Monday, March 2, 2015

Won't Let Go

I discovered something about myself over the weekend, after some alone time got me thinking.

My soul is a vast, open place, and it is looking to be deeply satisfied.

God can satisfy my soul. He, of course, made me and therefore knew what he was doing when he made a soul that remains unsettled and uneasy unless he's the one filling it.

But somehow, I remain alarmingly disconnected from God, even while knowing he can satisfy my thirst for rest and serenity. I continue to open the door to various invitations, knowing that in the ring, the winner will not be me until I can land on what truly makes me content: a relationship with him. But it is so tempting to fill in the blank, and think that at the end of the day, peace will be mine.

If I could have _______, then I will finally be content.

What's yours? Mine might look something like this:

*a thinner body
*a prettier face
*swingy hair
*a better personality
*more friends
*closer relationships
*more creativity
*a sharper mind
*better abilities

Maybe you're not like me and you can't quite grasp what I'm saying, but my guess is that there is someone out there who is reading this right now who can totally identify with me, and you, like me, are probably wondering how to move past what seems like an insurmountable obstacle. (I'm afraid you will not find all the answers here, friend, as I am only working through my own thoughts. However, I can tell you this: God. FIND HIM.)

I recently read through my latest issue of Better Homes and Gardens, which typically showcases people who either have a) extraordinary talent or b) too much time on their hands, as I cannot fathom taking care of the gardens or making the picturesque cakes that are featured. But as it were, between all the model kitchens and perfect gardens, they interviewed an over-40 woman who started her own line of cosmetics. (She used to be a Starbucks exec.) Her fashion epiphany about waiting for a better body got me thinking.

When I turned 40, I stopped waiting for a better body to show up. 
Go ahead! Break out the skinny jeans!
{jane park}

Could it possibly be that simple? Because I have a severely dysfunctional relationship with food, and the more I hate it and try and try and try and try and try, the more I think that, yeah, maybe it is that simple, because what I'm doing and thinking and feeling about my body is really, really complicated. And exhausting.

Stop waiting and start living?

I question this because it's not easy for me to do, but I heard once that anything worth fighting for is ever really, truly easy to gain.

I know my value. Anyone else's opinion doesn't really matter.
{peggy, Agent Carter}

The disconnect I feel right now isn't because God has finally gotten tired of my neediness, or is exhausted because I won't listen. He hasn't gotten frustrated and thrown up his hands, leaving me to hoe this row on my own. I tend to acculturate God, meaning I assume characteristics of him that would be more like my parent or my friend than my God. His love remains steadfast, and he promises that despite my attitude, he is holding me by my right hand. (And won't let go.) The disconnect comes from me turning away from him and looking other places for peace and contentedness, whether that be a better body or more stuff or control or nailing up walls around my heart so I don't get hurt.

One's heart can't be open and closed at the same time, as much as I would like for that to be the case. Because when it's open, it's open to failures and disappointments as well as joy and peace. You gotta take the ups with the downs, my mom used to tell me.

When a person learns their true value in the eyes of God, there isn't an opinion on earth that will matter. They can take the downs with the ups and know that at the end of the day, God is still holding on. (And won't let go.) They can stop waiting for a better body and just start living, because they know that value does not equal appearance. Or weight. Or hair. Or your list of friends.

The things I'm searching for--peace, true joy, contentedness--won't come from a magazine, perfect gardens, new stuff, better beauty products, thinner gams, or more friends, even though I sometimes think that these are the things I need in my life.

They come from turning my face back to him.

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