray with hands open and my desire to define success differently. I am thankful for each of you who have read this far in this amazingly long entry. I am thankful for the comfort and peace in the midst of everything uncomfortable. I am thankful I am learning to be dependant.