Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Revelation: My Need for Heart Surgery

In the last month or so a lot has happened.  You'd probably never notice this by looking at the circumstances of my life.  Life looks very similar today, if not identical, to how it looked a month ago. That is because most of the things that have happened are internal, not external. 

In the beginning of August I received a phone call from Call2All followed within a week by an email....would I please please please reconsider coming out to Kansas City to work for them?  Would I consider committing to 8 week for a training course and then see what happens after that?  Would I receive some help fund-raising and a slash in the cost of the course and come out for eight weeks?  Please please please?

Feeling oh-so-flattered....I worked my tail off on my end to try to make it work:  Would I be able to take a leave of absence from my job for 8 weeks (crossing the bridge of what to do after the 8 weeks if necessary)?  Could I get my house rental-worthy if my current housemates decided to move out once I was gone?  Could I financially live off of my meager savings for those 8 weeks?  What to do with my stuff if my housemates decided to move out?  What to do with  my cats while I would be gone?  Which rental agency to rent my house with if I should go.....on and on.  So, with all of the wheels in motion....I prepared to go.  I got everything in order and needed to make my decision by Sept. 1, so that I could give my housemates time to look for a new place if that's what they decided and time to train my fill-in at work.....

On August 30 I was 90% sure I was going, but by August 31, I had decided to stay in Tacoma.  Why, you might ask?  Here's an excerpt from an email sent to a good friend:

....I got your vm and as it turns out, I am not going to KC.  I have just had a lot of revelation on the difference between running away from something versus running towards something.....I was not that excited about KC....should have been a clue that I was running away rather than feeling called to something.  

What have I been running away from?  Well, life circumstances aren't great, but probably more significant is that I was running away from how incredibly insignificant I feel right now.  So, in the midst of a raging battle with insignificance, I basically get "courted" by just really fed the gaping hole in my heart that was struggling, even though it was not something I felt particularly called to nor that excited about.  Just the fact that they wanted me felt flattering and fun.  

I decided not to go.  My heart feels sliced open and I am pretty miserable.  Especially since my circumstances have not changed, and now I am left reeling from this revelation of just how deep and all-encompassing my insignificance is and how I do just about everything not to feel it. 

I have told so many people in prayer times that if they were "paralyzed on a bed" they would be just as significant as if they were up and able to "do" things (ministry etc.) and now I feel like I am learning myself a greater depth of what that means.  I literally have nothing left to feel significant about: no ministry, not in my job, no friends, not in how I look, not in finances, not in anything.  And, the comfort I've taken in filling that significance void with things or activities or people is gone, and it hurts.  I literally don't think I know how to survive without the false comfort.  I realize some of that stuff is important (like friendships etc.),  but I really feel like the Lord has stripped it all away. 

That email was sent two weeks ago now and the work in my heart continues to be very deep.  I am realizing just how much of my worth is put in the activities I do, the people I call friends and the titles I have.  God, in His mercy, has taken a lot of that away and I am left with just me and Him.

The thing is, I have gotten really good at filling the void over the years.  A lot pain of the last two+ years has been the gracious hand of God first revealing and then stripping away the things I have held dear so that all I am left with is just He and I.  I am stunned at the depth and breadth of my insignificance.  I literally look to anything and everything but the One who can truly fill me to feed my soul.  As I have realized...all of that is temporary.  Take things, activities and people away and I have found myself like a scared little kid grasping on to every little thing I can to feel better.  How deceived I have been.

I am getting back to basics.  I am cutting out every activity I have on my agenda just for the sake of having an activity.  I am seeking the Lord on who He wants me to be friends with and focusing on just being "me" within that friendship and with others around me.  I am spending as much time as possible focusing on my relationship with the Lord, which is really what has been broken in the first place.  I am focusing on the things that bring me LIFE rather than those things I think people want or expect me to do. I am re-learning to trust the Lord and His goodness and faithfulness in my life, regardless of how it looks on the outside.  I am focusing on reading my Bible, and worshiping, and re-learning the basics of just WHO He is and just who He says I am. 

I am throwing out false labels, I am throwing out other's opinions of me (including, and probably more importantly my own opinions of me), I am throwing out expectations and preconceived ideas, I am throwing out the past, I am throwing out future worries.

I am working on today.  Just today.  It seems to simple, yet the work being done within my heart feels deep and intimate.  The heart surgery is not done yet.  Please be praying that it would be a complete and lasting work.


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