I’ve just finished a book that’s causing me to be more brave, to acknowledge my own unmet needs and my less than consistent motivation and faith.
It’s New Year’s Eve and I am hopeful for 2019! I’m rushing its beginning, my heart longing for change, helped along by a very important book!
My 2019 word, like a label, is Faithful. I’m believing more clearly that God is faithful, more importantly, I’ve decided it’s not too late for me to be faithful in a few things!
I considered deleting the opening sentence of this, it being characteristic of my brooding, possibly seen as seeking attention self, being pitiful. Too honest, too brave.
But, the geese flew over, a loud and harmonious chorus at the very second I felt regret and so I saw that as a sign.
Leave your truth there. It is time, use what you’re beginning to learn.
I’ve just finished a book I’ll read again.
After reading about her “being called out by God moment” I was challenged to discover the true me, to label the labels I’ve worn all of my life, assigned to me because of circumstances out of my control and handicapped by some of my own mistakes.
But, I couldn’t do any of this suddenly, so I asked God, what are my labels, my idols, my self-handicapping behaviors?
And then I rested and returned to read more and to realize some of my behaviors, my default mindsets and choices are simply what I know as me, keeping me from becoming the me God sees.
I know how to halt my progress, derail the train as it approaches the life changing bend because I’ve not lived in the land of confidence and courage for long enough to extend my stay, to be welcomed in.
To believe it’s a place I could live.
In this book, I gained confirmation of this thing I do, putting limits on my blessings, selling myself short, minimizing my part in my arrival at the place of who I was created to be.
I make it less than it is, the good that’s come my way, through my own hands.
My grandson stood over me as I painted, finishing up pieces for my first exhibit. He sweetly said “You’re really good.”
I smiled and asked “You think so?” He replied yes and asked how’d I get so good at painting.
I replied “I just kept trying, I just kept learning.”
“No, you are a good painter ” he insisted standing so close beside me, captivated as I explained the use of palette knife instead of brush.
And I didn’t discount it, I didn’t insist that he was wrong. I didn’t minimize his sweet praises.
I didn’t do the thing I’ve done for so long, I accepted his assessment of me, I owned it, I believed it belonged.
He labeled me a “good painter”.
Crazy thing, I have been painting for so very long and until that little exchange I’d never felt I could be called an artist, “a painter”.
Always, oh well just the one who keeps trying, keeps trying, I enjoy it, it’s therapy, I had an art scholarship but I flunked out.
Strategically distracting from the accepting of just maybe I’m good.
In Michelle De Rusha’s book I was especially changed by Chapters Four and Five, the ones on brokenness and on dark and desperate periods she refers to as the “hard prune”.
In Chapter Four, I read of the emotional epiphany the author experiences as she comes to terms with her lack of intimacy and utters words to herself that must have surely broken her heart, that her heart was not as close to God as she’d believed.
I didn’t have clarity in my vocation, in my calling as a writer, because I didn’t know who I was in God. Michelle DeRusha
My thought? How brave and how very scary her self revelation!
I had to pause, knowing it’s for me quite the same.
Chapter Five describes seasons of doubt, depression, dark nights of souls.
Unbeknownst to the world until long after her death, Mother Teresa suffered from a long and relentless dark night of the soul. Michelle DeRusha
We’re conditioned to push through those times of dark abyss. We push through, we masquerade, self-medicate with substance and empty activity.
We keep plugging along when what we need most is to accept it, to settle into the solemn and to let the soul get quiet enough for long enough to know what it is it needs to know.
Our culture is contradictory to that response, the letting the sadness and the times devoid of tangible hope do God’s work.
I don’t think I’ve ever thought to welcome seasons like these, I’m quite sure I’ve never thought them beneficial, the blah absence of growth or motivation or meaning.
I never realized they have a reason, there must be a settling into stagnancy, an acceptance of lull in blessing or breakthrough so that we seek Him and find authenticity in our faith again.
We have to let go of the self we created in response to hardship, to circumstances and we must not be pulled back there, to the places we know because we’re afraid of good, it’s too unfamiliar.
We have to allow and own our uncovering of our souls.
Our deepest, truest, most essential self has been waiting all along for this opportunity to be uncovered and exposed to the light, waiting for the invitation to grow into its fullest, richest, most beautiful potential. DeRusha
This book was not easy for me, it was true in ways I hadn’t expected its truth.
Occasionally, I pencilled and tabbed and then set it aside. I feared I was not ready to see some things, afraid to be called out of my past and current patterns.
I was afraid it would be too scary and difficult and even unfair to my messed up me to consider thinking new possibilities of me.
Early one morning I had clarity in making my list of labels and it occurred to me that yes, all of these were decided for you, assigned to you, expected of you.
You simply played along, sat in your corner, came out only when called and never having any inclination that right now you’re still wearing them, really have all along.
God’s seen you quite differently and patiently and consistently is calling you towards His idea of you.
So, my labels I’m letting go of along with their clutching and anxious handhold?
The One Without Needs
What labels have you lived with for too long?
I signed up to help launch this book and I remember commenting to the author
“Something tells me this book may change my life.”
And it has, it has been a beginning towards change.
I’ve only scratched the surface here.
If you’re ready to live freely, openly and be pruned of unproductive, dormant and decaying parts of you, your “tree”, you should order a copy.
If you order by midnight tonight, there are extra encouraging good things.
I’m so grateful Michelle De Rusha experienced her coming face to face with her self defeating behaviors that hindered her knowing God fully and truly.
Her story is important because she is closer than before to her “God You”.
Me too, hopefully you.