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Writing a War

I wish I could write a war

And win it with a word

My pen alone cannot prevail

But prayer can

Move heaven

And shake the earth

Until all the silt is sifted away

You can depend on me

To pen and pray these prayers

And fiercely fight

With every word I write

I’ve Become What I Aspire Not To Be

I’ve become what I aspire not to be: a lax blogger.

I love surfing around and reading peoples’ blogs.  It’s exciting to me to read about all the goings on in the lives of my friends.

Somewhere along the line, I got off track with updating my own blog.

I’ll be frank with you…I think it’s cheesy and cliche to not blog for a really long time and then come back and write a blog about how bad of a blogger you are.  And yet, here I am doing that very thing.

It’s amusing to me that people admit things like that.  People who read the blog are already aware that the person has not blogged in a long time.  So why talk about it?  Although, I also find it gratifying to read someone’s web apology for a lack of blogging.  *shrug*

Moving on.  What have I learned lately?  Well, the biggest thing I’ve learned is that humility is a personal responsibility.  “What’s that mean, Lindsay?”  It means that humility is something that always needs to be tended.  It always needs to be cultivated.  It always needs to be pursued.  It always needs to be monitored.  It always needs attention.

To me, responsibility means all those things I listed above.  Humility can’t be apathetic because apathetic humility leads to pride.  A lack of care for humility leads to an excess growth of pride.

For all of my life as a commited follower of Christ, I’ve struggled with humility.  I would either be totally lacking in confidence, thinking of myself as totally unworthy of anything.  Or, I’d be completely overconfident and haughty.  Instead of finding balance in the middle, I’d teeter and fall from one side to the other.

After I moved to TN, I started attending New Song Christian Fellowship.  My pastor teaches that “humility is confidence properly placed in Christ.”  So, with humility there can be confidence, but it needs to be placed in Christ.  Not in the flesh.

That makes it so simple.  It’s not about shoving down confidence.  It’s not about bolstering confidence.  It’s about placing it in the right place.  When I fully realize that God is the One who will never fail and He is the only thing worthy of total faith and devotion, that brings me low.  Not low in a bad way.  But just lower in comparison to His awesome glory and splendor.  It elevates Him above me and puts me in my place.  A place of humble submission to His direction and plan.  It also takes the pressure off me to portray a flawless facade.

Back to personal responsibility.  My perspective of that has changed.  I used to be focused on keeping up appearances or scrambling to make myself not feel worthless.  Now I realize it’s my responsibility to stay humbly submitted under God’s hand. 

That pretty much sums it up.  I’ve learned other things, but that concept is resounding the loudest in my head.  Hopefully it will create a ping in your head, too.

Guided Aimlessness

I lost my job today.

It was totally unexpected.  And it wasn’t my fault.  They told me that it was because of business reasons.  The company’s not doing so hot and the economy isn’t either.  Therefore, here I am sitting at home without the thought of having to go to work tomorrow.

I’m not upset about losing my job.  I know that God will (and has and will continue to) take care of me.  He’s my provider and provision. 

I know that I’ll “land on my feet.”  I know I’m capable and qualified.  I know that there’s something better out there waiting for me. 

The thing that I don’t know right now is what exactly I’m supposed to do.  I don’t know if I should stay in the web/publishing business.  I don’t know if I should work in Nashville or here in Murf. 

I’ve already applied for several jobs online.  Yet I have to fight that feeling that I haven’t done enough to find a new place to work.  Nagging thoughts of uselessness and laziness hit my brain every few minutes. 

I’ve worked at several different places.  I’ve been a Certified Nursing Assistant, Flagger Girl, Copy Editor, Editor, Photographer, Writer, Resident Assistant, Front Desk Worker, Cashier and Stocker.

I absolultely loved my last job.  I thought it would be the thing I would do for a good portion of my life.  And now I’m not so sure about that.

I totally trust that God is directing my path, but right now I’m lacking on revelation on where to go next.  I need to delve into the Bible and stay in constant prayer about this.

I’m elated to report that I’ve received tons of support from my friends and family.  I’m so thrilled to know that they are lifting me up in prayer and that they’ll also seek direction from God on how I should proceed.

As I was considering things today, I realized that I’d been prideful again.  I thought I was better than people because I had a first shift job, was on salary, had a 401K and got a lot of free stuff.  I elevated myself above others because of the job I had. 

I know that it’s not right to do that, but there’s a fine line between being excited about the things I’ve accomplished and judging other people.  I often err on the side of judging and taking too much credit for myself and not giving it to God.  I’ve repented for that but I need to make significant change in that area.

Parts of me wonder if this job loss is a result of my pride.

Well, fortunately, now I’ve got lots of time to really seek God. 

Faux Real

It’s Wednesday.  Demonly enough, I’ve felt down every Wednesday in recent memory.  It’s strange because Wednesday nights I get together with my small group at church.  We eat, fellowship, worship God with songs and then hear an encouraging word.  Typically, that combination of stuff is awesome.  It’s enjoyable.  It’s uplifting. 

So why don’t I feel encouraged?  Why am I not counting down the minutes until I leave?  Well, I’ve chalked it up to persecution from Satan.  He’s got me down.  He’s got me unexcited.  He’s put a heaviness in my spirit.  I’ve attributed it to tiredness.  I’d rather stay here and sit on the couch or watch a movie and go to bed early.  I’d rather just sulk here in isolation and pet my dog.

It’s silly how doing uneventful, community-deprived things seem more intriguing to me than spending time with acquaintances.

Wait.  Acquaintances is the problem.  Though I’ve spent multiple hours with these people and even shared a lot of my heart and self with them, I feel like we are only on an acquaintance level.  I haven’t come to a level of dependency with them.  I don’t need them to carry out my day.  They’re an add-in, not essential.

And…what’s worse…is that we’ve talked about how we need to be more than people who meet every Wednesday.  We need to dig deep with each other.  We need to spend time outside of our small group.  We need to make a sacrificial investment of time to each other.

But…we don’t.

Or…I don’t.

It appears (from the outside) that others do spend time together.  Young couples visit each other and eat meals with one another.  Some of the college-aged guys hang out, too.

But me…I’ve distanced myself from them.  I think partly because I don’t want to make their problems my problems.  I don’t want the mental burden of what they’re dealing with. 

Another part of it is I don’t like surface conversation.  I never really have.  I want deep, sincere, loving relationships.  I want people that I long to talk to and connect with.  I don’t want to talk to someone who asks me the same bland question every time they see me: “So, Lindsay…how was work today?” 

*sigh*

Although, I’m reminded that my deep relationships now used to be surface relationships.  They started at a surface level.

However, they quickly changed to meaningful.  After one day or a few conversations, we were steadfast friends.  I’ve spent months with these folks and some of them still don’t even understand what I do at work.

Spirit-led vulnerability enhances relationships.  I haven’t been vulnerable.  Well…vulnerable enough.  I value quality time.  I haven’t really given these people my quality time.  I’ve given them my obligated time.  The hours that I feel I’m required to be there in order to be considered part of the small group.  They’ve got me out of duty, not necessarily depth.

Honestly, it pains me to still be at a surface level with them.  I’m nearly in tears writing about it.  I’m not exactly sure what it will take for me to break through to the next level.  But I do know I can’t wait for them to confide in me first.  I need to be a leader.

I need to be real instead of faux real.

I need to press through the heavy, sad spirit that has fallen upon me and emerge with a light, lifely spirit instead.

I need to enhance my relationships.

Sighs him up

Yesterday was my birthday.  As I sat in my car during my lunch break today, I pondered to myself, “I wonder if this’ll be the year that I find a boy….*corrects self*…a man.  I wonder if I’ll find a man this year.  Is this the year, God?  Is it?”

Since I’m 365 days older now, it was a natural point of reference to wonder about such a thing.  I’d think the same sort of stuff on January 1st.  It’s a new year, so I casually wonder what God has in store for me.

Mind you, I’m not worried.  I’m not craving every moment of my day to find a man to betrothe and live with forever.  I’m not pining over every male that I see walk by me.  I’m not even sad that I’m single.  I actually rather like it.  I’m fully aware that God uses my single years to draw me closer to Himself.  I appreciate and value my intimacy with Him.

As I munched on my Cheetos, I wondered further, “Will I get married, God?  Aren’t I supposed to be fully satisfied in You?  I know the Bible doesn’t promise that I’ll get married.  That’s not a guarantee.  I’m not unhappy this way.”

Really.  I’m not unhappy.

I continued further, “Although, I would really appreciate that level of companionship with someone.  I’d love to know someone that fully and completely.  I would love to have that eternal companion.”

I took a break and reminded myself that married people aren’t married in heaven.

“Well, eternal as far as life on earth goes.  I would love not to be alone when I go to major family events.  I’d love to have my own 4th of July celebration with my family–my husband and my kids–instead of hanging out with some other family that I don’t even really relate to.

I surmised that I don’t dwell on my current lack of marriage and companion relationship.  That makes me happy.

However, I was then reminded of something else.  I often size a brother up.  I see a guy at church that I know is single and I think to myself, “Yeah…he’d be a good husband.  I think we’d fit.”  Or…”No…he focuses too much on exercise.  I wouldn’t wanna think about health that much.”

One of my greatest weaknesses is sizing people up.  I do it for everyone, male or female.  I know it’s wrong.  I know I shouldn’t be so comparative and critical.  But so often, I am.  Let me tell you that I’m a lot better at not comparing than I used to be, but it’s still a purposeful mental battle for me not to be instantly judgmental.

I don’t pine after men.  But I do size them up according to my personal scale.

It’s honestly a mild form of objectification.  I take a man’s character and life and compare it to my personal ideals and desires.  It’s a great struggle.  One that the world thinks is stupid to even be concerned about.

Subconsciously or totally blatantly, I’m thinking about marriage when I size up a guy.

It makes me feel kinda shameful too.  I’m a tad hesitant to even mention this to the world public.  However, I think it’s something important to be discussed and admit.  After all, the Bible calls us to confess our sins to one another so that we can grow and be held accountable.

*accountably held*

My roommate mentioned that she didn’t think I’d get married this year.  I agree with her.  As long as this sized-up comparison continues, singleness will continue.

I have had days and weeks of breakthrough with this.  Sometimes I see my Christian brother and don’t think of them in a comparative way at all.  However, some days I do.

So as I tame this comparative mind of mine, please hold me accountable.  And don’t be surprised if you find yourself behaving the same way.  If ya do…let’s talk.  I have years of experience.