Thursday, December 2, 2010

Breaking Free, Being *Real* And Taking Baby Steps

     Today I finally cracked open the study I've been procrastinating getting into, Breaking Free. I actually picked up the book a few weeks ago and did the first lesson and felt like maybe this study wasn't for me. I just didn't *get* much....but silly me, so glad I picked it up for the next day's work because it pretty much sums up the whole of my struggle in walking closer to God.
     Today's lesson focused on the loss of a hero (through the example of Isaiah and his own life). I feel like I haven't really lost a *hero* per say in my life, but I have lost very important things and relationships that have left me lonely and questioning. Beth Moore has such a way of bringing the Old Testament to life--I have read the book of Isaiah but have never *felt* it. 
      Isaiah chapter 6 relates his struggle with the loss of his own hero, King Uzziah. 
Is. 6:1, "In the year the King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne high and exalted and the train of his robe filled the temple."
     It took the death of a major hero and fixture in Isaiah's life in order for him to be drawn to God. It wasn't until he experienced this great loss of someone he held in high regard that he could *SEE* God. 
She also included a quote by Oswald Chambers that really spoke to me,
"Our soul's history with God is frequently the history of the "passing of the hero." Over and over again God has to remove our friends in order to bring Himself in their place and that is where we faint and fail and get discouraged. 
Take it personally. 
In the year that the one who stood to me for all that God was, died--I gave up everything? I became ill? I got disheartened? Or--I saw the Lord?
It must be God first, God second and God third, until life is faced steadily with God and no one else is of any account whatever. "In all the world there is none but thee, my God, there is none but thee." 
Keep paying the price. 
Let God see that you are willing to live up to the vision."
     For me, this was most clearly illustrated in my life through, during and after the loss of my two babies to miscarriage. I am ashamed to say that it wasn't until God removed the hope I had in having more children-
-which felt like all the hope I held in my heart had been removed forever-
-that I really began to turn to Him for a deeper relationship. 
It was so deeply painful for me. 
It was so lonely. 
It was dark and sad and I was no longer myself. 
     But through that terrible year and the following year of carrying my Maeve that God started to change my heart. 
That He pushed and pulled and prodded and poked until I became a little more pliable. 
A little more soft. 
A little more open. 
A little more tender. 
A little less full of me. 
A little more willing. 
I am so not perfect.
I am so far from being where I want to be
where I should be
where I could be if I were disciplined enough
loving enough
kind enough
open enough.
But little by little He is working on me.
And honestly, the thing that holds me back, most of all from desiring a closer walk with Him is my intense desire to hold onto everything He has given me.
I have learned from past experience that the times of greatest growth in my life are the times of greatest pain and I honestly don't want to go through pain.
It's scary to grow and I am fearful of losing the things I hold so tightly to.
These quotes by C. S. Lewis perfectly sum up the whole of my fears:

"God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks to us in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: It is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world" ~CS Lewis

"We are not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us; we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be."  -CS Lewis
I am praying that someday my desire for His best will eclipse my desire for what I think is best for me.
That's all. 


Madre said...

I love how C.S. Lewis worded this:

"We are not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us; we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be"

So many times, I have feared what drawing closer to Christ would mean in my life. (Since I am no stranger to 'loss', I know how God uses heartbreak in my own life to draw me closer to Himself.) Any ways....choosing to Trust God is the only way I can ever hope to survive and thrive in this Christian journey.

Pamela said...

I think I'm going to have to do this study.

Devin said...

Every day when I open my reader, I look for it.

"Desperately seeking Shelly."

Yay! A new post.

I'm always so glad when I see it, and it is that blog that I read first.

And, BTW, I read a LOT of good ones *smirk*

You just have a way that speaks to me, friend (whether it be window shopping, children teething, or scripture!). And you did it again tonight. I feel your words as if they are my own. I have walked that road and came out the other side a stronger a God who loves me and even through dark, difficult times wants the best for me!

Anyway...I appreciated this post--aaaaand I'm long winded in going about saying so, as usual. :)