I didn’t touch it in my last post, but it was not lost on me that God continually used the phrase ‘feel like’ as it relates to me choosing, when He flipped the script on me earlier this week.
It seems like from birth, I’ve been required to understand and respect that feeling has no bearing on reality. None whatsoever. And that doesn’t really bother me. It’s a truth that I think most people would be better off acknowledging, accepting, and respecting. So needless to say, when God started talkin’ about how I need to ‘feel like’ I have a choice and what-not, I was shocked.
At the time, even as He was speaking, I was well aware of the fact that that phrase was repeated more than once – and that fact made me well aware that I needed to really spend some time reflecting on it. So here I am, reflecting.
Thru this whole process, God has acknowledged the validity of what I feel. He has given me comfort by simply saying ‘that’s true’ or ‘you are right’ or something along those lines. But never has He allowed me to believe that my feelings are the end-all be all of this thing. He has required me to drink in what He has said is true about my life in general and to do the work of accepting it – like it or not. So when He said to me that I need to feel like I have a choice, it left me no choice but to recognize that He was giving me a new sort of grace in this thing.
I know full well that letting me ‘feel like’ I have a choice is just that. He’s letting me. Because I most certainly do not have a choice in this. I was made to do what He wants, nothing more or less. My first choice was made at salvation. I gave up ownership rights then. He just waited on me to figure that part out. And when I finally came to understand that, my next choice was to follow fully or be left to my own self. I chose then to follow fully. And that’s been all she wrote. All else has become this crazy dance of obedience – allbeit certainly not perfectly executed.
So as we spent time together, me listening more than talking, I realized that He is truly Father. That whole interaction reminded me of a parent who knows when their child isn’t listening and talking will do no good, nor will the threat of punishment, or even the firmest of verbal rebuke. That parent knows that they need to let that kid think they’re getting what they want so badly to have – even though in actuality the kid isn’t. It’s just a situation where seeming to give in becomes a win-win. The parent makes the point they want to make and the kid gets the point that no matter all that carryin’ on, they’re still gonna do it the parents’ way…
Next to pride, rebellion is my biggest flaw. It’s born of mistrust and once it takes hold, you can be guaranteed that its goin’ down. As I realized that God was saying to me He was gonna let me do what I want, I realized that what He did was what I’ve been asking – protected me from myself. He took away the need to rebel or resist or reject Him by simply being humble and giving me what I wanted.
And really. Why wouldn’t He do that?Because no matter what, there’s no risk to Him and He’s well aware of that fact.
Because my feelings and my wants don’t change the truth:
1. I want His will more than my comfort.
2. I do not want to fail.
3. I do not half-step and I do not quit.
4. I am not willing to lose just because i’m tired and don’t want to.
5. Want-to is a moot point to me.
6. I’m all or none. Once I said yes, I meant yes. And if that yes becomes no, it won’t be because I let a painful situation punk me. It will be because I, independent of all else, chose to recant. Pride is my ally in this one. I’m not gonna be punked.
7. I’ve got something to prove in this. I have gone against the grain and rebelled against pretty much every convention I’ve known. Once again, my weaknes is my strength. I REFUSE to face the cacophony of ‘I told yo so’ just because it was easier to check-out than to stand up and fight for my life in it’s entireity.
8. I love God. I want our relationship to stay in-tact.
9. My way doesn’t work. Whether or not God’s is difficult to swallow is moot, because certainly it’s better than mine.
10. I recognize that I’m not God. He is. And my goal in life is to live a life that pleases Him, independent of my humanity or anyone else’s…
So. Since that’s the truth of who I am, there is no risk. Because that limits my options to one. Listen and then choose to live the truth of His word. To do less would be a hypocrite. And I despise hypocrisy.
And then, to top that off, He’s modeling for me how to treat Mister in all this. Don’t let things become something they don’t need to be just to prove a point that gonna be proved anyway. Don’t create distance when what he needs more than anything in life right now is a safe place and the freedom to be honest. Don’t push him away because he ticks me off. Love him openly and trust that the end result is gonna be what it’s supposed to be. Because there is no risk here. God is sovereign. He’s in control and the fact is simple: He’s the one who chooses – whether or not dude being allowed to exercise his free will is gettin on my last good nerve in the interim.
And then, more than any of the other two, God giving me the ‘freedom’ to choose tells me very plainly that He knows what He’s doing. He knows how to work around the nature of His children to get what He wants from us in any given circumstance and at any given time, no matter how far gone a situation may seem or how incorrigble a person may appear to be. Just like He knew how to diffuse my rebellion and my pride, without giving in to foolishness born of pain and utter ‘over it-ness’, He knows how to deal w/Mister and the foolishness that comes w/him.
In spite of what I see as an epic fail, God knew what He was doing when He allowed this set of choices to be made. He knew the effect on him and me individually, he knew the effect on us as a couple. He knew the price. He knew how all the pieces would fit together to get to the end result.
He knew how fragile it would make my heart, but He also knew that that very fragility would break me of the ability to protect it, thereby breaking the fear of giving it fully and trusting another person to handle it with care.
He knew how much it would tax my ability to trust Mister ever again in life, but He also knew that Mister needed to plainly lose my trust in order to value it and honor it as He sees fit to knit us back together and make us whole.
He knew how much I’d resent the price I’m paying, but He also knew that 1)Mister needed to clearly see where there is life (me) and where there is death (his past) and that 2) I needed to see him choose life in order to understand that love can live in spite of the worst of odds.
He knew that Mister’s pride would be an issue, but He also knew that my pain at his disrespect and his own shame at how big a mess he’s made would break it.
He knows the affect on our sons, but He also knows what they need in order to grow into the men He has called them to be and serve the purpose for which they were created.
He knows, He knows, He knows.
Just like He knew that giving me the freedom to indulge in the illusion of free will would 1) make His point that my desire in this is ultimately His desire for me and 2) show me how clearly He is in control of all that concerns me and mine.
He is sovereign. He is omnipotent. He is holy. He is Father. He is God.
And I am reminded once again that I’m human and have not arrived yet, as well as humbled that He chose grace when what I am due is a serious rebuke for how I have behaved toward Him this week.
Once again: God – 1. Me – 0. 😐