Monday, May 14, 2007

Putting one foot in front of the other

Metamorpha Chapter 2 Blogmap: Talk about what it might look like to climb toward what you wish were true (but isn't yet) about your life.

I think that I knew in my head that I needed to change, that I was not the person God wanted me to be, but it wasn't clear exactly how I needed to change until I got married and became a mom. Marriage was a mirror for me; suddenly I could see, quite clearly, just how selfish and independent (to a fault, that is--independence in and of itself isn't a bad thing) I was. I think that over the last three (four in August!) years I've improved in those areas. But then I had Abby and realized that, yes, I had improved, but I'd not gotten anywhere near where I needed to be. If marriage was a mirror, then motherhood was a big booming voice from heaven.

Who do I wish I was? Well, all sorts of things, but for practicality's sake, I'll limit my desires to those I can actually attain. I wish I was more selfless. I tend to keep score in my head, though I never actually voice that score to the person against whom I'm counting. I wish I could be more generous and sacrificial and not think, "Score one for me--now how are you going to repay me?" I've been really convicted lately by some of my friends--not that they know they were being convicting. They're just being, well, generous and sacrificial and selfless. Compared to them I live with an embarrassment of riches, and yet they give of their time and goods and energy without a second though.

I wish I was more disciplined. I'm getting better, but it's like my brain can only handle so many "must-do's" before it shuts down. I look at my mom and see how disciplined she is, how every single day she's doing things she definitely doesn't want to do, but does them faithfully anyway. I wouldn't last for a week living as she does. I'm such a marshmallow.

I wish I had a more intimate relationship with God. I'm trying, I really am, but I feel like I've been trying my whole life and haven't gotten any closer--like living on a hamster wheel. I think changing my entire approach and perception of what it means to live the Christian life is going to help, and Metamorpha is key in that change. When I think about Abby and what I want to model for her, I realize that at this point the whole lesson would be "Don't do it this way." And that's wrong.

I want to be bolder. I want to be braver. I want to be less fearful of messing up and more willing to take risks. I want to be able to speak my mind--nicely, mind you, but honestly, too--and not censor myself just because someone might not agree with me--or, worse, because someone might get angry with me.

So those are the things I wish were true about my life. But the question asked what it would look like to turn those wishes into reality. I think I'm afraid to fully consider that question, because I know a major chunk of the answer is going to be: work. Another major chunk is going to be: pray. Work is hard. Work hurts. Work gives me bruises and strains my muscles and makes me sweat. I don't mind the work when it's external--working on my writing, working on the laundry, the house--but when it's working on myself....ouch. And despite the fact that I'm going on 26 years of being a Christian, I still suck at praying. And that right there is a testament to the fact that I need to do some work.

So...*deep breath*'s going to look like:

letting go of things and giving as freely as God has given to me

letting go of my obsession with comfort in order to look back in a couple years and see that yes, I am different, but in a good way

taking one day at a time and saying that today I will do X, and Y, and Z, not because I want to but because I need to--and not thinking, "How will I ever last doing X and Y and Z every day for the rest of my life?" so that I get overwhelmed and give it all up

rooting my self-worth in my Maker and not the acceptance and love of people

opening my hands, my head, and my heart to God and praying the most dangerous prayer known to man: Father, change me.

Almost couldn't type that last one. It's too scary. Do you have any idea what God does to people who pray that earnestly? He does it! And that's what scares me. Because it's not a matter of slapping on a new coat of paint or glue-gunning some trim around the edges or rearranging the furniture. It's about dismantling the house--board by board, nail by nail--and allowing a whole new structure to be built. Lots of sweat. Lots of blood. Lots of splinters, and mis-swung hammers, and flat-out pain. But if I believe God to be who I think he is, and I believe that his Son has come that I may live life to the full, then what else can I do but take him up on the offer of a remodel?

deep breath


Change me.

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