Monday, November 28, 2011

Acceptance & Stllness

It's never too late to learn and never too late to fix things within yourself. Part of giving your life to Christ is learning that you put away old things and take on the new. We are new in Christ.

It's difficult to go against so much of what you learned from a child up. It seems almost wrong to go against the grain that way. All my life I was taught that family is everything. Blood is thicker than water and all that. If what was good for the family was different than what was good for me, I was taught to defer to the family situation. And I did. I never questioned it.

For my most productive years - my mid-twenties to my forties - my sister, my mother and I kept what I will call the "base camp" of the family. Our house was the hub. It's where "Grammy" was, so it's where the rest of the family came for comfort, safety, wisdom and love. Mom was Grammy, of course. My sister was the "lap," and I was the worker bee and sometime disciplinarian. It was a good life. I never thought it should be any other way.

Sacrifices are not seen as costing anything. They are treasures built up for memories.

For a long time - in fact until recently - I was blindly assuming of what my place is in memories. I thought that all those little treasures would mean something. My little brother and I have discussed this before. His theory is that people don't cherish what they took for granted. I'm still undecided.

Outside my family, I've had a few very dear friends. The kind that stay in your life forever. I've since made one of those friends. So, I had family and I had friends. I thought I had built up a treasury of bonds and ties and memories.

After I got sick, I had tons of emotional support from a girlfriend here in town, another friend in Holland and another friend in Texas. It was nothing big or flashy, but they called, they sent random text messages and jokes and emails. In their own ways, they were letting me know that I truly mattered to them, that I would be missed. One of them just the other day sent me a joke about being fat and beautiful. (I had sent her a pic of my with all this weight!)

I appreciated that love so much that I didn't notice the absence of anything else. For most of July and August, I think I was in shock from everything that had happened (I had nightmares for a few weeks about death and dying) and just didn't pay attention. But when I did, I noticed the phone calls that didn't come. Amazingly enough, some of these were people that I would have died for, and that I had sacrificed time and years and life desires for... I had to decide how to deal with the disappointment.

There was a time when this would have just undone me. I mean, it would have devastated me down to my soul. If it had happened before I re-committed my life to the Lord, I don't think I could have handled it. I've noticed that most of the worst has happened when I have the strength of Christ to lean on.

What happened in this case is that I was forced to take a look at life as it really is and not the way I've always wanted it to be. I can't be bitter or mad or resentful.You can't change who you are - not to yourself and not the other people. You can accept it.

How simple is that? When the thought of acceptance came to me, I thought of Psalm 46:10 - "Be still and know that I am God."

That is one of the most beautiful verses in the Bible to me because it is an answer to everything.

So I have learned to be accepting. I don't push myself into the center of things anymore, hungry for acknowledgment. I don't sit and wonder why or why not. I don't regret anything I have done for anyone else. I don't feel the depression from the sense of not being on someone's radar. I just accept. 

I have learned to be still and know that God is God.

So, if you are out there, feeling rejection or being passed by in this world, please don't. Try to accept and be strong enough to hold on to God's promises. This life is temporary. It's not eternity.

Revelation 21:4 tells us of one of those promises:
And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

Trust on that.