I was told once that Christians are called to be flexible. I was also told that I am as flexible as a board.
I have been busting at the seams to write. I have been trapped inside my own head. It's a stressful, exhausting place to be. There is no reprieve. The same thoughts thump around endlessly, driving me crazy.
I picture the last scene in the movie pi. *Spoiler alert* The main guy in it is brilliant. He eventually gets so sick of it (his own brilliance) that he drills a hole in his skull--a self lobotomy--so he's no longer that intensely smart.*
I don't have to worry about the brilliant part. Instead, it's the constant struggle to understand what God wants from me. To be and do and think what He would want me to. And to get rid of the ugly, selfish things.
That's where I struggle most.
I see so many people self-promoting. It makes me cringe. I have never been a fan of the type of people who say "Look at me!" Even under the guise of helping others. My Facebook page has become a litany of those "Look at how awesome I am" posts.
It's such a turn off. While I'm comfortable in front of people, I don't like being the center of attention. I definitely don't take compliments well and I worry constantly that I will be too prideful and start crediting myself with anything good.
Still...it's hard when you see others who will use anyone or anything to catapult themselves to greatness or gain attention. It's tricky to question someone's motives, but it becomes apparent sometimes why some people do the things they do. And it isn't out of the goodness of their hearts.
I have thought about that in regards to this blog many times. I have hoped that my imperfect, neurotic life may be a source of humor and hope for others. Humor because it's fun to laugh at and with others and a source of hope for those who may struggle in the same way...hope that they aren't alone. But not a way for me to shine how "terrific" I am.
I have felt alone many times.
As I change and feel myself becoming more aligned with what God wants for me, I see the disparity in the world around me. And more alarmingly, in those who I'm close to.
I re-read the above statement and think it sounds incredibly arrogant. I don't mean that I've "come so far" or that I've surpassed anyone, but rather that I have had my eyes opened. I believe I am seeing more of God's will. Seeing and living are two totally different things. Make no mistake. While I may SEE, putting it successfully into practice is quite another story.
I am having to learn and relearn how to relate to others as I become a different person. I find myself asking, "Did YOU change? Did I change? Have I never really seen who you are? All of the above?"
I am learning that I can't expect others to be where I am in my walk. Even though God asks the basics of all of us, our journey to getting there is completely separate and unique. That's hard.
It's like when you see a fantastic movie and you want to tell others all about it. You want to spoil the ending so that they can go along on the ride with you. You urge them to see it for themselves so they can experience it first-hand.
Or if you're both careening separately along a highway at 100 miles per hour. It seems like the road is flat and straight for miles, but, from your vantage point, you can see a sign warning that there are sharp curves ahead. Your friend/family member doesn't see the sign when you do and you are desperate to make them aware. That sense of urgency and sadness of what may happen to them if they don't see is overwhelming. You're signaling and waving wildly to let them know, but they think you're distracting them from the amazing ride they're having. They're annoyed with you. They think you're crazy. Ridiculous. Misled.
You can only hope that they see the sign in time.
And you find yourself wishing, even for a split second, that you could just go back a few miles to before you knew the curve was coming. Back to when you both just enjoyed the ride. Back to not worrying about your friend. And you realize that you can't just ride along, waving at them, laughing, smiling, cheering them on, when you know they are about to crash in a fiery heap.
That's where I've been. Torn between reaching out and sharing what I believe to be life changing, life saving information and observations with worrying about offending or disenfranchising those I care about most.
Is there really a way to win?
God has given us free will. He no more wants to force us to love Him that we want to force anyone to love us. It grieves Him when we make choices and decisions that are not in line with His will, but he allows us that.
If God allows us free will, how can I "demand" others follow or believe according to His will?
I can't. And I know that.
The rub? How does that change or dictate my relationship with others?
Some who I held in high regard have now slipped. Some I once held in such esteem have *overnight* changed into someone who believes, professes, and lives contrary to what I believe God wants us to. While they may not have actually changed or changed that quickly, I now realize the difference.
If I were to meet this person/people today, having no history with them, I would probably hold them as an acquaintance at best. They most likely would not be a close confidant. So, how does one go about rerouting the entire relationship now that things have changed? Especially if the "change" isn't troublesome or apparent to the other person?
I tell you what...it's darn near impossible to do it easily. There is a grieving process. While those people are still in your life, it's not the same. It's like losing someone close to you because they don't fulfill the same position they once did.
I tell myself that if I just do what God wants me to do, He will work it all out. But I'm not naive enough to believe there won't be pain or discomfort. It's for the best, I know, but pain is pain.
Having uncomfortable conversations sucks.
Finding out there is no Santa Claus sucks.
You find yourself in that devastating place of learning that your "parents" aren't perfect.
Every kid goes through that stage...finally seeing your parents as human beings rather than the caped crusaders you saw them as in your gilded youth.
And you have to shift everything.
What does that mean and how does that look?
I don't know exactly. But I'm there.
It's awful. And it's a chance for me to rely solely on God.
And I am getting a little closer every day to figuring out what God has planned for me.
I know that if I just jumped in feet first and believed, some amazing things would come of it and it would all be okay.
Instead, I sit here beating my head against the proverbial wall, mourning the things that have changed.
Have you ever been in that place where you KNOW what you should do but doing it is so, incredibly hard?