I feel like I’ve been living in the same season for a very long time.
A season of misunderstanding, and a fight with my flesh.
I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t struggling to say no to myself and take up my cross and choose Jesus. A struggle I mostly lost to myself.
Last night I went to the “Not a Fan” small group from my church, this alone was a denying of myself, because if I chose myself I would be at home watching the newest episode of one of my many shows instead.
This week we talked about things that we haven’t given up to God, and making God our one and only.
Well as you could imagine, we all have things that distract us, or take up room in our hearts that truly belongs to Jesus. As the whole room went around sharing one thing that they struggle with, I was at a loss. I was still struggling with denying myself my pride. I was ashamed of what I truly hold on to. Worry, My future, stress, money, relationships, crushes, and of course unforgiveness. I decided to share worry (when I was asked to share), mainly because it seemed like the safest option.
But my insides were stirring and my heart seemed as though it were being crushed by my fear of vulnerability.
I couldn’t open up and say that I lust. I couldn’t open up and say that I’m not willing to give up my search for a man in my life. I couldn’t open up my prideful mouth and tell the group that I still deep deep down hold unforgiveness towards my brother for not protecting me from harm. And unforgiveness towards myself for being so naive.
I hold all of these emotional ties, and they are keeping me from truly loving Jesus and Him being the center of my life.
I want to push everything out of my heart so that I can truly say Jesus holds it all.
I want to forgive myself and others for hurting me.
I want to deny myself every morning when I wake, because I have no idea whats good for me and I desperately need my Lord’s guidance.
I need to wake up and acknowledge that there is no way I could make it through the day without Him.
There is no way I can take a breath without Him knowing.
I want to desperately need Him like the air I breathe.
There is no one greater than my God. So how can I continue to give other things my affection and love “things” more than I love the very Creator of my being?
If you ever have a chance to talk to me, you know that I quote movies incessantly. I quote tv shows and I quote conversations I have with people. I allow for my heart and mind to soak up all of this media and meaningless babble because it somehow adds to my “identity.” But my identity needs to be found in Christ.
So I take another step today and deny myself. I forgive myself for my past, and stay thankful that the decisions I made (thought they may have hurt) brought me here. I forgive my brother, and stay thankful that I had a brother at all. I lay down my worry about money, my future, and future relationships, and stay thankful for where I am right now (I have a job and a place to live). I lay down any crushes that may arise, and stay hopeful that there is a man out there somewhere designed by God, someone who may not be “the one” but who will be my “right one.” Someone who will pursue me, and make it known that they see me for who I really am. Lastly, I lay down my life, and take up the cross that until this moment I have been too frightened to bear.
Jesus be the Center of it all.