Thursday, May 28, 2009

Losing What I Made; Gaining What I Was Made to Be

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.

1 comment:

Elizabeth Channel said...

That last sentence. Me too.

Wow, there is so much to this. When you still have a career, you still have you as you have understood you. When the career is gone and the cool town is gone and you find yourself where I find myself, in a gutter of self-pity doing something that you know on some level is worthy but at the same time feeling like you are doing it so much more poorly than you'd done other's hard to ignore the world.