Tonight we talked about whether we struggle with intimacy or reverence in our relationship with God. We typically lean toward one or the other. Either we see God as this big, awesome, powerful, all knowing being... but then forget that He loves us and is close to our problems, hears our desires and hopes, and fears. OR people see God in a "Jesus is my homeboy," my best friend, my Daddy... and forget the holiness of God.
I told the group that my problem usually fell in the category of intimacy. I have all this book knowledge of who He is and a healthy fear of what He is capable of, but I struggle to believe that a God that big is really interested in me getting to know him. I know in my heart that that's a lie that Satan uses to keep me from knowing God, but I seem to fall for it so often.
Then Francis asked us to look at the baggage we have in our lives and to try and see how our struggle with intimacy with God might be a reflection of that baggage. How have I placed human conditions and issues onto my relationship with Him? To be real... the biggest burden of baggage I carry in my life would definitely be my thinking that I'm not good enough... like in a "you're awesome, but you just dont make the cut" kind of way. Satan has used that lie more times than I care to remember. When situations or people let me down, I turn it around and say that it's my fault because I'm just not good enough. I'll never be good enough... I'll never be good enough for someone else, for success, for happiness... blah blah blah.
So as I struggle through this thing called life and I make mistakes, I'm one of two things.. I'm either feeling completely guilty that I keep screwing up OR I'm apathetic because if I'm gonna keep screwing up, why bother even trying, and then I hear that familiar voice, "Just give up. You're never going to be good enough."
It's true though. I'm never going to be "good enough."
Isn't that the point though? Who really is good enough? No one. No one who has ever walked this planet has ever been good enough... except Jesus Christ.
I can't do this on my own. My relationship with the Lord was meant to free me, not hold me back or overwhelm me to the point of apathy. I guess this week's discussion really helped me to see my need to confront the baggage in my life and to recognize that it's not just impacting me, but it's impacting my relationships with other people and with God.
Why do we choose to hold on to things that hold us back?
Why do we even allow ourselves to accumulate such baggage?
For any of you ladies that read or watched Anne of Green Gables, maybe you'll remember that when Matthew (I think that was his name) first met Anne at the train station and tried to take her bag for her, she held on tight. She said that she'd rather hold on to it because the handle was broken and only she knew how to hold it just right. Only I know how to hold onto my bag. Only I've found a way to fit it snugly into my life, so that it has seemingly become a part of me.
It wasn't always that way, and it sure is getting heavy. What started as a small carry on bag has turned into a busting at the seams, almost over the weight limit, piece of junk luggage from the 70s. Thankfully though, after our discussion tonight, I think that as I prayed on my drive home, asking God to free me from this burden of thinking I am anything but loved by Him, that maybe I was able to lighten my bag just a little bit.... and maybe, just maybe, begin the process of truly letting go of that dang ugly baggage once and for all.