Today is all emotion. I feel like so much has happened to me this weekend, but I have no clue how to say exactly what. I know that I'm growing up. I feel like a child, but I also feel like a man. I'm tentatively stepping into the life that God has for me. Each step feels like it will be off the edge into oblivion. I'm slowly embracing the dependency I have in God, and trying to be at peace with that.
After a minute of thought, I can say what a few of the catalysts for all this turmoil are. One is the looming "fourth step". For those of you not steeped in the 12 step lingo, a fourth step is where you make a "searching and fearless moral inventory". What that amounts to is a list of all the character defects, flaws, fears, resentments and sins I am prone to. I know you're probably thinking, "that's awfully negative," and it is. But there is a greater end than knowing what a douche bag I am. The big idea is that I take a look into my soul and see what makes me tick and drives me to addictive behavior. The philosophy is that guilt drives me to self-medication, and to counteract said guilt you locate the sources of it and then turn it all over to Jesus for freedom from it. Actually that's the whole 12 step bit in a nutshell. Recovery.
Anyway, I'm reeling hard from that long hard look in the mirror. The devil has been whispering in my ear many discouraging accusations. He says, "You are hopeless, you'll never get better. Jesus can't change you, just look how f'ed up you are!" I persist in the work at hand, because I need to continue digging deeper into myself and into Jesus, There really is no time in life I'm stationary, I'm either moving forward or moving backwards. That is to say, it's imperative that I keep on driving on, or I will be losing ground. It's very hard, though, to examine myself critically with the intention to tell someone else. Maybe the hardest thing I've ever done. It goes against every I've ever known. I pray it is worth it, because it's pretty damn painful.
The other reason this weekend has been so painful is because I prayed to be broken. I'll stop short of calling myself a fool for asking God to break me, because I know it's when I learn and grow, but dang, what was I thinking? I think I'll be some sort of super-Christian by praying that brave prayer, but every time God breaks me in some new creative way, I scream and whine. Sometimes I feel like the only thing I can ask for and consistently receive from God is brokenness. I am new to the game, I know, but right now it just seems that way. It's more likely I'm just seeing the ugly side of life, playing the martyr again.
My mom sent me a blurb by some famous Christian author, and it was surprisingly spot on. He said that rather than look at life like a series of ups and downs, "mountaintops and dark valleys", we should see the positive and negative as two parallel tracks that always exist. We can choose to see life as such, and choose on what to dwell. This weekend there was bad, and there was good. I chose to see the bad. I was expecting to see bad. I ate good food, I fasted, I went to persection-free church, I saw good friends and went two free concerts. I also broke down and wept at one concert, got swung at and spit on by a man I was trying to help, I hid from God, I wanted to isolate from people, I was lazy, and I hated how ugly I am inside. There are two tracks.
I see how Paul was a joy fiend. He figured out how to dwell on the promises of God. He located the safe havens of thought and lived there as much as possible. He shot up the Good News like an addict. I dare say Paul was a bit on the compulsive side. At least he wasn't washing his hands 73 times a day.
I need that security. I am petrified by the fear of depression. It can fog my eyes and suffocate my mind. I need those promises to be tattooed onto my mind. There are so many messages of condemnation in life that walking down the street for me like is like walking through a minefield. It seems it only takes a critical word and my castle walls are suddenly made of sand. I need to be built on the Rock. Simple as that. I think this fourth step business is the intention deconstruction of my walls, in order that something solid may take their place.
Even amidst this destruction of everything that I have sought comfort in, things are looking up. I'm beginning to see my castle for the prison it is, and the battering rams have begun crashing.