I felt really, really alive for much of today. I woke up feeling very alive. A tad bit of “morning after” from my anger yesterday, but mostly really alive and excited. It was a really nice feeling. Very pleasant indeed. I think I was mostly excited because I had lived a bit spontaneously yesterday. I even lived a bit spontaneously in a church office. Now that must be a complete miracle. The walls are tumbling down!
Last night I shared in step study about how someone in the last few weeks called me “sweet and kind.” Tonight it sounds like a beautiful compliment I would like to embrace and live fully. But for the first few weeks after the comment I had a conversation with God because “sweet and kind” was not always my goal description. Four years ago I would have voted for tough, hard, independent, self-sufficient, smart, witty (sarcastic), ruthless. I think I wanted to be ruthless. God changed me into “sweet and kind”. I did not even really mean Him to; it just sort of happened. I started to serve and serve and serve and it just sort of happened.
I think it is interesting how the comment bugged me. It was a compliment on every level. In the moment and afterward, but the flesh side of me winced just a little. There used to be an angry person inside of me fighting to survive, fighting to be heard. Now there is just me. A survivor, who is apparently sweet and kind. The weirdest part of all this is tonight I think every part of me actually wants to be sweet and kind.
It reminds me of when I spent several hours dancing a few months ago and then spent several hours crying. The me from four years ago who was a miserable self-serving wretch surfaced and fought for control. Old longings and desires came back in overwhelming waves. I didn’t know that person inside me still lived.
The “sweet and kind” didn’t bring back all that; it just made me think. I am thinking now about the conversation I had recently about why we always introduce ourselves as “someone who struggles with” and never “someone who has recovered from”. It wasn’t that long ago that I was seriously tempted to relapse. It was only a matter of a few weeks ago that I saw a sign advertising one of my old habits. I knew the sign was there. I, in fact, took time to look specifically for it. Part of me wanted to know it was still an option should I decide to change the course of my life and quit putting God first.
I was so miserable in my habits. Sometimes they tempt me – just a little. They always tempt me right after I think I have them beat and they will never cause me another issue. “Here I am,” they say, “remember how much fun I was?” “Yeah, you gave me guilty pleasure as I tried to drown the pain you caused with more of you. It was a true delight!” I would rather be a slave of Christ.
For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ. – Galatians 1:10
Now you are no longer a slave but God’s own child. And since you are his child, God has made you his heir. – Galatians 4:7
No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. – Matthew 6:24