Overwhelmed, anxious, stressed, tired, striving, failure...all these words have one thing in common, they often describe how I feel. No matter what title I may use to define myself (woman, pastor's wife, Christ follower, Bible study teacher, mother, friend, etc.) these words easily find themselves into any crack or crevice I have. Now don't get me wrong, these words do not define me nor do they define every area of my life all at the same time but too often they make an unwelcome appearance and are not dealt with very easily or willingly.
God is gently, and at times not so gently, teaching me why these behaviors, emotions and thought patterns are common in my life. I've already admitted on this blog that I am a perfectionist and I struggle regularly with control and pride issues. That being said I am going to add to the list, when faced with the ugliest sins in my life I often recognize the problem, confess it and then proceed to reinvent myself to eliminate the unwanted problem area from my life. Whether I reinvent myself through a new spiritual discipline, an accountability relationship, charts, schedules, and other such practices, the truth is that I am trying and striving to bring about my own freedom. I try to reinvent and manufacture the results and become the me I want to be. God can and does use all of those practices to bring about His work in my life but only when my attitudes and thoughts are focused on Him alone.
As I work through the Breaking Free Bible study by Beth Moore I am realizing just how much I want and need real freedom in my life. I want to experience peace, joy and God's presence in my life in new ways that I have not yet experienced. There are areas in my life that have never experienced continual freedom and victory the way God intends. I want to release my grasp on those areas and know that God is working. He WILL work but if I jump into auto pilot and just try to reinvent myself in that area it just wont work.
The idea of reinventing self is pretty popular and common. Self help books, seminars, various internet resources make it possible to reinvent yourself in any area of life. Diet, exercise, organization, homemaking, business, education, etc. You name it and you can find a support group or online forum to reinvent yourself in this area. I see 2 reasons I (as well as many others) do this, 1. belonging 2. necessity. I often desire to reinvent myself and quickly find help in this because I realize I don't want to be alone on this journey of life. Belonging and finding out you are not alone in any given struggle is encouraging and helpful. People can offer an invaulable amount of expereinece and help in the area of struggle. I am also led to reinvent myself because where I am currently at is causing too much pain so it seems necessary to make a change. The reality of it however is that it is easier for me to set goals, discuss strategies and get advice than it is for me to just SURRENDER. To listen to the voice of The One Who knows and wants what is best for me should be my first and only priority but often I get in the way of that most important thing with my own way of digging myself out.
I have so much more to write about what God is teaching me on this journey to understand and live in freedom but that will have to be written in several other posts. It is my goal not to make you wait another 4 months for that! Whether you can relate to anything I wrote here or not I pray that you are in the process of understanding and living in the freedom Christ died and rose again to give you. Blessings!