“Stop trying to do it, you can’t do it anyway. And why would you want to even try? What impact or purpose does it have if He’s not in it? Like why are you working so hard?”
The quote above is not my attempt to start a career in writing discouraging greeting cards. It is an excerpt from my journal from this time last year. I had a birthday last month and found myself wondering if I'm wiser with age, hence why I’m reading through my journal. Is it just me or do we never read our journals back? I tend to use my journal to help me work through a moment in time and as that moment passes, it also gets left behind on those pages. I completely forgot that all about the girl from a year ago and I should remember her.
I was striving. And by striving, I mean I was hustling to do things in my own strength. In fact, in one paragraph in this journal entry, I used the word striving 7 times. Unfortunately one of those times I was admitting that I wasn’t striving for God in the same way I was striving towards my goals. Hence the quote above. I wasn’t telling myself to give up. I was reminding myself that unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labour in vain (Psalm 127: 1). I had planned out my life, I saw the problems and I was going to get my ducks in a row all by myself. Just reading the journal entry back has my shoulders hunching lower and lower at the memory of the weight I carried. I was so tired.
Now a year later, a lot of the problems that weighed on me are testimonies. I’ve quit the job that was a huge source of stress and I’m embarking on an exciting new season. Also, I’ve been resting. The first couple of months after quitting my job was simply sleeping. I slept like a child on cough medicine. I've also dropped the weight of trying to be superwoman. I have this vision of the life I want to live; of the things I want to achieve. This time last year I was driven to do everything within my power to make it a reality. This year, I’m driven to put my hand to the plough and work in obedience while trusting God to do everything within His power to make His vision a reality.
And that's just the beginning of the change in me. God is doing a work in me that I didn’t know I needed. God spent the last few months teaching me not only about Him and who He is, but also who I am. And I don’t just mean who I am according to the scriptures. I mean He's pulled me aside and He is walking me through my past, my emotions, my mindset and my psychology. I have always considered myself to be pretty open with God, but over the last year we have entered into a new level of vulnerability and intimacy in our relationship. He gets complete access to all of me. No door is locked to Him, in fact I welcome Him into every room with the hopes that He will do what He deems to be good. So far, He has been calling me into a place of recognising who I am as a result of my life experiences and putting the work in to become who He has called me to be.
He has also been teaching me to open up to the people in my life, which has been an uncomfortable struggle. Opening up to God is easy, firstly He is as good as good gets. Secondly, He already knows my mess and He’s never left. Human beings, even human beings that I love and that love me, are a different story. Still, over the last few months, I have been learning to override my natural tendencies and to actually share my life with the people in my life. I know I tend to be open on my blog posts, YouTube channel, Instagram and basically everywhere I interact with you, so you could be forgiven for thinking that I am an open book, but to be perfectly honest I'm not. I'm open about the things I want to be open about, but a lot of things are under lock and key. And by lock and key, I mean I will fully tell people to their face to back on out my business and stay out if it, even when they’re trying to help me. Well, the Holy Spirit has been leading me in how to do life with the people He has placed around me. He has been teaching me about what it looks like to share my life and not just partake in the lives of others.
A lot of the change in me has felt like preparation for the future, but it has also been freedom. Freedom from toiling and from what I thought life was supposed to look like. I am being introduced to a new lifestyle and I am so thankful to be learning about how we do things in His kingdom. Am I wiser with age? I hope so. At the very least, I’m wise enough to be grateful for progress, to be hopeful to further growth and to trust that He that has begun a good work in me will complete it until the day of Christ Jesus.
Galatians 5: 1 (AMP) - It was for this freedom that Christ set us free [completely liberating us]; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery [which you once removed].