Saturday, August 19, 2017

The Letdown Place

“There is only today, with holes in our pockets, with time spilling out. We cannot keep it for tomorrow. We cannot mend our seams to hoard, save carry.” - Erin Loechner

Question: What is your gut reaction to disappointment (Be specific!)? What can I learn from this reaction? Can it be changed, improved upon? How?

Disappointment. I am well acquainted with letdown. A shock of numbness and apathy races through my body, pure unblinking “now what”. The flutter of eyelashes start as I try to fight and hold back my tears of hurt as doubt starts falling over me. My mind races with what did I do, what did I not do, could I have acted differently and ended up in the place I hoped for. I start to question. Then after hours and sometimes days of obsession, I try to just be. 

Long story, but disappointment leads me to think more about me, me, and me. Selfishness is what I see. A little kid who wants what they want when and how they want it. But that is not the way of my God whose ways are higher and thoughts are deeper still. There is an appropriate amount of grieving that is acceptable, but then I need to stand back up and move forward. Disappointment isn't and shouldn’t be a permanent posture towards life, even though it feels really comfortable to stay in that position. When I am comfortable I am not living in the abundance I have been given, I am living in my own power. 

Being uncomfortable is not a sign of being miserable, but a sign of being out of control for me. And it takes all my strength to kneel down, look up, and believe that there is something else for me beyond every let down that I face; something of greater purpose maybe a greater plan. 

Disappointment is not the end all be all. That is the truth. It can feel, look, and seem like the end, but it is not the end. Disappointment is an invite to surrender, to keep moving forward. The process, grieve the without, and the shut doors, because it does hurt, then as soon as possible dust off the boots and take each day as it comes. Disappointment and all, each day as it comes. Because it will come again, but so does the dawn. It comes, until one day the glorious light is all that we'll behold. 

Dealing with disappointment is not a cut and dry thing, but it is not a permanent obstacle either, disappointment is never the end of the story with my God. That is where I have to rest when the door shuts once again. 

- Hannah

Friday, August 18, 2017

Control to Will and Surrender

"You know how I always seem to be struggling, even when the situation doesn't call for it?" 
- Carrie Fisher

Question: Explore a scenario in which you have struggled or are currently struggling to release control. What was your desired outcome? Did you receive it? 

Control. My core desire is to process it and receive what I want, when and how I would like to receive it. I have tried that method. No matter the situation it does not work. Control is a false reality in my opinion, it seems to deliver what you want, but in reality it takes and steals from what is true and turns it into a lie. That is why when manipulation and plans start catching up with a person it finally dawns deep in the gut that they are out of control no matter how much they try to convince themselves otherwise. Control a sucker of truth and life. Control however beautiful and alluring it seems is not worth the price, I know. 

I used to lie through my teeth. I believed that just being myself was not enough in a new world where I was the one who was the stranger hoping to be welcomed in. After just one small week of being myself I started my game, my goal was to make a friend, my end game turned into a thirst for popularity. Control leads to one’s own implosion and leaves a wreckage of destruction and brokenness in its aftermath. My selfishness led me so close to getting kicked out of school and my dad getting investigated for physical abuse towards me that never happen. My thirst led me to lie about my father hurting me, in the name of gaining friends. Control can quickly run to lust, that can lead to a hot mess of crazy that takes not a single thing off the table. Control says you have to keep going deeper, instead of choosing to finally speak the truth. 

Different people do different things to gain control. Lying was my choice of vice, but it is typically one of the tools always used to manipulate the board. Then you wake up and realize that no matter how hard you play and strategize you will never win the game, and even more so you realize that life is not a game to be played, but a gift to experience. A gift that is given by the one who is in control and knows how the story is going to go, even when we try to manipulate it. God is still in control and He uses all things for the good of those who love Him. 

God used my desire for control and all my sin that came with that desire to get me to finally look up. To see my need for Him and to surrender my insecurity and accept my identity; who I am today. I once was lost, but now I am found. I am also forgiven for my need control. I am learning to surrender when the temptation comes. 

Surrender, it is the opposite of control. It is releasing my will and plan to God and saying yes I want your will and your plan for my life. It is accepting what God says and laying aside what I say and what I want. Laying down popularity and likability for the road less travelled. A road that denies myself, picks up my cross, and follows in surrender. Not my will but His be done. 

It is easy to write and harder to live. Grace. Always grace as the monster prowls around taunting me to take what I want in whatever way possible, because I am more important. This is the battle, it is deeper than the physical momentary desire, and it is spiritual war over my devotion. Control, no matter what you can get…you will always want more. 

- Hannah