Posted by: zephaniah317 | April 19, 2007

Epiphany

Epiphany

You mean it’s not all about me?

That’s the question that seems to keep coming up this week.  It’s a result of a culmination of things over the past three weeks or so.  One of the things is a realization that ever since I’ve been separated from my wife, I’ve been scrambling back to the place of comfort I was in before I got married, namely, a place of self-protection (you mean life is supposed to hurt?), self-righteousness (the never-ending chase for others’ and God’s approval resulting in an ignorance of Jesus’ imparted righteousness to me), and pride (look how moral I am today!).  Another is the realization that in my marriage, God had me (and my wife) in the crucible (that’s what marriage is – no hiding things when you’re there), and the process got stopped short when she went for the divorce.  And lastly, the epiphany:  that I sided with my flesh when all hell broke loose in the beginning of the marriage (oh, I had so much to learn), and did everything I could to stay in the comfort zone, the “happy place”, instead of enduring the growing pains (and pains they were and would have been) and pushing through to the maturity God had planned for both of us.

 

So finally, yesterday, a little more of the programming broke loose.  It’s a little hard to explain, but I realized (with some horror) that I had spent most of my life focused on myself and my own attempts at righteousness instead of realizing that we’re SUPPOSED to love others, WIRED to love others, right where they’re at, instead.  Some lights definitely came on (see the question at the beginning of this post).  I realized that I, for a few different reasons (that’s another future post), made an agreement with the unholy triumvirate (my flesh, the world, and the enemy) early in life that I wasn’t wired to love others or God unconditionally, that it’s a hopeless cause or something.  I really almost can’t put it into words.  The epiphany was that, in actuality, even those who DON’T know Jesus as their Lord, Savior, and best friend can exhibit selflessness and love better than I, and that by and large, even though the world’s a messed up place, and we’re messed up people, that it’s the NORM, not the exception.  Not in my life.  I’m unbalanced, severely, towards saving my own ass.  Being judgmental.  Protective.  Isolating.  Making more sure that there’s time for ME each week than making sure that there’s time for others.  Not necessarily me and God, just ME.  Aren’t I supposed to give myself away completely to God and others?  Live for others, not myself?

 

Don’t get me wrong.  I try endlessly to shake this.  But the mask of “doing church” and “doing Christianity” is something I’ve unwittingly woven together for 37 years.  I’ve done the things, but my heart attitude has always been a little off center, at best.  There have been breakthroughs, but the imbalance remains, the scramble for the comfort zone.  And, I could sit here and blame my parents, too.  But I won’t.  Not anymore.  However, I continue to realize what a legalistic, isolated life we led in my formative years.  My mom was a stay at home mom, hardly ever had any friends over.  Most of the social interaction was going to my grandmother’s every Sunday, church, and occasionally the “Circle” group (the Methodist Church we attended had women’s groups) when they met once every month or so.  My dad?  No friends to speak of.  Never had anyone over at the house on weekends, fell asleep in the easy chair every night of the week, watched TV all the time.  So, I understand my programming.  I understand why it’s like I feel I’m doing something wrong when I’m doing something right with my life, being selfless, loving others.  These things were never taught.

 

So how do I fix this?  I don’t.  When will the numbing pain in my chest go away?  I don’t know if it ever will, if I’m always continuing in maturity.  God’s love and my relationship with Him is the cure.  And He’s showing all this to me, so He must have a plan.  I haven’t received the notice declaring the finalization of the divorce yet, so who knows?  I have no idea what the plan is, but I’m impatient to continue/get started.  And I know it’s gonna hurt.  Can’t grow without pain.  I must choose, I will choose to not squirm out of the fire, whatever form it comes in.  Thanks for being a good dad, God.  You rock.

Advertisements

Responses

  1. thanks for opening up your heart to us, buddy. You are deeply loved.

  2. Thanks, LP.

  3. I’m there with you…I’m always wondering why I can’t seem to “love” very well. I’m a loner and it shows! You figure out your stuff; I’ll figure out mine. I hope to outgrow it one day, too, but by “outgrow” I mean mature. And in response, no, I have not read Waking the Dead but maybe I’ll check it out next book purchase. Thanks.

  4. Thanks, but I figure out stuff way too much. 🙂

    I’m finding spiritual maturity is the only goal in life. And each step takes a while…

  5. I’m not sure if things like this can be ‘fixed’ in the sense that all the proper parts are ordered, replaced, and works like it was never there to begin with. However, it can be overcome, but only with God at the helm. Water running down a hill cuts a path in the rock (see the Grand Canyon). That path can’t be ‘uncut’ per se, but the flow can be directed to cut a new path.

    Z, you know God can free you from this kind of stuff so do not lose heart. Its hard to overcome all those years of ‘programming’ and figure out who God intends for us to be.

  6. NOOC,
    I see what you’re saying, but I believe that God’s love can remove any lies in our hearts that cause these patterns like what I’m talking about in my post. A couple of big ones that He’s working on in me is “people are the enemy” and “my love is conditional”. The memories in my mind and heart that caused these beliefs cannot be removed. However, the lies that are sown inside me as a result of the memories CAN. That’s what I’m believing will happen as my relationship with Him continues to grow. Thanks for the encouragement.

  7. Oh…I totally believe God can remove those lies in our hearts. As far as the memories, obviously God can take those away if He wanted to, (He’s God…he can do whatever He wants)but I don’t think He would. I think He can have us keep the memories, so remember where we came from, but heals the pain and other junk associated with those memories so we grow to be more like Him.

    I think we mean the same thing, but are saying it in different ways. Anyhoo, you are putting yourself out there and being vulnerable. Like LP said, thanks for doing that and opening your heart. Very courageous!

  8. Ok, NOOC…you have to be a girl to say anyhoo. LOL 🙂

    Z, I have to say that it would be so cool to see you really grow in this area. Thanks for sharing where you are at.

  9. Thanks LOLA. I agree.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: