Tuesday, August 28, 2018

breakthrough



I don't know where the peanut butter is.

Dark-denimed and hoop ear-ringed, I had just walked through the automatic sliding doors under the lit Publix sign. I'd been working remotely at my new job in an unfamiliar Starbucks after sitting for two-hours at a DMV changing my residency.

I'd selected this spot about half an hour from my new home because the area was known for being good, and I was going to be a good human saving gas and centralizing a lot of my errands.

YMCA membership. Drivers license switch. Grocery store. DSW. Sam's club membership. Walking into the Bank of America only to see too many men in suits, get overwhelmed, and turn right back around and walk out the doors.

I don't know where the peanut butter is.

Everything was so new. I was hating it and hating that I was hating it. I need to get a credit card. Great, I don't even know how to change my direct deposit yet alone get unlimited access. I need to get insurance. Wonderful, the only thing I'm sure of right now is that I'm not sure of much.

Everything was unfamiliar, and I felt so incompetent. How do I ____ ? Fill in the blank with seemingly over thirty tasks every day, many common life skills. I felt that I knew none of them.

But I wasn't just incompetent. I was alone.

Alone and very aware that I cannot just call my mom to quick come over, and we can run errands together like the good old days. Ever aware that babies seemed to be everywhere, and I finally have reached the point where I actually want babies, but no one wants to call me baby. Ever aware that I've chosen to tie myself to a new city for an unknown amount of time, tied up in my head that my feet are not where my heart is (but that each remembering of the MN green reminds me that I wasn't what people needed me to be there, I didn't do what I could have for them according to my own self-standards).

I don't know where the peanut butter is.

And it seems parallel that I don't know where my life is exactly heading. I don't know when these pieces of my life that I'm waiting to fall into place will finally land. I don't know when the new normal will start but also know that when normalcy comes again, I'll be prone to start wanting to move on, ever chasing something better I imagine is just around the corner.

I don't want to be so ajar in side, being so jarred by all the thoughts and emotions. I just want to walk into a store with someone I love and find an item I love without having an existential crisis, a deep tiredness and frustration corrupting my blood and coursing through my heart to my mind.

I don't know where the peanut butter is.

You see, as things had somewhat slowed down from the crazy blur of the last three years where people's "how are you still alive? how are you doing so much?" had begun to burn more than the burnout they said I was coming towards.

You see, I've been starting to see myself. And I'm a little startled by what I see.

Good gracious, I'm so, so prone to wander.

My love for the Lord and surrender to Him is something that has guided my life internally for a long, long time. I'm thankful for that. But I'm not thankful that I've learned how to become so incredible creative.

I justify my sin.
And I'm going to be really honest now.

I struggle with sexual temptation. A lot. And what's scary? I've never even kissed anyone. But I have a world inside my mind that I didn't realize how fortified the walls are.

I struggle with swearing.* No one has ever heard me swear. But I've started to let myself, just to myself. But it started inside my head and now comes out.

I am incredibly jealous. I have this insatiable desire to be the best. Look the best, act the best, be the most well like. I'm not always happy when others succeed beyond me.

I'm terrible with communication. I just tend to cut people out till I think I have it figured out.

I am not disciplined. I'm full of pride and a strong, strong desire to protect me, my number one. I'm much to quick to speak. I've learned to scorn gentleness.

And I'm only just beginning.

Many people would push back my confession, looking at my life and showing me the fruit they see. That's needed. Encouragement is so vital, and I truly am seeking to live a life surrendered to Jesus. But I'm seeing, you see.

I've learned that the closer we come to the light, perhaps truly the more we see how many spots we really have. I feel that I've been having miracle-grow these past two months. I feel like I've been praying for the miracle-grow of breakthrough more than ever before. But I'm really just feeling the miraculously difficult growing pains, instead.

God, I'm ready for the epiphany. I'm ready for the big moment of transformation. I'm ready, I'm waiting. I'm asking.

It hit me as I was in the kitchen, eating peanut butter, naturally.

Deborah, what if it's not one big moment of breakthrough? What if it's a lifetime of moments spent breaking to your will and falling into mine?

And I stopped, just as I later did in the grocery isle. It reminded me of when I had been a freshman in college, making an appointment with the college's chaplain. I was feeling so off and just wanted her to pray that a demon would come out of me. I figured there must be something deeply up that could be removed so I could go back to normal. But no demon came out, and I sat by the cool lake with the slightly dying grass and realized I had to daily die to my flesh and choose Christ.

Here I was again. Years later but seeing that this might be a lesson learned over the years.

It takes years.

And years take months and months take weeks and weeks take days and days take hours and hours take seconds. And it all adds up to a lifetime. A lifetime that's either lived for us or for Christ. A lifetime that's either made up of choices of surrender or succumbing: freedom or a little bit of hell on earth. Delighting in ourselves or losing ourselves enraptured by a savior who saves.

You see that's just it.

I sometimes have zero desire to change. My sin feels so good sometimes. And when I try to reform, I just relapse.

Because, guess what, little child (I have to tell myself). I can't. You can't. We're sinners, but we are sinners saved. Saved by one who made the world and who loves us enough to send His Spirit to empower our every day.

That's what I want, and that's what I have to remind myself daily that I want.

I want the sweet moments of waking up at 5:45 AM because I really just need my hour of prayer and the Word with Him. I want the car blasting music viewing the Tennessee hills and praising Jesus. I want the freedom of sitting myself down and actually writing, knowing that my heart will be restless until it rests in working hard and doing good.

I want to want daily surrender.
I want to want Jesus' way more than my own.
I want to want to die to myself more.
And I know that all I want is for Him to do it through me because it never was and never will be about me.

Yes, I still don't know where the peanut butter is. I still don't know how many of these pieces will fall and how I seem to not have pieces I wish I did. But I truly don't know the depths where I would be without Him, either. And I want that to scare sense into me more.

I know I want Him.
But maybe what's more important, He wants me. He wants you. He wants us. And He's given Himself to us.

How foolish we are, how foolish I am, to forget.

___________________

*I am not trying to start a moral debate on whether swearing is sin. I'm not going to get into that here and now. For me, though, my swearing is coming from a place of deep hurt and anger and my conscience convicts me.

© 2018 Deborah  Spooner
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