Recently I moved from my hometown to a place (2.5 hours away) I had only visited, eh, maybe twice. Uprooted from a FULL life of work, college, friendships, friendships so deep they were more like sister & brotherhood, mentors, connections, a church where I grew by leaps and bounds, streets I could have driven with my eyes closed, neighbors who watched me blossom from awkward junior high-er to bouncy college sophomore. Planted in a different culture. Different streets. People who eye me with suspicion (instead of the acceptance born from familiarity). A different school with instructors who expect different things. The list goes on.
And somewhere among that list of differences I lost my balance. BIG TIME.
I started trying to do things “right”…bad bad BAD. I started measuring my performance, in class, with people, at work. I was striving and striving to meet the standard of what it looks like to be a success here. I listened to culture’s voice & the voice of my own insecurities & started trying to be someone else. I started condemning myself for being the Wild Child I have grown into (and who many have condemned & still do condemn me for being). And what happens when we start judging & condemning ourselves? We start judging & condemning others. In my head I was saying “I am better” because that felt better than knowing I had failed to reach the “standard”. Then the atrocity of that way of thinking started to close in on me. Should I change my major? Should I leave this church? I was so caught up in the negatives I couldn’t breathe anymore. Even talking to the people I loved most, I hated the sound of my measuring, counting, judgmental voice.
In my misery I knocked on Heaven’s door again. I was in darkness. I knew my behavior wasn’t of God, but somehow I couldn’t get my head above the terror of failure to gulp true LIFE ((oxygen)). Knocking, knocking, knocking. Hallelujah, my sweet God of Lights came & shown Truth into the darkness.
“Here.” He reached out his hand & gave me what I needed:
just enough clarity to keep going
the soft breath of God-air whispering, “my goodness is unending. rest.”
Can’t you see the central issue in all this? It is not what you and I do….It is what God is doing, and he is creating something totally new, a free life! Galatians 6:16, MSG
God didn’t allow his Son to be crucified so that we could live a limited life, suffering from neck pain due to fitting within the 4 walls of standardized boxes.
The God of the universe didn’t die to make us all the same. Because of the that Cross, I have been crucified in relation to the world, set free from the stifling atmosphere of pleasing others and fitting into the little patterns into they dictate.~Galatians 6:15, MSG
The beauty of life now, in this fresh moment, is that I have a clean slate before God. Learning from these recent mistakes, I can spring forward into this season of life. This space with souls circling up around the brilliant light of Eternity. Suddenly, all the bitter things are honey again, gifts offered from the hand of Heaven.
When I cycle, when I study, when I text, when I eat…instead of failures, there is space, light, zest for life. And I want to share it all with others; with everyone I LOVE (in Christ that’s everyone).
It’s a cruel cruel trick
How we find ourselves
When we lose everything else.
(Sleeping At Last, Woodwork)