Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Beauty in the Breaking: My Pride Hurts

God is good, all the time. Even when it hurts. Right now life is tough. We are going through some hard things. More often than not I find myself last. Last in line, last to be thought of, looked over and left out. This isn’t fun for me. I grew up as an only child. I can be very selfish and “all about me.” So being in the background can be hard for me. It makes me want to whine and complain about not getting enough attention or consideration. Ugh. I can make myself sick.

So I regularly find myself with hurt feelings. But wait, how can your “feelings” be hurt? Thanks to a teaching called The Freedom of Self-Forgetfulness by Timothy Keller, I have realized that feelings aren’t sentient, nor do they have nerve endings, thus they cannot be “hurt.” In reality, it is my ego, my pride that is taking a hit and making me feel hurt. This is so true in my case. I can now acknowledge when it is my pride getting offended.

The crazy part? I am thankful for this hard, hurtful time in my life. I believe that God is doing something big in me. I think He is stretching me and growing me; testing me and giving me chances to exercise the things He is teaching me. I am uncomfortable and that is a good thing. I was too comfortable in my selfishness and pride. God is beginning to wreck my life and I love it. In Jen Hatmaker’s book, entitled 7, she speaks to this. She says, “ [Sometimes] we [have] to shed and cull and purge before God can even remotely begin to deal with [our] serious issues.” And I feel like that is where I’m at now. I feel like God is pruning me, shaping me, purging me. All so that I can become the woman He created me to be.

There is a beauty in the breaking of oneself. I am a clay vessel that God is allowing to crack, break, and crumble, all so that He can reshape me. I am learning to serve with a joyful heart and not expect anything in return; not even a thank you. I am learning to be second, third and fourth; I don’t need to be front and center of attention. I am learning to share freely of my time, gifts, and money because none of those things are mine; they are God’s.

So if you find yourself in a hard time or place in your life right now; STOP. Take a minute to love God even in your pain. Acknowledge that He will never leave you, that He is with you even now. Then ask Him to reveal to you what works He may have at hand. Sometimes bad things just happen. Not every mishap is a lesson from God. But we can trust that God will work all things for our good based on Romans 8:28a which says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him…”(NIV)

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