Thursday, November 29, 2007

Swinging Pendulum

I find it so hard to muster the courage to write in this Spiritual journal I've started that sometimes it takes me a while to update it. This is my twentieth post on this blog and I'm actually surprised I've written that many! Forgive the delay to those (two) of you that read this. I'd like to preface this entry with a brief history of where I've come from. In regards to understanding "freedom in Christ" and being disciplined, I've been on a swinging pendulum. Prior to age 20 (which coincidentally, is when I got married), I was super disciplined in reading my Bible, going to church, and well, rather black and white about everything. I was never living up to my own standards let alone God's and constantly felt as insufficient as I really was. In my twenties I came to a new understanding of this "freedom in Christ", realizing, that there really was nothing I could do to make God love me any more or any less. That's actually something I remember my parents saying, but I didn't get it until I left home. Here's the big swing, I let go of all those chains around my neck making me feel guilty all the time and reveled in my new found freedom. I didn't go crazy doing harmful things, but I'm saying in letting go of these obligations, and telling myself, for instance, that I'll just read my Bible when I'm aching to, surely that won't be more than every other day...

In a nutshell, I swung (is that correct?) so far the other way I didn't read for a year, telling myself "God still loves me!" To make matters worse, we stopped going to church for like six years, "Going to church doesn't save you!" Now, I'm trying to bring back some much needed discipline into my life, which I need in EVERY area (controlling my mouth for one, structuring my day, exercising, memorizing Scripture, writing letters to people, etc.), and I'm trying not to swing too far the other way that I get overwhelmed and quit again! I've never been great at finding balance, it's so much easier to see the extremes.

It's not just with God, though, for me, the swing affected my approach to people too. I was the best brown-nose in school, ask anyone! I feared people as much as I did God's wrath. When I realized my freedom, I stopped caring what others thought. I struggled with respecting authority figures especially and even rationalized not exercising or eating right with thoughts like, "My husband loves me no matter what!" Obviously, by writing about this I see the error in it, but I still struggle on a daily basis with doing my best to do what is right and giving myself grace when I don't. As simple as it sounds...

Yet again, we have a Zerbik entry on obeying God and a Veggie Tale quote. I've written before about God reteaching me obedience: To the Pure all things are Pure, Do what you're told, Freedom vs. Discipline, and the all too popular, "Circumcision." My Veggie Tale quote comes from "Gideon: Tuba Warrior" when the angel appears to Gideon and tells him he's been chosen to lead Israel's army against the excessively hairy Midianites. Gideon doesn't think he can do this and assumes there's been a mistake, surely God wouldn't ask him to do such a thing. The angel said to him, "If you want to hear God say, 'Well done," you'll have to do what He asks." For me, that says it all.

When I started this blog a year ago, I didn't expect to see myself wrestling so much with the simple issue of obedience. I also didn't expect to quote talking vegetables so much. The biggest surprise is what a spiritual battle it is to actually type these entries. I probably have twenty more Zerbik entries in my head in any given week, but you only saw twenty in the past year because I over analyzed whether something was worth sharing or too personal...well, maybe it's good I've shown some restraint.


Deanne said...

Becca, I started a spiritual blog a few months back also (well, ok, it's more like 9 months now..give or take). And it IS hard to write this stuff! I have posts floating around in my mind all the time. I struggle with hearing the Lord, or discerning whether or not it is His voice I hear. But one thing I do know is that I may never know for sure unless I follow through.

Learning and growing together,

Anonymous said...

Hi Becca, you may not think more than two people read your blog but I do read it and find it very encouraging. I'm going thru a rather hard time right now and so it's comforting to me to read your blog sometimes. I don't even know why, maybe it's the non-judgmental way you explain things, to know that other people are not "perfect" christians sometimes. Coming from the background that I do we were taught that you have to do everything this certain way or else.... and it's hard for me to accept that freedom in Christ, to let go of those chains of guilt ( cause I feel them all the time) .... but anyhow, I hope you keep writing =)