Saturday, December 14, 2013

Falling Towards Jesus

So someone asked me the other day if I had ever fallen flat on my face. I sort of laughed to myself, because well...for one I had just journaled about how MUCH I seem to fall flat on my face and two it seems to happen so often that I almost found the question silly. We don't seem to think it's very silly when it happens though do we? We're usually our harshest critics and sometimes we fail to extend the same compassion to ourselves as we do to others.

Every morning, I usually journal or write out my prayers. There is just something about it that helps me channel into being fully present with God. If I am focused on writing, my mind cannot wander in a million different directions like it normally tends to do.

So maybe some of y'all know that I'm in this process of recovery for this thing that I don't openly talk about, haha. That sounds so silly! But I do like to maintain SOME privacy. Anyway, there is so much I'm learning just in this PROCESS though that I feel so aligns with life and struggles that we encounter in our faith.

I thought I'd share a piece of my journal with you all. Within it you might see that 1. I allow perfectionism and religiosity to trap me into guilt and shame even within my walk with God 2. That I have become pretty good at falling on my face 3. That even through it all, this process of peaks and valleys still draws me more intimate with the One who matters and for that I remain truly grateful.

December 11, 2013

I didn't spend time with Jesus yesterday. I know that God still loves me and I've gotten wrapped up in religiosity if I consider myself a failure for missing ONE quiet time. It's just, I even had the time to do it.. but instead chose to fall flat on my face - without wanting to consult God, just wanting to regain my control. Sigh. How I so hoped for miraculous healing, how I still hope for that at times - but I think I know why God is taking me down a process of ups and downs within my recovery journey. It's such a direct reflection of life. I mean, we know that life is a series of mountains and valleys, right? We are told to EXPECT struggles and hardships. And yet we so easily forget that God is sovereign, that a valley will one day lead to a mountain. That a summit is promised for the future where He awaits and we will be united with Him. Forever victorious, we'll stand with Jesus and look down at the series of mountains and valleys that brought us closer to the very likeness of God and all of which came together for His glory. ALL of the journey was used for our good and His Kingdom, all were part of the journey that led to the summit, to eternity with a God who was with us through it all, and who we now get to enjoy in fullness. We are told to rejoice in the process, in the hardships, in the blessings and the pain. 

...Do we really though? I mean yeah it's wa-hay easier said than done. Our reaction is more often frustration and doubts, complaints and hurt. My goodness, I am grateful that God always takes me back. That just like the prodigal son's father ran to him with open arms, delighted in his return, God hurts when I stray from Him and rejoices when I return. Wow, I need daily grace. So desperately. I am pretty perfect at being imperfect (though I try to not allow others to see that). Instead, don't I really make an effort to try and make my life seem perfect? We all sort of do. We all post the best pictures, of the best times, at our happiest moments. Obviously, it is polite to be socially acceptable but with all this media stuff sometimes I think we take it too far. We allow others to fall into envy or feelings of discontent off of our fake perfection. But anyway...I've gotten pretty good at falling flat on my face. Yet I much easier is it to fall on your knees before Jesus when you're on the ground already? It's often in that place that I experience the greatest intimacy with Jesus versus that higher place of perfection and pride. So if getting to that intimate place means falling on my face often, well...then so be it. I'll just get up again and fall more and more towards Jesus. 

"Dear friends, don't be surprised by the fiery troubles that are coming in order to test you. Don't feel as though something strange is happening to you, but be happy as you share Christ's sufferings. Then you will also be full of joy when he appears again in his glory" 1 Peter 3:12-13

Precious God, I thank you. I just thank You for this process. For breaking me down and building me up. For engulfing me with Your intimate love within every valley and every mountain. I often cannot see what lies ahead, but I trust You. I trust that You will work all of this out for good as You have promised for the one who truly loves You. And I do Lord, I truly do. So I just thank you again, for Your daily grace that I so desperately need. I thank You for the tests which draw me closer to Your very heart, deeper in my compassion for Your people, hungry for more and more and more of You. I surrender it to You God, all of it. The process, the worries I carry, the hurt and the anger and the frustration. I am not meant to walk through this alone, so forgive me for times that I try to. For times that I allow my stubbornness and want of control to abandon the pure truth that I need You. So so desperately. My God, who am I that You would run to me with open arms? That you would hug and kiss me after all the times I have failed You? I don't know if I'll ever understand why you do it, but I know that You do. I remain in awe that You do. You sent Your son to suffer for man and as I follow His lead I will joyfully expect the same suffering. Place in me a heart of gladness and genuine joy in that suffering. That I may experience the sweet goodness of Jesus, of the cross, of the victory that awaits for me in eternity. I place my trust in Your sovereign and mighty plan. I love You and I praise You. Amen. 

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