Four or so years ago I began a hesitant journey towards a faith of my own - one that was to grow out of the faith of my childhood into something much more complex, and that still has a lot of growing and maturing to do, quite obviously. The first and hardest challenge for me on this journey - and one that still challenges me and will do so I'm sure on my dying day - was coming to think of myself as a child of God who needed to submit my own desires and plans to His will. I was so proud. I was so proud of the person I felt I'd created, and I had the near-impossible task of listening to the small, persistent voice that told me quite clearly that while I'd done things in the world to be proud of, I had almost nothing to show my Creator 35 years after He created me. I remember saying to someone "I like who I am - who I've made myself to be. I'm terrified of having to give that up." But still the voice I heard insistently called me to say, with St. Paul, that
"Whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ..."
- Philippians 3:7-8. I knew in my heart I had to lose what I had created - what I thought I was - and it scared me half to death. I had to (to put it tritely) lose myself to find myself again.
I am by no means finished with this process of losing and finding, but at the same time I have a hard time relating to the woman who was so scared of losing who she'd made herself up to be. I no longer want to be that person, not in any respect. It's not that I don't want her external life, it's that I don't want her reactions to things, her fear, her utter lack of faith and humility. I am ashamed of the fact that all the time I was standing on a tiny pile of pebbles on an endless beach, all the while thinking I was on the top of Mt. Everest.
God, guide my steps as You see fit. Take me to the tops of mountains or to the deepest of valleys. All I ask is that You help me to have the faith to believe that You are the one making my path. Amen.