From my journal: Floundering, that’s the word. It’s been two months, and I’m still floundering from the fallout. I’ve been out of church except for a few Sunday services. Every time I go, I feel waves of accusation or people encouraging me to re-activate my flesh in past patterns of service. Yet, I cannot. I will not, because everything in me from You, Lord, is saying REST, REST, REST.
I want so much to feel at home in the Body again. I want to feel like a functioning and valuable part. Right now, I feel like a spare part, left over after everything’s been put back together. No longer needed for the Body to function.
On the fourth of July that year, I spent time with God and gained valuable insights about what put me in these circumstances. I realized ninety percent or more of those I pursued for relationship were strong personalities. I saw strengths in them I wanted. But I set up rules for keeping their relationship. There were two guidelines followed:
Be in agreement with their beliefs, don’t speak contrary opinions.
Be available to meet their need, regardless of the inner voice counseling otherwise.
(Do you see, both of these rules are built on people pleasing and performance? In some way, I was still following the Chart.)
No wonder people loved me. I was compliant in every way. On the other hand, I dealt with constant inner turmoil over trying to protect myself from their rejection through performance. Often I went along silently with something I knew was wrong for me. While I appeared to be in agreement, in my heart, I labeled these people as controlling and manipulative, when in fact, they may not have been. I was playing by my rules, not theirs.
I also realized my pastor had encouraged me to make my decisions, especially during the last year. But I was into my rules, so afraid of rejection or being left out. I did what I believed he wanted, even when he wasn’t pressing me to do so. Ouch! God have mercy. Will I ever get life right?
One day I decided to take a walk and clear my head. It was summer and wildflowers lined the grassy ditches.
As I walked down our gravel road by the lake, I heard the sound of a panicked bird. I looked to the ditch and saw a female black bird. She was struggling as if on something.
I hate chigger bites, and I knew if I went into that tall grass, I’d be setting myself up for an attack. But I had to see if I could help. I stepped in knee deep. When I got to her, I saw a fishing line wrapped around her leg. I tried to unwrap it. It was hopeless.
In desperation, I bent down and bit into the line with my teeth. The line broke, and she disappeared into the deep grass.
I let her be and got back on the road. When I did, God reminded me of something He’d told me several years before, “You are a shepherdess,” He said.
“Well, where are my sheep?” I asked.
“They are caught in the thicket.”
“Are You giving me an object lesson with this bird?” I asked. “I set the bird free, not with my hands but with my teeth. To me, this says my knowledge of Your word and my sharing it as a teacher, will set people free. Is this what You are showing me?”
Then I heard Him say again, “I’ve called you to be a teacher and a teacher you will be.”
I walked back home with hope. “This season will not go on forever,” I said out loud to the tormenting voices in my head. “There are better days ahead. God will fulfill His will. I will be part of the Body again and be a blessing. Thank You Father.”
~~ How About You? ~~
If we are to move forward in the destiny God has for us, we must deal with truth and repent for the part we’ve created that is holding us back. Then, with a firm assurance of God’s faithfulness, we must move out to do His will.
Forgiveness is key. Forgiving others and forgiving ourselves. At some point, we must face the good, the bad and the ugly, own what belongs to us, forgive and move on.
Philippians 3:12-14 says it this way:
“Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. 13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
Romans 8:1 reminds us when we follow Holy Spirit’s lead in true repentance, we are free from condemnation and guilt. When we turn around and run in His direction, we are no longer bound by our past but fully forgiven and made clean in His sight.
“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”
God is generous to a fault. He provides all the grace (the power to do His will) we need to get back on the right path and continue with Him. Without His grace, we are without hope. His grace is sufficient for every circumstance.
May God bless you as you re-discover His purpose for your life.