Part of me hates to admit that to another human being, but it's the truth. It's not pretty --but that's only scratching the surface of the uglies of my heart. I catch myself justifying the anger that surfaces sometimes. I have these thoughts, mostly lies, running through my head and it poses a real challenge for me. I think,
"They don't care about you"
"They are just using you"
"No one ever thinks of you or even finds you important"
"You have to stand up for yourself because they're walking on you".
I think maybe I developed this mindset as a small child from observing people take advantage of my mom. My mom has the biggest heart of anyone I've ever known but perhaps subconsciously, I've grown to think that caring for others gets you mistreated and disrespected. As I grow, I struggle more with this one thing than any other issue I have. I've come to think- it's not that it's just coming out in me but rather that He is making me more aware of it so that He can cleanse me of it. And if there's anything I do know, I cannot change my heart. These ugly things so deep inside of me are in dire need of a deep cleansing from the inside-out that only God can give.
Yesterday, I didn't get my way about something after feeling I'd spent the day prior to that settling for things someone else wanted. I really beat myself up over it. It's like it goes against everything inside of me to feel overlooked. As a means to justify my frustrations, I kept recalling times where I gave to someone but didn't get anything in return. And the more I tried to justify my being upset, the more He spoke to me about it. He reminded me that this life is a journey of dying to self, and that if I'm going to grow, my way has to go. I tried to drown out his voice with my stubborn sulking but He persisted. After a few minutes of this, I knew I had to accept what He was saying here.
Of course I had every reason to be upset if I were weighing against the world's standards, but due to the increasingly close relationship I'm experiencing with Him He just won't let me settle for those standards anymore.
Immediately after I ended my sulking, I said, "OK Lord, You're so right. Thank you for working with me on this. Please don't ever give up on me because of my stubbornness." No sooner than I'd ended my sentence, He gave me some incredible insight. And it boils down to this.
We expect to do things our way and then we wonder why He doesn't save us from the consequences. He gives us free will and we make our own choices, whether they are good or bad. But if He were to save us from all of the consequences of doing it "our way", He would be enabling us to continue to go our own way. Many of us would balk at the very idea of enabling a friend or family member to live out their life in a self destructive manner. So why do we expect this of Him?This put a whole new perspective on understanding why we struggle and hurt so much. It makes sense to me in a way it never has before--and it was made real to me in a very personal way. Isn't it wonderful how He trades our junk for wisdom like this?
I know that I have to persist in my struggle with these feelings but I can tell you this: We were each made for more than these struggles. We were made to glorify Him but we can't do that on our own. He has to clean us up and that alone is a miracle. Our struggles will be around as long as we are in the flesh but if we focus on His ability and not our own there is hope. He is hope. We just have to accept it by accepting Him.