Friday, April 30, 2010
Do you ever catch yourself second-guessing your lifestyle decisions? I do regularly and that's where I have been.
Back in my 20's I was oh-so-confident. I was unbudging and unyielding in the beliefs and ideas that I held dear. I lived my life with conviction that my choices were right and good and true. They say (or rather He says) that pride goes before a fall. And boy did I fall.
I found myself in the midst of a very abusive and controlling spiritual situation. It didn't happen overnight...it happened over a period of years. This was years of my spiritual life and beliefs being slowing eroded and undermined and replaced by someone else's way of thinking. After I left this situation, I was a spiritual and emotional and physical train-wreck. Post-traumatic stress disorder in all of its ugliness. I had been broken and humbled. I had been the one who knew I would never fail at anything in life...and now all that self-righteous pride was shattered. I had failed as a wife, a mother, a family member, a friend, and as a follower of Jesus.
The good news was that my "failure" brought me to a place where I could finally taste the goodness and greatness and sweetness of the grace of the Gospel of Jesus.
However, an unfortunate consequence of that situation has been that I don't trust myself or my decision-making. I realize how easily I can be deceived so I want to live humbly and trusting in God. In every decision that we make (whether it's about work or housing or education or ministry or whatever), I feel a bit terrified. I wonder and question whether or not I am hearing God or being misled by man's teaching or following a self-path. As a result, I find it difficult to find joy in the paths that we have chosen because I fear that I am being duped.
This double-mindedness is wearing me down. I want to walk in a humble confidence in the paths that we have chosen through prayer and process. I want to have clear, singular focus and not anxiety, questioning, guessing at every turn. I want to trust God's gentle lead and the intuitive gut that He has given me (that I rejected and ignored over and again through the years). I want to rest in the truth that even when I fail, His gentle correction is there to steer me back to straight paths.
I want to walk by faith. And faith is tough when you had faith in lies that you thought were truth. My faith has to ultimately be in the Person of Jesus and not in my decisions, ideals, or lifestyle. Looking to Him as my Shepherd is the only Way. He really is THE Way, THE Truth, THE Life. So when the doubts and questions come, I look at Him. And I seek to follow Him in His character and ways....and trust in the freedom that He has given His children to choose many different paths/lifestyles all of which can glorify Him and keep us humble in the process.