lessons on the levee

{I've been a super crappy blogger lately. I'm aware. Here and there I've felt a little guilt creep in about not only my lack of posting, but my lack of writing in general. For the most part I've been able to keep it at bay with the truth that I decided a while back that I wouldn't write just because I felt like I had to. That I'd write when it was something God placed on my heart, something that he wanted to share. And I just haven't had anything to share lately. I couldn't bring myself to half-heartedly write something just to drum up interest or not have my blog look neglected. Those are the posts that get me in trouble, because they're not God's. They're mine. So anyway, that's my kind of apology for how little I've written lately.}

On to the issue at hand. Can I just say how blessed I am, right quick? I start a new, crazy awesome job on Thursday, I just got a new car, I have parents who have supported me 100% in everything I've done, girlfriends who hold me up when I can't do it myself, and a boyfriend that I love so much it makes me feel like I might hyperventilate sometimes. But for the last couple of weeks, I have been such a brat. Such a brat. Discontent and constantly complaining and selfish as hell. My entire focus had shifted to one small thing that I had no control over, and all the good things around me had faded in its presence. I'm not exactly comfortable talking about what that thing is, so you're going to have to roll with the ambiguity. But my whole brain and thought process were consumed by thinking about how frustrated I was that I couldn't change this situation that I so desperately needed to. The bitterness that was suffocating my heart was showing up in off-handed jokes and consistently hurtful sarcasm, things that I could easily brush off as "I'm just joking" when I got called on my crap. By the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks, right? Boy, does it. But I felt justified! I felt like it was totally okay that I was feeling the way that I was. Which is pretty much the scariest kind of brat, because then you're a delusional brat. At least if you're being a brat and you own it, you're making a conscious decision to be awful. If you're delusional, a swift smack to reality is usually headed your way.

I got my smack on Friday night. It actually wasn't too bad, most likely because I had started to become aware of the appalling things coming out of my mouth and hanging out in my heart and had started praying about it. But the smack still came. I mean, I needed it. Initially just overcome by guilt and disgust with myself, I laid in bed wide-eyed until about 4 AM Saturday morning, which is when I just gave up and got up. I showered, grabbed my bible and journal, and drove out to the levee. Looking back, perhaps not my brightest idea, but I find God the easiest when I'm in his creation, and I needed to get outside-stat. I kind of forgot that I was 5 AM and pitch black. Thankfully there's lamps out there. Anyway. I just sat for a long time. I sat and I argued with God. I started trying to make him get with the program and see how I was right. How my timeline and my ideas were better. How these things that I wanted were good and beneficial so why couldn't I have them right now? After a while I finally shut up. And instead of a booming voice of God condemning me and telling me how wrong I was, what I heard was a replay of the words I'd just said. And for the first time in a long time, I actually heard myself. And quickly began looking for a hole to crawl in and hide. There's nothing quite like God holding up a mirror to your heart and being faced with how ugly it's gotten. I sat on that bench on the levee for hours. For a while, just trying to gather my thoughts enough to apologize to God. And then praying to combat the guilt and ask that he help me not stay there, because no one can move forward when they're obsessed with focusing on what they did wrong rather than how to make it right. Thankful that I had my Bible, I flipped to the concordance and started reading every verse it had to offer on contentment.  "Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content." -Philippians 4:11. In whatever situation. This verse grabbed me because of that word, whatever. And the fuzziness that had been covering all of the good things in my life started to fade. I began to realize how much I had lost sight of, and that this whatever situation I was in, was a dang good one. My heart began to be overwhelmed by awareness and thankfulness for all of the incredible things in my life. And as I watched the sun fill up the sky over the river, the thing that I had been obsessing over and discontent with disappeared with the darkness. 

Not trusting God with your future manifests itself in discontentment. Discontentment manifest itself in bitterness. Bitterness manifests itself in bitchy comments. And it's really difficult to speak in love and grace when what's fighting to get out is rooted in thinking you're more capable than God. I thought I knew what I needed. I thought that I was ready for what I wanted, and was prideful enough to buck the lessons God was trying to teach me in a waiting period. At that point, I wasn't ready. Obviously, since I was handling it like a 6 year old stomping around in the middle of Toys R Us. There were lessons to be learned, strongholds to be broken, and a sassy mouth to be reigned in. I use the word "were" loosely,  because those are all lessons I'm sure I'll learn for the rest of my life.

"What sorrow awaits those who argue with their Creator. Does a clay pot argue with its maker? Does the clay dispute with the one who shapes it, saying, 'Stop, you're doing it wrong!' Does the pot exclaim, 'How clumsy can you be?' -Isaiah 45:9

I'd rather be a thankful, malleable pile of clay, then a back-talking, ungrateful pot. I'd rather live my life resting in the truth that God really does have this than stressed out trying to get it done on my own. I know that I'm probably going to fight this battle everyday for the rest of my life. The battle of thinking I can do it better and having to relinquish control. But I'd rather fight that battle everyday than live thinking I can do it alone. 


kelly summers said...

I love this! I totally identify with the first paragraph in regard to blogging. I just end up with trouble when I write for the sake of filling space.
I'm also finding myself in a similar place in terms of attitude and selfishness. So many things are right, but the one thing that's wrong completely throws me off. I get bitter, prideful and angry. It's such a hard daily battle to remind myself that life is not about me. At all. And if it was, the world would be a very sad place.

I also read this blog last week and thought it was a new perspective on the potter/clay metaphor. It opened my eyes a bit to how our relationship with God is sometimes.

Tamara @ Go Fish Style said...

great post! I love Philippians 4:11

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