31 Days...

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Not Even Close...

So somehow I thought that by the end of Lent - I would have pretty much gotten the suitcases unpacked and put away! Ha! Not so much! Seems this is going to take a little longer than 40 days! How can it be that I feel like I haven't made a dent? In truth - I almost feel like I am farther away from my destination that I am closer to it. After all this introspection and searching to understand where I came from and exactly how I got here, seems I should be looking into half empty bags! And as much as I truly try to check my bags with my Almighty and Wonderful Creator - seems I can't stop dragging them around with me! Don't I know Him well enough to trust Him? After all this time? After all He has done for me? How can I be so selfish and stubborn?

I want to drop them at His feet and put my hands up and be done! Maybe that is the next step - learning to listen in order to let go. I haven't had a lot of time to listen cause I am so busy dragging around the suitcases and trying to manage them that I haven't stopped to do much listening. And this is hard for me! I am a doer - I don't sit still much. Allows for too much time to think! That's when the latch pops open and things start flying out of it. I then have to start stuffing it all back in - lest someone SEE what I have in there! That would be bad, really bad.

It's pretty messy. I didn't do a very good job of packing in the first place. So to let people actually SEE it...that would be scary. Those close to me have a pretty good idea - but what if OTHERS saw..what would they think? Would they still like me? Accept me? Even though some of the heavier stuff in there wasn't my fault? Would they see beyond that to the hurt and the brokeness that resulted? Maybe some would, but others wouldn't. But why does it matter?
And there we are again - back to giving it to God! He will use it for HIS glory! All of it - all of the pain and brokeness. All the not so pretty stuff that is hanging out of the sides. And He will take it for me - if I will just trust Him enough to know that He desires to give me mercy, forgiveness, abundant grace and most of all love. What more should I desire?

Monday, March 22, 2010

Don't Leave Your Bags Unattended

You have heard that announcement in the airport - "please do not leave your bags unattended". We all know the reason isn't because the airport is worried that someone is going to steal them - it's that they want to make sure no one takes your bag and adds something illegal or deadly to it.
Well - I must have left my bags unattended. I was having a lovely Saturday - enjoying the warm spring weather - when my suitcase was snatched and returned without my ever knowing it. I didn't realize it until I heard what was coming out of it. I heard words that were truthful - but words that I didn't see coming. Words that I REALLY didn't want to hear. The very thing I am trying my hardest to let go of, yet having the most incredibly difficult time doing, came screaming right back at me. And it wasn't from my own doing this time - which is usually how it happens. No, it was the words from others. All the raw and painful emotions came rushing back. This thing I am trying to move forward from has some kind of hook that has me unable to let go. My heart physically hurts from it. The pain, disappointment and confusion, even jealousy - that I so deperately want to be free from - and thought I was getting there - feels as raw and fresh as ever right now.
And I know two things are working here - which seems odd to me that they can work in tandem.
My first thought is that Satan knows where I am weak and he comes at me - especially as he sees me growing stronger and more faithful. He always hits us right in our soft spot. He has that knack. But what I am sure frustrates him to no end is the next thing I know!
That is that God is using the words that I heard to bring the truth more clearly to my eyes. He (God) KNOWS that I am still not giving it all to Him. He longs to be the Lover of my Soul - to comfort me, to be sufficient for ALL my needs. Yet, I continue to let the hook keep me from giving it all to Him. I hold out hope where all of my HOPE should be souly placed in God and God alone. There are no guarantees in life - NONE! But I do have the guarantee that God will be sufficient for my needs. That HIS love and grace will be more than I could ever need or get from anything or anyone on this earth. My head knows that - now - I just need to get my heart to listen a little more closely and see.
The song "Open the Eyes of My Heart, Lord" comes to mind...maybe that is what He was doing Saturday when my suitcase came back with more than I bargained for - he was opening the eyes of my heart.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Can I Check My Bags?

Ok - so far this has been a confusing and frustrating week. I feel like I pull something out of the suitcase, look at it, and set it aside. I start to feel pretty good about myself and the progress I am making. I think this is where I make my mistake. Because as soon as I start to feel confident and secure in my choice and decision - something creeps back around and low and behold if that same darn thing isn't right back in the stupid suitcase! At this point I am so ready to check my bags - pay the fee for someone else to deal with them. I can't seem to manage them on my own.
So that would be the "Ah-ha" moment! I CAN'T! As long as I am trying to do it own my own - of my own accord I will continue to fail. So how do I do it then? I know the answer - I know HIM well! God needs to take my bags - or more accurately I need to hand them over to Him. Check them at the counter and walk away! Leaving the pain, the hurt, the disappointments, the guilt, the mistakes - all behind at HIS counter of mercy, grace, forgiveness and most of all love.
This sounds like an easy thing right? I mean why wouldn't I want to leave it all behind. Go buy some fresh new luggage? Because we as human beings have a tendancy to want to hold on - to the stuff, the hurts, the life that didn't turn out like we planned, and most of all the control!
It is so hard to just let it go. For one thing what might He ask me to do? To truly give up something that I love - even though it might not be good for me. Or He might ask me to go somewhere and be something I am not comfortable being. To step out of my safe and familiar place in life.
So how do I do that? Am I really willing to do it? If I truly want peace and healing - which I believe will lead to living a bold and courageous life - don't I have to? Because just like checking your bags at the airport now has a price - so does checking my bags with the God who loves me and wants to give me the freedom to live the life He has planned for me!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Musty Suitcases

So not many boxes at the new place have been emptied. I seem to never be home long enough to get anything truly accomplished. It is getting pretty frustrating too. There are things I have used recently, before the move, and simply haven't unearthed them yet! Items I really would like to find - but who knows where they are! And have you noticed that if you don't use something for a period of time you forget about it...and then one day you recall it - and try to remember where it is...

Seems like what is going on in my head these days too. There were things that I thought I was done with. Thought I had "dealt with" years ago. They lay dormant for over a decade. And now - in the midst of everything else going on in my life - they have been stirred back up. This goes back to the teapot analogy - bubbling or boiling up. Guess the fire has gotten hot enough and God has some pouring out to do. The thing about what comes out of the teapot though is that it is HOT! And therefore painful if you touch it - you know what I am saying?

So back to my original suitcase analogy. Try to stay with me here...
It occurred to me this morning that it's sort of like an old suitcase. You discover it in the attic and think - ooh -what treasures might be inside? When you open it - the smell of mustiness over takes you. You know you need to clear it out now that its been opened - but who wants to touch the stuff?! So not only do I have heavy and overloaded suitcases - it seems I have some musty items as well. And I REALLY don't want to go there! But I am being challenged enough in my daily journey to become the woman God made me to be - that bold and courageous one - to know that I really don't have any other choice. So I am putting on the gloves, so to speak, and digging in.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

I'm a Little Teapot?

I have been reading this book - Sue Monk Kidd's "When the Heart Waits" - for well over 6 months now. It has been a very powerful book - with metaphors, symbolism and analogies - things I am drawn to. I picked it back up again after not reading it for a few months and was trying to figure out how her analogy of the chrysalis and a butterfly related to my unpacking this very large and overloaded suitcase. Then, as I was reading she mentioned a song coming to her head - "I'm a little tea pot"...you know the one..."when I get all steamed up"...tip me over and pour me out. She went on to say how this is what occurs when we are "cocooning" as she calls it. God shows us things; allows things to bubble up so to speak and then we are to let Him tip us over and pour it all out. Thus allowing room for the good stuff to come in - His mercy, His grace, His forgiveness, and most of all His never ending love for us. So it all made sense to me - I have to get the JUNK out of my suitcase in order to have room for all His good stuff that He so desperately wants me to have! So knowing that there are all of these gifts to come - why does it remain so hard to let the yuck go?
I spent an entire day going through one box, ONE BOX, yesterday! At this rate it'll be 2020 before I get all my STUFF sorted and discarded! Is it going to take that long with my heart and soul too? Like our entire generation I want to be whole and healthy NOW! I want my heart to soar NOW! I don't like this waiting stuff. Why does it take so long? Why must I look at each piece out of the box and be reminded of things I might not want to be reminded of? And do I really have to? I yearn for the freedom that I know awaits me! I long to feel like I have beautiful butterfly wings of blue and pink and purple...to soar and land on lovely flowers here and there. Yet, part of becoming a butterfly requires spending time in that dark cocoon. Peeling away the layers of the stuff that held me to what I was before. A caterpillar?