Monday, January 17, 2011

Afraid of Failure

This week was the week of "lightbulb moments".  Seriously.  It was like every day I had an "Ah-Ha!" moment.  And I love these kinds of things.  It's like stepping out of a dream and embracing reality.  Okay, so that might be a stretch, but I still like these moments.  It provides a little more understanding into my life.

Some of these light bulbs were simple - like figuring out some sibling relationships in my young professionals group.  But others were kind of big.  Like why I can't seem to make decisions about future plans.  Or plans here and now.  I know that Jesus says to only look at today.  And I believe that I truly do that.

But there are other factors in life that require us to look a little ways into the future.  And it's these opportunities that I'm afraid of.

I already feel like I've failed before. Like not just a simple fail.  A huge, life-altering fail.  One that caused me to sneak into myself and become extremely hurt, bitter, and angry at God.  For almost a year.  I wasn't myself.  And I'm still seeking to find who God wants me to be through that experience.  I want to bring Him glory with my life - to make much of Him, not to make much of Erin. I'm done being angry.  I'm done trying to make my own plans and asking God to bless them.  It's not how His Plan works.

So how do I proceed and make my life worthy of His Calling? How do I make much of Him while pursuing opportunities that could be interpreted as making much of me?  Only He can really know my heart.  But I want to be clear that I'm not making decisions lightly.  And I can't stop hesitating to make sure my heart is right in these decisions.  That He would be my joy and not my own glory.   I'm working on this.  But it's not just gonna happen overnight.  There's a massive amount of healing that still has to take place.  And learning.  And growing.

Having my "light bulb" moment last night allowed me to understand why I'm hesitating.  I feel like I can't proceed because I've made future plans before and I've failed.  It sounds simple, but it's so deep.  The hurt and disappointment runs through the very core of me.  And I need my community to understand this.  It's critical that they see how much God has brought me through and how He is teaching me to seek Him above all else.   

I am beginning to see the bigger picture of how deep and thorough His love, grace and forgiveness flow.

Monday, January 3, 2011

All My Single Ladies...

This weekend, I went on a winter retreat with my Young Professionals Group from church.  It was a challenging weekend on several different levels.  I learned a ton about myself and how I am living my life for me and not for Jesus.  It's bad.  Like way selfish bad.  So, when people ask me, "Did you have fun?!"  I can't really say that "fun" is learning about how I live not glorifying God every minute of every day.

So, what did I learn exactly?  Lots.  But one thing I haven't been able to forget occurred during a conversation with my new friend J.  She and I talked alot about singleness.  What it means, the challenges, how we both desire to be married one day, the characteristics we would desire in a future spouse, etc.  It was all good stuff to talk about with someone who is clearly thinking on the same wavelengths as I am.  

One afternoon, during free time, we were chilling on some porch swings in the chilly sun.  And I was mentioning to her that I wanted to go through the whole Bible and find things that pertained to single people.  Confession:  I've never read the whole Bible.  I'm pretty lazy about it, actually (there's one of those lessons creeping in!).  So, in response to my comment, J says, "Yeah, I mean, the Bible doesn't really have a whole lot of stuff relating to singleness."  

That simple statement hit me hard.  Yes, it is good to read the whole Bible. To know the character of God and to understand how He cares for us (the cross, people!).  But if there really isn't a whole lot on singleness, I was thinking: maybe our focus is completely wrong.  

Maybe it's a struggle, but we shouldn't be so caught up in our singleness and how hard it is that we forget our purpose.  Our purpose, as a creation and imitation of God is to live solely to glorify Him and further the kingdom.  Singleness does make an impact.  Right now, in our lives, we can serve and glorify God better than if we were married.  So, later, holding out on what God has placed as desires in our hearts to be married, we will glorify him as being a reflection of the church and Christ.  

All of these things served to encourage me in my singleness.  It helped me to refocus how I've been living and define how I should be living.  What a powerful weekend.  I'll post more things that God is showing me as I process through my thoughts a bit more. What a powerful way to start the new year!