For most of my life, I’ve followed my dad in thinking that “if you want it done right, you have to do it yourself.” If I want the dishes done, I might as well do them, or they won’t get done. I might as well mow the lawn, or it won’t get mowed. But then bitterness seems to creep in. I have roommates, I have family members. Why am I always the one doing the dang dishes? Maybe because I never ask someone else to do them. Why ask for help when you don’t need it?
I have a weakness in being a perfectionist with hands-on work, like cleaning the house. But my counselor told me something that has stuck with me: Maybe I shouldn’t strive for perfectionism, but instead strive for excellence. Excellence has room for failure. Perfectionism doesn’t.
In everything I do, I have trained my mind to think that I am on my own. Sometimes I get advice from friends, but when finances are looking dicey, when exhaustion takes over, when my worries and fears about the future keep creeping into my mind like spiders, I feel like throwing in the towel. Fine, maybe I should just find an expensive restaurant and live as a waitress instead. Maybe I should just work at a factory job since I like working with my hands. Sometimes the work may suck, but it would pay the bills. I’m not a very good college student anyway. Why pray about something that only I have control over?
Sometimes when I pray, I really feel like I’m talking to God. I can have a conversation with him without needing to hear words out loud. But other times, I feel like I’m talking to the wall. There are so many voices in my head that I can’t tell which one might be the devil, which one might be God, and which one is just me overanalyzing and overthinking everything.
I want to marry a man on fire for God because I need someone who will put God first in our relationship and keep me on track in my walk with God. But it needs to go both ways. I need to also help him keep on track in his walk with God.
I look at how many times I go on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat, Instant messaging. . .
And then I compare it to how many times I pray and read Scripture. Most of my praying is done through my teachers praying at the beginning of class. The amount I actually stop to pray is quite small. The amount of time I spend in my Bible is even smaller. Sometimes I feel quite ashamed to call myself a Christian. If I want to be with God, then I need to actually BE with God. Jeremiah 29:13 says, “You will seek me and find me if you seek me with all your heart.” Am I actually seeking Him with my heart? If you want to find God, you will find Him.
God is in church, he’s in the Bible, he is on the opposite end of my prayers. He’s right there, but instead I’ve been going on Facebook to see how much deeper of a hole our government is digging us into and catch up on the latest Miley Cyrus pish posh. Or I go through pages of Life Hacks on Pinterest that tell me how to get gum off my clothes and look for different homemade Halloween costume ideas. I watch movie trailers, music videos, and the latest episode of Once Upon a Time. . . I haven’t gone to the Bible much to actually sit and read. I mostly skim and find single verses that I attempt to memorize. But that’s not how the Bible is supposed to be used.
When I stress over something, my friend Emily asks, “Did you pray about it?” But what could God do? This is my stress, my fight, my struggle.
But actually, no, it’s not. The whole point of the cross was basically Jesus telling us, “You can’t do this alone, so I want to help you. You may have sinned, but I want to give you a second chance. I want to free you from this burden, because I would rather go through this torture than to see you burn in the Lake of Fire.”
Just because I’m a Christian, doesn’t mean my life is any easier than anyone else’s. But it does mean that I am reminded that I’m living for something, for someone. Even if I would work as a janitor for the rest of my life, my purpose is just as important as the principal of the school. A purpose is not just in the job we do, but in how we live our lives, the words we speak to people, the actions we take. I was reading the blog of a friend who was saying how God has been using other people to talk to her instead of God talking to her specifically. God has been giving the answers to her questions to other people to give to her personally. I really want to be a mouthpiece for God, but to do that I need to actually pray and be with God.
I am still working on the transition from thinking I can live alone, to admitting that I need God. It is much more stressful trying to deal with thoughts, people, and problems alone than when you give them to God. Even if I’m frustrated with God, confused, sad, terrified…God wants to know it all. It doesn’t matter that He already knows what I’m going to say, it matters that I am voicing my mind. I don’t even thank God enough for everything He has done for me. God wants to hear my praises as much as my stresses. The reminder of the good that has even come from dark times is an awesome lift for the soul. Two years ago, I read my Bible more, I prayed more, I was happier. But it’s not a decision you make only once. Choosing to follow God is a decision that you have to continue making every time you wake up in the morning. I need God as much today as I did yesterday. And I’ll need him just as much tomorrow.
My need will never stop, but God can handle it. Why would I want to carry the weight of the world on my sore shoulders, when Jesus already the weight of my sin for me? I’m not alone, I’ve never been alone, and I’m tired of allowing myself to think that I have to handle everything on my own. I don’t, and you don’t either.
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