Self-sufficiency

I have a confession to make. Maybe it’s the late night hours or perhaps the slowly dissipating adrenaline rush from the recent fire drill (#RAlife), but now seems like a good time to share my recent pondering-s. So bear with me and try not to judge the hour too much – late nights are always the best times for doing a bit of soul-searching. Now, where were we? Oh yes, right, a confession… well, here we go then:

I am not perfect.

In fact, sometimes I’m not even okay.

Now before you go all “Well isn’t she just a spoiled..” or “I could’ve told her that!” hear me out. These simple yet profound statements have a bit more to it:

I am not my own hero and I cannot save myself.

This may be so last year’s news to you, or perhaps you’ve never had to struggle with an issue like this (bless your soul), but this is a completely life-altering ideology for me and allow me to tell you why.

I cannot say when it started – perhaps in my childhood, feeling the need to mend strained relationships – or how it grew to be so, so comforting to me, but I love the idea of being the hero. Not necessarily the knight-in-shining-armor-who-saves-the-kingdom. No, more like Spiderman who walks alone or Clark Kent, whom no one knows his true identity. I need to feel like I can fix everything or at least be able to assist along the way with something. I might not get to witness the outcome, but as long as I pitched in, I helped, I patched-up, tore-out, or set-in-place something that helped to keep the ball rolling. And when the results come in and I am a chief contributor, I slip away, making sure to keep in-tact the facade of cool, calm, and collected. A hero whose soul is never fully seen.

Unreadable. I prefer to keep not a wall around myself, but a one way mirror. From my stronghold I can safely observe those around me while people merely pass on by, seeing what they wish to see and for the most part, I let them. Rarely do I give out more than I take in with my senses. Every little bit I share, every word that spills out from my hidden vaults feels like an attack on my defenses. I am left feeling helpless and conceited; babbling. So I have learned that the key to sharing is illusiveness. This is not out of spite, mind you, but self-preservation. A kingdom is only as strong as its weakest link and that weakest link, is me.

But this shouldn’t have to be. My human interactions shouldn’t be so cold and formal. I have tried to grope my way out but couldn’t. Instead I find myself crawling deeper and deeper into this unseen world I created somewhere in my past. I prayed. Cried. Wrote. Pleaded. Prayed some more.

The Lord finally made it clear to me the dangers of having this, this code or conduct as a way of life. He made clear this perils of my obsession through His messenger, Ellen G White. In one of her writings, Ellen states that “because of their self-sufficiency, they fall an easy prey to Satan’s devices.” Wow. Previously she is talking about Peter. Peter who was always getting in trouble. Peter who didn’t know when to shut up. Peter who was forever sticking his foot in his mouth. Peter who wanted to be the best. Peter who convinced himself that he couldn’t make a mistake. Peter who did what no one else could do. Peter the rock…

Jesus told Peter that he would deny Him three times. Jesus had even PRAYED for Peter’s faith to withstand the devil’s sifting. But Peter knew better. He knew he loved the Lord and that he could never speak slander against the One he called Friend, Teacher, Master. Only One knew Peter better, and that was Jesus. He knew that despite his good intentions, Peter’s stronghold was flimsier than he imagined.

“Christ does not save from wounds the one who places himself unbidden on the enemy’s ground. He does not impart power to those who reject [H]is guidance. The self-sufficient one, who acts as if he knew more than his Lord, is allowed to go on in his supposed strength. Then come suffering and a crippled life, or perhaps defeat and death.”

Peter was weak. Jesus saw Peter. I am Peter. Jesus sees me. He wants to help me and I think I am ready for Him to do so for “[t]hose who realize their weakness trust in a power higher than self.” I am ready to make a change, to become more open, and to stop being the hero of my own story. For my story was never my own to begin with, but His. Jesus is the only One who could ever count as a true champion of all.

I know this journey will not be easy, for I intend to, at times, go about it kicking and screaming. Shattered glass cuts deep, but these too, will heal with time and God. I ask for your patience, your forgiveness, your love, but most of all, your help. As much as it grieves me now to say it, I cannot do this journey alone and request as many companions as are willing to assist me. Prayers do more wonders than one could ever imagine.

I am not perfect.

In fact, sometimes I’m not even okay.

I need to be able to graciously tell people that and feel completely at ease with my response. I care about how others are doing, why should I withhold that same connection from them?

I am not my own hero and I cannot save myself.

*wait for it*

And this is okay.

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