There are no passed over or forgotten – only a future and a hope. The story was rewritten on the Cross. I am so glad my story was rewritten. I realized today that I often think and imagine myself into feeling utterly passed over and forgotten. I am not, but I do think myself into thinking I am. There is a good chance I actually was for much of my life. I really need to stop my crazy thinking early on in the cerebral conversation. Why would I torture myself like this?
Today was the last day of normal small group before Christmas break. One of the questions asked was “How have you grown over the last year?” I thought of everything on this blog. No way I could begin to remember all this or articulate it. I thought of all the mental conversations that have changed. I may be irrational now, but a year ago it was absolutely crazy.
I once heard that we always over-estimate what we can accomplish in a year and under-estimate what we can accomplish in five years. This year had five years of growth packed into it. In the last three years, God has helped me work through pain I thought it would take decades to work through. In truth, I never thought I ever would. I was destined to be forever broken, forever alone and apart from relationship. Instead I have a hope and a future.
I started walking through that wall of pain. It became uncontrollable. When I could no longer fight it, I sat on the edge of my bed one morning for an hour. I realized if I was going to put God first in my life again, I was going to have to give up everything. So I did. The pain remained uncontrollable, but I started submitting it to God. I quit dancing, but I unwisely let the pain leak into porn, alcohol and the m-word. Then I came to CR, and slowly all those things left. The vodka got poured down my drain. Porn got axed, and masturbation got fasted. That was just over one year ago.
In 2014 I will have gone through 1 1/3 step studies. I came out of the closet in public. I started meeting with my pastor. That is like facing the scariest thing ever. I began to promptly admit when I was wrong. Sometimes I promptly admit I am wrong when I am not wrong now. In the last few weeks I have lost my fear of talking about Jesus to nonbelieving family. Now I reckon I might just get that back, but I am going to celebrate the reprieve. I started talking about God to unbelievers. I began to not be an enabler in relationships. I laughed. I had a truly happy Thanksgiving. I left people get to know me. I dreamed big and took a chance at being wrong. I loved people. I hurt people. I started to talk. I have had some of the most crazy emotional experiences ever.
How do I want to grow next year? There are several ways. I want to quit gossiping and become good at stopping it when I hear it. I want to learn to empower people without enabling them in addictions. I want to love completely. But mostly, I want to quit being afraid of the Church. I want to be eager to go. I want to trust those who follow Jesus. I do not want to think myself into feeling rejected and forgotten by them. I want to trust the authorities that God has put in my life.
On Sunday, the message was about our eternal comfort of going home to heaven someday. The speaker kept saying how we were going to be together forever. I looked around the room (I was having a rough day), I didn’t want to go. I did not want to be forever with so many people. I did not want to be forever with His people. I felt awful. I felt guilty. I felt judgmental. I felt tired. I felt hurt. I felt pain.
This year I want to grow into looking forward to being with His people. I want to have compassion on everyone. I want to love completely. Everyone needs compassion. I need so much, so do His other children.
And I want to learn to disagree when I disagree. I do not disagree enough. Neither do I stand up for myself or explain myself enough.
I want to worship only Him.
Everyone needs compassion.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort. – 2 Corinthians 1:3-7