my latest life lesson

Posted: May 14th, 2010 | Filed under: life | 10 Comments »

Spring is the red carpet. Camera flashes of lightening and rain stalls you for introspection to interview your direction and destination.

I’m dressed in my premier best and want to be seen for my work. I have an idea of who I should be. I talk like her, walk like her and make choices based on who she is. I imagine the interview at the end of my life and I want the struggle to be part of my story. I want to say that I worked for however many years toward a goal with a single mind and then suddenly the sky opened up to ‘more than I could have imagined.’ Only I’ll secretly know that I had this pictured the whole time. I’ll let the cameras flash and pick out my shoes according to how they look on the red carpet. I’ll pick my dress according to how it photographs. I have it all pictured.

In that picture, I’m somebody else. Not so short. Not so insecure. Red carpet shoes.

Life and responsibility have been beating down my door and I keep telling it to go away because I’m not a member of that life anymore. I took on a different job. An ‘eternal’ one that pays with a different currency. I thought my natural life should be taken care of by default.

The rain of Spring is slowing me down. Things aren’t happening the way I pictured them. The elevator I’ve been waiting for is down for maintenance or full of other people. I’ve been standing in this lobby for so long that I had to take off my shoes to ease my aching feet. When people pass by, I tell them who I am. Or rather, who I want to be.

Anything but me.Β When did this happen?

I had a revelation in the struggle. I’m not being myself because I’m trying to be what I think I should be. I’ve put limitations on myself that God never intended. I’m supposed to take the stairs. Something I thought I was too good for.

When I was given my purpose, to write, I dropped everything and started writing. I quit everything else and focused on who I thought I was becoming. When I quit everything else, all of the momentum came to a halt and I thought that it was God testing me, so I pushed forward. Things started falling in on me, but I thought it was the test and I ignored them. Now I can’t ignore them. Now I have to pick up things I left behind and it makes me question myself. It makes me question God.

This time of self-examination has taught me that I have decided what my ‘purpose’ looks like and I started emulating that. I can know in my head that God needs me out of the way so that He can move through me, but in dropping everything, I have only put myself in the way. I have nothing else to do but watch the pot of water while I’m waiting for the boil. I’m not the fire under the pan. I don’t have to watch it for it to boil. I don’t even have to be in the same room. I can take care of my responsibilities and when the water starts boiling, I’ll hear it splash over the sides of the pot and then I can attend to it.

“If you are consciously aware of your own holiness, you place limitations on yourself from doing certain things–Things God is not restricting you from at all.” –Oswald Chambers

I’ve done that to myself and I’ve suffered because of it. The only thing I can do now is abandon my notions, without abandoning ‘my purpose‘, and head for the stairs.

For those of you who are local, I’m heading back to the salon. Send me an email for more information.


10 Comments on “my latest life lesson”

  1. 1 stacyK said at 6:49 am on May 14th, 2010:

    in this season of dropping everything for God, you have blessed my life more than i can ever ever ever say…. thank you.

    i left missouri without looking back in 1991… and now i'm wishing i were back there (are the purple trees flowering?) so i could get a haircut…

  2. 2 Serena Woods said at 7:20 am on May 14th, 2010:

    Thanks, Stacy. πŸ™‚ I'm not going anywhere. I wrote 'Grace Is For Sinners' while working 50 hours a week. You know, when I wasn't in the way. πŸ˜‰

    Missouri is definately beautiful. Everything is green and blooming. If I had my choice, I'd be in more of a concrete jungle, though. A city girl to the core.

  3. 3 Ellen said at 7:51 am on May 14th, 2010:

    By dropping everything, we only put ourselves in the way. You're right.

    And man do I often think I am way too good for the stairs!

    Your book did a great deal for my perspective.

    Thanks Serena.

  4. 4 Serena Woods said at 7:53 am on May 14th, 2010:

    Thanks, Ellen. πŸ™‚

  5. 5 InaM said at 9:08 am on May 14th, 2010:

    Without even knowing me, you get me. I get you way down here in Florida. It is so crazy and so God!

    I know about abuse and abandonment and adoption and affairs, judgement from friends and enemies, and especially the church. I know how it feels to be lost in everything, to drop it all and then to be lost in nothing.

    God please give me a purpose and get me out of your way. Please tell me that all of this pain was for something…for You and your glory. I keep banging my head against the imaginary wall that is my life.

    Your book has moved and changed me and many others that I have given it to.

    Thank you so very much!

  6. 6 Serena Woods said at 9:28 am on May 14th, 2010:

    You just made my day, InaM. πŸ™‚

  7. 7 m* said at 2:13 pm on May 14th, 2010:

    so open and honest it hurts

    there is something in there for all of us

    so much better than the movie version

    thanks again, i've taken the stairs also

  8. 8 Serena Woods said at 2:23 pm on May 14th, 2010:

    Stairway potluck, M*? πŸ˜‰

  9. 9 Julie R. said at 5:15 pm on May 15th, 2010:


    I wish I had a way to just sit and talk with you. I have so much going on inside my head and my heart and many times I find that God is using your words and thoughts to show me I am right where He wants me. I would ask for prayer as I am preparing to share this new path with my folks.

    (While growing up I was a minister's daughter, so that meant church…. and LOTS of it. Many times our family acted as janitorial staff, landscapers, nursery workers… if you've ever known any PKs then you know what we go through. )

    My parents favorite question to me after they ask how I am, is "Are you in church?"

    After many years of searching I know now that my not going has been a different type of calling; though I was too consumed with evangelical,christian guilt to listen to the call. I am about two weeks from a visit by folks where this is going to come up… and I am very nervous. I am right where I need to be, but for an ex-pk… telling your parents you are no longer confining yourself to institutionalized religion will be the equivalent of telling devout heterosexual, homophobic parents that you're gay…. did I mention… I am nervous? I am specifically praying that God is laying the foundation work for this revelation before they even get here, that when I tell them, it won't be an odd concept, just new ground for us, my dad has often had trouble with temper, so I am also praying that he can keep that in check and be open to what I have to say to both him and my mom. thanks so much. Looking forward to reading more of what God wants me to know…

  10. 10 Serena Woods said at 4:13 am on May 18th, 2010:

    Julie: I'm glad you're having some spiritual clarity. It's refreshing, huh? Something I've noticed about spiritual clarity is it's a span of time where the scripture takes on a fresh life and you can understand the same old things with new eyes. There are a few terms floating around out there that have to do with being 'de-programmed' or 'de-churched'. Kind of like being called into a 'wilderness'. It's a calling in your spirit to go somewhere alone with God and 'though none go with me, still I will follow' comes to mind.

    When you come out of it, you'll be better fit for whatever your purpose is.

    Yes, of course I'll pray for you. πŸ™‚ Let me know how it goes!

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