Do you ever have moments where you think you are doing so great at something, everything is smooth sailing, you’re thinking man I am pretty awesome, and then someone bursts your bubble making you realize that even though you thought your dart was in the bull’s-eye, it was actually barely on the dartboard?
Me today. With this whole blog thing, I have been feeling pretty great about myself. I’m just like “yeah look at me writing holy things, sharing my heart, woo I’m awesome, this is making an impact blah blah.” Well friends, today Jesus sat me down and gave me a good reality check.
As I began to do my holy hour and start journaling, I wondered what Jesus would talk to me about today. I love to be very visual with my prayer, and for some reason I am always by the Sea of Galilee with my back against a rock, sitting at Jesus’ feet, waiting to see what topic we’re gonna talk about. I know that He has many roles, but I strongly identify with His role as a teacher (John 13:13) maybe because I’m such a nerd and love to learn.
Detachment kept coming to my mind. “Oooo Jesus, this is a good one” I thought. Short story before I continue: So I’ve been reading Happy Are You Poor and it talks about this concept. After reading the chapter, I felt super convicted of how I buy waaaayyy too much clothes, so I decided to make a vow to Jesus that I would clean out my closet, give away the clothes I didn’t wear, and promise not to buy new clothes for a whole year in order to force me to wear every single article of clothing I own. Dang Izel. A. Whole. Year. Are you suuuuure aboutt this? But I just felt that I had to do something, and that sounded pretty hardcore to me. This was detachment, right Lord? Try to focus less on my material goods and work towards decluttering my life? Yes and no. I had the right intentions, but today Jesus showed me that there’s a lil more depth to it.
This afternoon I got to take my roommate’s (adorable) mom out on the town to look at clothes because she wanted to find some cute shoes. Guys. This was hard. We went to all the boutiques in town and it felt like being on a diet while watching someone order cheesecake at the Cheesecake Factory (and not just plain cheesecake. No. These people were ordering Craig’s Crazy Carrot Cake Cheesecake). BUT I surprisingly stood my ground and turned down super cute high-waisted black dress pants THAT WERE ON SALE FOR $10 (if you know me you know I am obsessed with anything high-waisted so this was a giant victory for me). So we make it back to the apartment and I’m beaming with pride on the inside because I’m thinking “See Jesus, I’m pretty detached already, I didn’t buy a thing!”
I try not to do my holy hour at home because it’s just too distracting. I also feel that by going somewhere else it helps with making it a priority. But today I was exhausted because my sleep schedule has been whack and we’d been out walking so I decided to do it in my room, crisscrossed on my bed. God totally used this to His advantage because as I sat in mental prayer, I started to really look around my room. “Oh my gosh…. I still have so much stuff. I am an epic failure at detachment.” My first instinct is to just want to give everything away. But lesson of the day: the detachment that God asks from us has to do with the clutter that fills our hearts, not necessarily our material possessions.
I still think that the vow I made to stop buying new clothes is good, and I’m still going to follow through with it, but what I had all wrong was that I was starting from the outside in, not the inside out. God asks us to be detached from material possessions yes, but what is more important is that we detach ourselves from what fills us on the inside. Our sense of control, our desires, the list goes on and on. Jesus was asking me to detach from feelings of self-admiration, not my clothes.
By practicing detachment in this form, we are able to make room in our hearts for what Christ really wants to fill us with: love, joy, peace (I think you know where this list is going). I don’t know about you guys, but I don’t take correction very well. I felt like the super confident kid who raises his hand in class and blurts out the wrong answer. Wow. I felt embarrassed and my self-esteem took quite a hit. Here I am giving the wrong answer to THE Teacher. To be honest I just felt really dumb.
All of my faults, weaknesses, and sins started to flood my thoughts. Suddenly I was standing before Jesus feeling just so undeserving. But the devil loves to use your weaknesses against you . Knowing that Christ operates in peace I thought, “Woah, woah, woah, wait a minute I am not falling for your lies Satan. I AM worthy because Jesus has deemed me worthy enough that He died for me.” Scripture is also super powerful in dismantling the lies that Satan tries to make us believe. The Holy Spirit is amazing at bringing verses to my mind. “El Senor corrige al que ama como el padre con su hijo amado” Proverbios 3:12. (Sorry guys, I prefer to read the Bible in Spanish — confessions of a bilingual person). But roughly translated it says that the Lord corrects the one He loves, just as a father does with his beloved son.
YA HEAR THAT DEVIL. The one He loves. Yes I was face to face with every single thing I struggle with, but instead of letting my sins pull my heart down like an anchor, I invited Jesus to enter into every weakness. “Yes Jesus. Thank you for your correction. Thank you for showing me my faults so that I can realize how deeply I am in need of Your mercy, Your grace, and Your help.” So many times we think we’re walking along side Jesus when in reality we aren’t giving him the space He needs to lead us. I find myself constantly wanting to be the one marching ahead, not desiring in the slightest to slow down to be beside Jesus, much less follow behind Him.
Needless to say, I threw out my notes today and gladly accepted the ones Jesus wanted to hand me.
Ponder the fact that God has made you a gardener, to root out vice and plant virtue.