Sunday, October 21, 2007

A Month and a Year

Although it has been nearly a month since I last wrote on this blog'o'mine, it feels almost like a year. And then in other ways it feels only like a few days. Time is very awkward like that. It won't consistently feel a certain way at any given moment. There are those weeks where it feels interminable and makes you wonder if Friday will EVER come. And then you get to Friday and you're looking at the week going, what happened?! Where did my week go? I guess that's one of the reasons I'm such a big fan of lists and calendars and details - if I can look back and see what I've done, check off what I've accomplished, it assures me that I didn't just throw away a good week's worth of time on nothing. :)

In the Myrte update: Myrte has moved out (by her own choice and sadly not in a very courteous fashion). To be honest, I'm not quite sure what has happened or what is going on but since she moved out, it has been confirmed she has definitely gone back to at least a couple of the negative lifestyle choices she was making before she moved in, and there has also been a lot of concern from a lot of people as far as what else she may be doing or not doing. I won't go into details on here as it is her life and her business; although I will admit, since writing is a cathartic activity for me, I have written out a huge long blog for my own personal venting moment about all she has said, done, etc since the last time I wrote! Ah for catharsis! I won't post it, but it felt good to get out of my system!

The largest personal piece of news on that front is that she apparently has decided that I am Public Enemy Number One and she has kicked me out of her life! Still not quite sure how I got into that role with her, but oh well. I will continue to pray for her, and I hope that she doesn't turn away from the working of God in her life. God has given me such a burden for her, and I can see the great potential she has within her to be this amazing, influential human being, if she would only develop that. But, it is God's hands, and the only thing I can do is pray.

On a personal level, while I am a little hurt emotionally (although generally when I feel that hurt attacking me, I just have to remind myself about the issues/mental/emotional state of the one who did the hurting, and I get over it quickly), I have so much peace spiritually, it's been wonderful. I know that the Lord has led both Chris and myself and a myriad of other people in dealing with Myrte, and I have nothing to be ashamed of, sorry for, concerned about as far as my behavior, words, actions, and even - for the most part [hey, I'm human, I get vindictive sometimes!] - my thoughts go.

My dearest of husbands made the comment the other day that he wasn't quite sure if all of this had come about in our lives to teach us lessons or Myrte lessons. Either way, I have definitely learned quite a few things in this roller-coaster adventure.

One of the biggest lessons that has and is continually coming through to me (and I've been running into this lesson everywhere - chapel, church, personal devotions, random letters from people, conversations with other people, and of course that quiet prompting of the Holy Spirit) is that I have to let God control the situations in my life. Now, given my navigatory personality, I like to plan my steps, I like to have goals and methods for reaching those goals, and analysis of what I'm doing etc. The problem is, that I then limit the Lord's guiding to whatever fits into my predetermined methodology! Taking action from the prompting of the Holy Spirit and then not trying to control/predict/analysis, etc what happens after that is very difficult for me to do.

The hardest part for me has been finding the balance point. History teaches us that God uses the actions of man to fulfill His purpose. The question I have kept running into is how do I respond to other people/things/events and yet simultaneously let God have control of a situation.

I think my biggest sticking point is that I may pray and seek God's guidance on an action to take, but then following that action, rather than letting Him worry about what happens next, I parse and analyze it and project and try to plan and predetermine what my next response will be, and basically get myself in a bit of a tizzy because I have no way of knowing what's going to come next! And truthfully, other than my life, I have no control over any other person on the face of the planet. I have to let God deal with all that. Which, in some ways would seem to be a simple thing to do - I mean who really wants to have to deal with everybody else's problems in the world - but in others is frustrating for me! I guess it's that conflict-avoidance personality coming through again.

A friend of mine recently sent me a quote from Elizabeth Elliot that is the perfect summation of all of this.

For starters, Elliot is referring to the scriptures in John 15 about the Vine and the Branches (a set of scripture I've also been running into a lot lately!):

"1 - I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.
2 - He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful...
4 - Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
5- I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing...
9 - As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.
10 - If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love.
11 - I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.
12 - My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you."

The quote from Elizabeth Elliot is as follows:
"To go on from one day to the next, leaving the unsettling things with God, being free and whole and serene because we are secure in our home—this is what “dwelling” in Christ and His love means. The people and the things about which we simply do not know what to do we can commit to His love as well, asking Him to find room for them."

In other words, I don't have to worry about it.

God is in control, and as long as I continue to try to dwell in His love, live within His prompting, seek His heart, what happens with other people does not matter. I do not have to seek the approval of the world. I do not have to fret over people who may or may not like me or who chose to judge my actions or priorities.

If I am dwelling in the Lord, then I can have peace and joy in the face of whatever the world may throw at me.

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