It bothers me that the Christian stereotype generally seems to fall in one of two camps: straining towards perfection or a hypocrite. Why is it so difficult to comprehend that when someone accepts the truth of Christ, its only the beginning of unlearning everything the world taught you and being taught it from a new perspective. There will be mistakes. Depending on the age this truth is grasped, that can be a LOT of learning to un-do.
Our world teaches self-preservation. It was a lesson I learned well. One I’m having a rather difficult time un-learning at the present moment.
If you remain unattached to something, aloof, ambivalent its easy to not let it affect you. If its taken from you, you really don’t care. It’s a passionless way to live, but it does keep you from getting hurt. When I feel like I can’t control a situation, I give up and shut down emotionally so whatever fall out may be I can walk away at the end of it unscathed. Sounds pretty heartless and cowardly… I know… I didn’t say I was proud of it, it’s just the way it was.
That was before I learned that the same God that created me and everything around me wants to fight my battles. Funny side story…. Sunday School for the boys, gives them different memory verses for the month. A few weeks back was a subset of 2 Chronicles 32:8 “We have the Lord our God to help us and to fight our battles for us”. After dinner, we sent the boys downstairs to clean up their toys, and out of nowhere Caleb starts shouting a Logan “You WILL help me or God will come down here and fight my battle against you second Chronicles 32:8! You want that? He will battle you! You better start helping right now!”….. Might not have been exactly what God was referring to, but with the faith that child has, if I were Logan I would have started picking up just to be sure.
When I lost our first pregnancy. I had remained aloof. It happens, this was just my turn. Unattached. When I lost our second pregnancy, I was straining toward perfection… Having the perfect Christian response to a loss…”It wasn’t meant to be, it will happen in God’s time.” Ambivalent. Unattached.
I thought I was losing our third yesterday. I went to the gym for the first time in forever and ended up rushing home in tears at the scare.
God is using this process to break me down. It is BRUTAL. It is brutal because I know He’s trying to break me, because He loves me…. and I know that makes no sense to people that don’t understand the God I’m learning to love, but it’s true. He sees how paralyzed I am to even move, the fear that grips me that one false move and I will lose it, my constant anxiety and inability to rejoice in a pregnancy that I can’t control. He doesn’t want me living, captive to the insane thoughts in my brain. He
wants needs me to rest in Him, to not only attach, but to love this baby so fiercely because He gave it to me, and to trust that He is far more capable than I to nurture and protect it.
I’m know its just as brutal for Him, to see how strong the fight in me still is. To know, all that I know of Him, to live surrounded by His blessings in my life, and yet not fully trust Him to carry me through this. One thing that is giving me peace, is that He will win. I may battle Him, and suffer the consequences of the fear and anxiety that comes from withholding my trust in Him…. but He will not lose energy or interest in fighting with me, and eventually He will wear me down, I will stop beating my fists, and He will win. I have peace knowing He won’t gloat, that He’ll pick my tired self up and say… finally sweetheart, thank you…. and that we’ll be fine. But right now…. its Brutal.
I know in our bright shiny world, we don’t normally share the scary dark sides. We suffer in silence, wait till we overcome, then come out to share how much we’re capable of overcoming. Whatever. That’s lame, and I need prayers. We have our sono on Monday (as long as things hold through the weekend), and for the two pregnancies that we lost previously that is where we learned that things were not progressing as they should…. so that is were a LOT (o.k. ALL) of my anxiety is stemming from. Please pray that God protect this sweet little baby bean in my belly, that it’s growing as it should, and that I will give up my fight to retain control or try and protect myself, and trust God to do it for me. That no matter the outcome I hold fast to the knowledge that He loves me and will reveal the reasoning behind it to me someday.
Julie, I want to give you a biiiiig HUG!
A lot of what you wrote resonates with me so much. I, too, am strugging to un-learn what this world has taught me… Following Christ is more counter-cultural than I could have ever imagined.
There is this saying that Insanity is to do the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome.
What the world taught me has not served me very well. So, despite how hard it is, or ‘brutal’ as it may seem, I am embracing this re-shaping because the sooner I break free from the bad patters, the more I will be able to fully stand in God’s blessings and live life to the fullest.
Not that everything will be ‘easier’ or ‘how I want it’, but I know I’ll have peace and joy even when experiencing sorrow and conflict – because I am not alone and know that somebody else is battling for me.
Thank you for this blog. You have encouraged me a lot.