last night we had friends over to read scripture together. finally, we are doing this with like-minded friends who actually want nothing more than to just be together, share in a meal and read God’s word.
these two have really pushed ethan and i recently as we recognize just how long we’ve allowed ourselves to stay in a weary state. complaining, wishing things were different, wishing our mentors were back in our daily lives. i compared us to the israelites complaining after they were rescued from torment and slavery, complaining in the desert that they’d rather go back to that than live with what they have now. we’ve had a few-to-many-years long pity party and these newly on fire jesus loving friends have helped wake us up from our slumber. it’s made me remember a lot from the way things used to be. the “wonder years” of having older, wiser, beautiful mentors to do life with. it’s been many many years now that they’ve been gone and i feel like we’ve been flopsing around like fish out of water without them. i forgot to build a stronger relationship with christ as my mentor and humans as a nice way to connect to one another and to him, but only christ alone should fill and satisfy. we’ve learned a lot of hard lessons in these lonely years. we’ve pushed others too far, made many uncomfortable with our intense and harsh to them ways. we’ve lots friends, we’ve found out what real friends are. we’ve been through the ringer with community and relationships. i’ve tried way too hard and put way too much effort into the wrong things and wasted much time.
telling new people about who are mentors are and why, and how sad it’s been to not have anyone come close to their level of awesome was such a sweet wake up call to me. i started hearing, “you know their life. you’ve seen their life. you’ve just spoken of the simplicity of it. you love their life, respect it, continue to seek long distance mentorship and wisdom from them, you know how to do this on your own. this is on you, now. you are the one not letting your life be like what you see in theirs.”
so now, what is getting in the way of my life being fully and clearly about Jesus Christ?
my lack of being in the word of God.
fear of other’s opinions.
fear of being misunderstood.
fear of losing even more friends. and even christian friends.
too much time looking at lives in tiny squares on instagram.
too much time focused on sharing little bits of our life and not enough time on longer words, longer posts on my blog, where i’ve done so much good, hard, processing work that has helped me and others.
not being good at being alone, never allowing myself to be alone enough to allow loneliness to leave room for God to take over, overwhelm my soul and make me not alone ever.
my excuses that when i have the house finished i’ll be able to worship better and be at ease, peace.
excuses that if we had some land i could go out into creation and really feel God’s presence.
my pain is overbearing and small tasks just feel insurmountable. excuses. excuses. excuses. it’s really embarrassing.
spending time being angry that i don’t see great christian influences here in our community. i probably haven’t looked hard enough. or i only focus on the lump some that aren’t living it out instead of surrounding myself with the ones who truly are.
i have a blueprint of a great life laid out in scripture and in the example of our dear mentors.
i have full permission to get over myself, stop feeling sorry for any of my circumstances and LIVE IT.
the abundant life Jesus has for each one of us.
my next focus is to rid my life of the things that are getting in the way.
this way of life costs something. it costs everything.
if it’s not costing me anything, then no wonder i don’t feel the presence of God or have an abundant life.
there’s no room for him. there’s only room for what i want, want i like, and i’d like him to still just bless me anyway. but it’s enough.
i recently read a perfect quote that i’ll just drop right here.
it has a “bad” words in it so be warned if you’re sensitive.
“i’ve never seen any life transformation that did not begin with the person in question finally getting tired of their own bullshit” - elizabeth gilbert
ethan and i have often talked about change not happening until the person just gets tired of themselves enough. it’s seriously true. and it’s exhausting to try and get other people to get tired enough of themselves to change when you love them and feel like you see change that needs to happen but don’t focus enough on your own change and just GO and DO and BE the change. that’s where we’ve been. we’ve been begging people around us to change with us, alongside. but it’s not built that way and that’s why it’s not working. it’s individual by individual. and i need to just get to work on just me. the rest will follow accordingly.
it’s scary to become a new person. we get into habits and get used to people and hours and weeks going by in certain ways. it’s scary to not know if others will like you during and after a transition. but i am pretty certain i will like myself better and i will be better off for these changes, so it is going to be worth the cost.
and God is so gracious. he showed me just how much he resides in my front yard, in this very home, at this very time. he’s in the morning dew. creation knows him. i can sing along with the birds and the trees.