Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Spring Cleansing

It is the 4th week of Orthodox Christian Lent and it's getting serious, folks. The fast is going fine, but my spirit is fighting. When I pray, I feel angst. I weep from a place I didn't know existed and it's physically painful. I ask God to give me peace, and I actually slept ok last night. I am truly having to wipe away all the grit and grime that has built up in my soul for the past 31 years.
I have a lot of work to do, and I want to get to a place in which I am truly hungering and thirsting for righteousness.

Forgiveness is key. Forgiving others, forgiving myself, and giving all up to God. I am finally realizing that I cannot change other people, and why should I worry about them? I have plenty of work to do on myself. If I were to focus on cleaning out my own sin and shortcomings, I wouldn't have a second left in the day to worry about what others are doing wrong.
Realizing that I am weak and susceptible to falling is another thing that I must come to terms with. No matter how good we think we are, we can always be better. We all fall short of the glory of God, and I continue to search for how to be closer to Him. He reveals things to me everyday, but the more I know, the more He reveals.

I continue to relinquish my power to God, admit my own weakness and lack of control over things in my marriage, my family, my career, my education, and my friendships. I had a tear-stained prayer last night in which I not only cried for mercy, but professed my heart-felt love for God the Father. He is waiting with open arms to carry us home no matter what we've done. I ran away from Him for so many years because I was afraid of his judgment. The feeling of guilt is a sin. The feeling of sorrow is what we should feel when we repent. Sorrow for hurting God, sorrow for sinning against ourselves, and sorrow for separation from the Holy Spirit.
I am in the process of learning the meaning of humility. There is still so much to learn, and I hope I never feel satisfied with what I know. Through sadness comes joy. Joy of love from the Living God, joy of returning home, joy of no more running.

I was running and He literally picked me up and took me home- by air. I remember the day so vividly, it started a process of great remorse and self-realization. Admitting you have done wrong is only the beginning. Blocking out the voices of rationalization for sin is a whole other feat. We can justify absolutely everything we do. We can cite other people responsible, or claim we just weren't strong enough, or it was something we "had to do", and God will understand. He will always take us back, but there are serious consequences to our actions.

I may lose what I hold most dear to my heart. I am finally at a point of trying to grow up and stop chasing the wind. The wind changes its mind whenever it feels like it with no consequences...but I cannot be the wind, I can only feel it. I am to stop listening to the voices that the wind carries, for they too come and go.

I need a firm foundation and it must be able to stand up to breezes, gusts, and tornadoes. I am constantly being tested. I am tested by my own mind, my friends, my family, and perfect strangers. The more open I am with God, the more aware I will be of the tests and how to combat them.

I used to think that opportunities to sin would be obvious and direct, but they aren't. They are often gradual, presenting themselves as benevolent and even Godly. Question everything- those who claim to be "good people" those who claim to be "moral and ethical" one will ever tell you the pain they are in because often they have no idea. Do not compromise your morals or values for another person because you feel they need you. God will take care of them better than you ever could.

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