Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Lessons at the Midpoint

There's a vivid scene in Band of Brothers, when the Americans are hunkered down in their foxholes on Christmas and they can hear the sounds of Stille Nacht drifting across the battle-scarred forest. It's this moment of stillness and beauty, a moment that reminds them that at the end of the day, they are all, Germans and Americans, still a part of humanity. During this slight reprieve, they find a little time to take stock before the shelling starts again.

I've hit the midpoint of my sabbatical and while it's not as dramatic as that snow-covered scene of silence mixed with a distant, haunting melody, it's a chance for me to take stock. To stand before God and see what He is doing and what He has taught me. It has only been two months, but like a battle, I think it has felt much longer than the actual summation of minutes and hours.

I spent a while this morning just sitting and reading back through my journal since we've moved. I've seen some really clear patterns and God has made very abundantly clear those things in my life that revolve around a false narrative of who He is.

(1) I operate largely out of fear.
(2) I am no good at all at trusting anyone, including God.
(3) I have become used to hiding who I really am, though I yearn to be myself.
(4) I have no idea what I really want to be when I grow up.
(5) I'm NOT a bad stay-at-home mom. In fact, I think I'm a lot of fun!
(6) I often unintentionally interact with God in a way that is attempting to
manipulate him into a specific response.
(7) I have trouble being present and content in the moment.

Stark list, huh? I imagine there will be much to add to it after two months, but let me take a chance on writing one more list, and that's a list of what I know to be true of God and what I hope will be true of me. No, not after just two more months, but after a lifetime of continuing on this path towards Him.

(1) God is not a God of fear.
(2) God is good and trustworthy- he hates death, evil and injustice and is the giver
of good gifts.
(3) God has created me to be uniquely and beautifully His.
(4) God already knows who I am and who I'm becoming and is ok with the fact that I
don't know something.
(5) God is my perfect father and the only representation of parenting that I need to
look to to understand how to love my son better.
(6) God is all-knowing and will not be manipulated. He wants me to come freely to
him with my desires, hopes and dreams, not manipulate him into giving them to me
based on my performance.
(7) God has two days in mind - This Day(today) and That Day(judgment day). He is not
a God who worries or hurries, but who has abundant provision and grace for each
new day. I must learn to live This Day in a way that reflects my trust in the
ultimate outcome on That Day.

These probably seem simple truths that I should've learned a long time ago. To me, however, they are profound. Because after years of knowing them in my head, of being able to speak them aloud to other people, I'm finally allowing God's spirit to impress them on my heart in a way that is replacing my false and pitiful dependence on myself. Fear, you have no power. Performance, back off. Hurry, release your hold on me. I choose life and life abundant.

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