Sunday, August 16, 2009

Loving and guarding your heart at the same time

Oh the nervous system! There are so many times that I sit at my keyboard about to peck away and write something and I feel sick to my stomach. It is the same feeling I get before I am about to teach Sunday School or a bible study. I just whispered a prayer that God would guide my thoughts and my hands as I write the things that are on my heart. I often feel like I need to take my shoes off before I tread on holy ground. I really need to break this post up into different days.

There are other titles that I wanted to put besides the one that I did, but I don't want you to take anything the wrong way since you can not hear my voice inflections. Boundaries. How do you love those who are not easy to love while keeping boundaries at the same time?

My prayer has been that God will tend to my heart and that I will truly receive His love for me. Without me taking in the love of God over my own life, and in turn loving God with all of my person, I am not able to flesh out love for anyone. I can get up in the morning, do my spiritual jumping jacks, and have good intentions of loving people that are not easy to love and fail at it all in the same hour. It is not possible in the true sense of love to love someone without the love of God coming through the pipeline of my person. He is love. He is the source of love. I think that is why we are told in so many places in scripture to love God with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength. It is like a quote that Beth Moore used in praying Gods word that Oswald Chambers had written: "No human love of the heart is safe until it has first been satisfied by God." Coming from someone with a HUGE and I mean HUGE past of insecurity, I know first hand that the more I love God the more secure in Him I become and the less I measure myself to others.

I used to be extremely co-dependent. I had to have a man in my life at all times. It was an idol for me. It validated me, made me feel a false sense of completion, and power. If I were really honest though I would tell you deep down I still felt rejected, incomplete, and not whole or healthy as a person. It has been almost 12 years since I began walking with God on a daily basis and I will tell you for sure that seeking a source other than God to meet the longings of my soul is dangerous, risky business. I was in a relationship where I was totally in love with someone. This person was so high up on the totem pole it wasn't even funny. I lived and breathed this relationship and God ultimately used it for my good, but it was toxic. No matter what it was like I was a moth to the flame. I would hear the still small voice of the Lord letting me know that nothing was going to work out for me in His perfect plan until I quit manipulating. I really sensed that the Lord was calling me to have time with Him alone...Him as my husband. Still, I was involved in the Singles ministry and I would try my hand and manipulating yet another relationship. I was good at that if I must say. I am not proud. I would set my gaze on someone that I felt was most unattainable and go after my goal. Then again and again...doing the same thing but expecting a different result, I would become bored and move on to someone else. This one person had such a hold on me though. I allowed that to happen in not guarding my heart. Part of me was to naive to even comprehend what that meant. I just dove in head first. I would try to change my feelings or run from the relationship only to find myself sucked back in. I knew no matter what that I could not stay where I was and go on with the Lord at the same time. This person loved the Lord so please don't misunderstand. There is just no way that we could fulfill the callings on our lives and be together. I say all of this to say that just because something is permissible, does not mean that it is beneficial. The reason I kept getting sucked in to my co-dependent ways is that I refused to cooperate with the Lord out of fear. My identity was so wrapped up in who I was in relation to so and so that I was scared to death to give up my security blanket. It was almost as if the Lord was trying to get across to me: "Jenny, I don't need to know that you will be okay by yourself...You need to know that you will be okay." I will never forget the process of cooperation. To quote Beth Moore again she said, "You can bend your knees or I will break them but you are going down." Translation: you can humble yourself or I will do it for you. I much prefer humbling myself. So, the cooperating was grueling. Yet looking back it was some of the deepest growth I have had. I really learned what it meant to say that the Lord is my husband. Breaking away from that relationship was extremely painful for so many reasons. I felt as if I was losing my best friend. Yet just like the Israelites, I left Egypt and forgot how bad it was back there. I chose to think only on what was good after my anger was gone. Our hearts are so deceptive. Anyway, that relationship made me feel shame, rejection, unworthiness, betrayal and on and on. Things that are not Gods plan for His children. So, I went through a serious time of fasting, prayer, and just staying on my face begging the Lord to put His hand over my gushing heart to stop the pain of being stripped of the co-dependency that I had held onto with a death-grip. I did not get to that point overnight and I would not be okay overnight. If I had cooperated with the Lord earlier on, I may have not had to go through such hard work on behalf of my stubbornness. I wrote scripture card after scripture card. My room literally became an altar where I would come and just groan before the Lord due to all of my insecurity. It was painful but so worth it. I crossed that Jordan another woman. Then, comes marriage. I married THE MOST independent man on the face. Yet another way of the Lord to teach me to lean on Him. That Christ alone would be the Rock that I stood on. Not anyone, and not sinking sand.

To be continued...I am so about to pass out!!


Mary said...

Jenny -- becoming dependent solely on the Lord is a difficult thing to accomplish and something that requires a daily denying of self. And it also requires a constant vigilance to how I place people in my life -- from my spouse, children to my friends and people I admire.

I live a life of caution when it comes to all relationships. I'm cautious that no one takes the position of the Lord in my life.

praisinyahweh said...

Jenny ...

Thank you for you transparency and honesty. Being dependent on man alone can lead to such devastating consequences. When I was young, I chased after this family that had "filled and completed" the emotional needs of my heart. I followed blindly and paid no heed to the danger signs. I moved away from home to live with them expecting total fulfillment and ended up being severely abused. Even in that, I was too co-dependent to leave ... and I was 17. I did eventually leave, but really had to stop and look at why I was seeking approval and love from man to the degree that I ended up loosing so much. It brought me home to my Savior's feet. I learned to lean only on Him, but I am not sure that "learned" is the right word ... as I still find myself struggling with that at time. Desiring recognition for what I do ... needing validation. It definitely is something that I have to remain constant and vigilant about. ONLY by God's gentle, guiding hand am I able to remain dependent on Him.