I just got back from visiting my sister, who is the cutest, most adorable, sweetest pregnant person on the entire planet. And I'm pretty sure her baby will be the cutest, most adorable, sweetest baby born in 2015. We spent time in the nursery, cleaning floors and putting up blinds, figuring out the exact right baskets for the changing table and oooo-ing and ahhh-ing over all the tiny baby things. It is moments like this where I'm pretty sure life doesn't get much sweeter.
We also had lots of time to just talk, sister to sister, in a way that doesn't always happen when we are on the phone or texting or FaceTiming. Sometimes I feel like talking together is a dying art as we trend toward faceless ways of communicating. I happen to be a big supporter of texting, and use it frequently to communicate with friends and family when I'm in a hurry or just don't have time to talk. But I've also been guilty of turning to iMessage to type out a quick text from my kitchen when taking the time to sit in someone else's kitchen to chat might be of more value.
I've found that I'm somewhat of what Jennifer Rothschild terms and "iddict"--a person who has set her very own self up as an idol. I know it sounds funny, in a way, to say that someone would even admit to doing something so selfish, but I don't think it's really all that far-fetched when you take the time to think about it. I choose my way. I think about myself. I choose my wisdom, and I rely on myself.
I've always been a person who has a backup plan when it comes to God. Then if God doesn't come through in the way I've expected Him to, I've got my Plan B in place.
I feel like I was born with a desire for peace and happiness. Plus I was born with BIG EMOTIONS. Everything was dramatic and loud and big with lots of exclamation points and arm waving. I'm still like that, but at some point decided I didn't want to be like that and tried to tone it down. Experiencing the painful lows was not how I wanted to live life, and I became a stoic, even-keeled, stone-faced person. Isn't a rock what people want as a friend? But I still desired that peace and happiness. Church said I could find it in God, but as a completely self-centered little person, I had no idea what that even meant. So I started saying God was important (and he mostly maybe was. I mean, I prayed and stuff) but I was also building that Plan B. My Plan B was Appearance. I will build my appearance and trust in appearance and it will give me peace and happiness when I am skinny and look like Gisele and am perfect. Except that turned out to be like chasing my own tail. Which is a bummer when that's your only backup plan.
So I said to my sister this weekend "I've learned so much and have come so far so why am I still chasing my own tail?" It doesn't even make any sense. I hold God in very high esteem. I am more faithful now than ever before in my whole life. And I still hold myself up, too. "Anything we set up instead of, or along with, God is an idol and when we live out of our Iddiction rather than our true identity, the result is idolatry--the idolatry of self." (Hosea, pg. 112)
Just when I thought I had come so far, I realize I have never, ever been completely willing to surrender my own wisdom. Not for anything. I was willing to hold both God and Appearance up and worship both equally, but God has been very clear all along that we should not acknowledge any god but Him.
This is not easy for me. Since the beginning I've said to trust God and let go of everything else, but the letting go has been a little harder than I thought it would be. My hands and fingers just don't want to listen. I still think I might know a little better than He does what is best for me. So when asked to ponder this question--what does idolatry of self destroy--I had to really assess. Could it be possible that idolatry of self actually destroys the peace, happiness and confidence I'm looking for?
It makes no sense, why I would do this, yet on the other hand, it makes perfect sense. My brain map needs a total rewire. Because, like I learned on Sunday, if you live long enough welcoming certain ideals in your brain, your brain will start to accept them as true. Even if they aren't.
I feel about as spiritually mature as a 13YO right now. And as a 13YO would typically go, I am spiritually selfish and interested in self-preservation. But yesterday my sister gave me a high-five, and it wasn't for something I had done, but for something I had not done. I had not held myself together emotionally and stayed even. I teared up. I cried. I even started waving my arms around in frustration. "Hey!!" she said. "I'm proud of you! That was big emotion!"
So if the next time we get together I am off the scale in either direction or any direction, and I'm madly waving my hands and sharing TMI and all the emotions and you just need me to tone it down, sister, I really don't mean to be acting all sorts of cuckoo. (EXCEPT THAT I DO.) I'm just rewiring and rediscovering and living out loud. Peace and happiness and confidence are worth it.