On Other’s Opinions

It’s a deep night tonight.  A night to contemplate intimacy, longing, image – and all the things that have kept me from love, joy and healing.

Why exactly do I trust other’s opinions and not my own heart?  It’s a cop-out. A way to put the blame somewhere else in case things go wrong. I’ve read self-help. Asked for advice. Been given counsel. But it is time to put that all aside and discover what I really believe. To search my own reality – God and myself – on a journey of intimacy.

Cowardice. I long to be brave, but I still succumb to the will of public opinion. I fear if I live out my truth it will offend and I will be cast out, rebuked or ignored. What if my truth involves a complete transformation of belief and lifestyle?  My truth is that I have been skimming the surface of this change for quite sometime and unwilling to take that next step due the “what ifs.”

Laziness. It’s simple to let others think for you. Follow A, B, C and BOOM – Success. Easy. Fast. But truth isn’t quick – it’s a slow process.  An uphill climb. Putting away the programs and self-help tools which have become an addiction is hard.  Very. But the rewards of taking time, doing the work of thinking for yourself – unmeasurable. The quick fix never satisfies. It’s lust when you are seeking true intimacy.

Unworthiness. Being trapped in the vicious cycle of “not enough” and “too much” – believing lies about yourself.  Resisting intimacy due to layer upon layer negative images. Denying that you are fearfully and wonderfully made and that God has you engraved on His palms – He loves you, JUST AS YOU ARE. His love is not conditional – He’s not looking for achievements or perfection.  He loves you in spite of your flaws – actually loves you because of them. The flaws give Him the opportunity to spread more grace.

What is my own journey leading me to?

Obedience. Honouring my God by being obedient to Him and not the opinions of the world. Daily praying to become who He created me to be – who He imagined before the beginning of the world. Praying for energy and strength to be this.

Self Love.Being comfortable in my own skin. Loving my body and honouring it’s power. Not concerned with outside opinion, but seeking health. Not looking at my body as a failure, rather embracing a change to balance.  Seeking moderation in intake and exercise and enjoying my strength. Loving all aspect of my physicality – not just body shape, but height and flexibility and facial structure. Loving my laugh and voice. My smile and expressions. Disbelieving lies and false images. Acknowledging my failures and rising above them.

Recognizing my truths. Laying down masks and taking up my crown. I am uniquely made and my worship to God will be found in authenticity. My wisdom (from Him) will show my true nature. Immediately seeing falsehoods and pushing them aside.  Embracing truth. Living quiet, calm and gentle.

I have been on the journey for many years now, but it always seems like I have so far to go. It always seems like I am just starting out. I forget how far I’ve come. When I look back at the hatred I had for myself. The abyss I lived in for years. The denial I walked. Anger. Self harm. Deception. Then I put those aside…

But still, I didn’t trust God. I depended on my own path. I chose my own path. But slowly I abandoned that way too.

Yes. I have come so far. And still so far to go to finish well. Oh, I will sin and often. I am sure of it. I chose to go His way. Many more mountains to climb, but we do it together. Without the opinions of others, just Him and I.

 

 

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Obedience. Take 2.

 

“Maybe this time… maybe this time I will be consistent in my blogging.  Maybe this time, some of that hard-won experience will show up in my writing. Maybe this time I won’t care about what others think or what kind of response I get. Maybe this time I’ll suck it up and be obedient. Even if I have nothing to say.”

Isn’t that the crux of obedience to God? We don’t have any idea of the outcome, but we’re still supposed to “do” whatever He calls us to. Being obedient may cause us to be rejected, hurt or even killed.  Yet, we are called to it.

“To obey is better than sacrifice” 1 Samuel 15:22

Sacrifice is SO much easier! We can estimate the results.  We know exactly what we are giving up. We can plan for it.

But God wants obedience.  To walk (sometimes) blindly into His plan.

Why?

TRUST.

What were we created for? Think about it… Love. Relationship. Worship… TO BE WHO HE CREATED US TO BE. 

And we can’t “be” that person unless we completely trust in Him. And that trust is built by obedience.  That doesn’t mean obedience won’t hurt – it can. Still obedience is the surest way to alignment with God’s will.  By obedience we find our “sweet spot” – that overwhelming knowledge that we are doing what we were put here to do. It doesn’t come quickly.  In my experience it can take years of rebellion and false sacrifice and eventually true humility to reach that spot.  And quite often it doesn’t last long and then the sweetness is gone.

But we aren’t here for the sweetness – we are here for Him. By Him. With Him.

Just a Monday observation.

 

 

 

 

Keep On Keeping On

Gotta keep writing.  It’s not that I haven’t written since February – I have. It’s more that I am too perfectionist to post and I need to let that go.  I need to change my blog theme to something rougher and with an edge.  I am not a professional writer, but I am a communicator.  I have something to say, even if it is just for myself.

I am doing well.  I’m on the far side of the land between and am wanting to rest in this spot for a while. Work is good. Health is getting better. Spiritual life is progressing.  It’s time to step out more in that aspect though. It’s not all about me.  I have a tight grasp on that concept now, but I still need to practice it more.  Truth be told,  I’m bored with myself. Or rather, I am bored of not propelling myself forward.  And the propelling forward seems to be the exact opposite of what I thought it would be. Do I need to be more involved? Of course. But I see a path of stillness before me.  The themes of gentleness, quietness and calm are pervading in my soul lately. I long for authenticity in my relationships – even the one I have with God.

Today Pastor Tim spoke of approval: Seeking the approval of others is incompatible with seeking the approval of God.

To be quite honest, I am tired of seeking approval from others. I am only interested in the approval of God.  Authenticity. To be defined by my relationship with Him. To have intimacy with Him, deep and true.

Yet. The ugly side of approval rears its head daily.  Images of seeming perfection dictate who we should aspire to be and act. It’s exhausting. But I find myself caught up in it so often.  I find myself so CAPTIVATED by it.  What a waste. Of time and spirit.

This “approval” addiction tries to find a home on this blog as well.  I don’t post because I am afraid of words not being perfect.  Incorrect grammar. A boring theme. But what did I start this blog for in the first place? Obedience. A direct call to use the gifts I have been given and to walk them out. And really? The name is The Sacred Mess – it is supposed to be messy and imperfect!!!