Cultivate your own relationship with God, but don’t impose it on others. You’re fortunate if your behavior and your belief are coherent. But if you’re not sure, if you notice that you are acting in ways inconsistent with what you believe—some days trying to impose your opinions on others, other days just trying to please them—then you know that you’re out of line. If the way you live isn’t consistent with what you believe, then it’s wrong. -Romans 14:22-23 MSG
You didn’t know what you believed. You based everything you believed on what they told you. You sat where they sat, listened to what they listened to, and went where they went. You liked who they liked and shunned who they shunned. You weren’t your own, but didn’t entirely understand Whose you were. So, you gave yourself to them.
Everything He told you was run through their ears, their experience, and their understanding. As though you had something in you that rendered you spiritually deaf, like you were not quite good enough to trust your own relationship with Him.
What is it in you that distances you from feeling like a real person?
An orphan in life, always somebody’s good deed, always someone’s project. Beggars can’t be choosers and it never occurred to you that you have voice enough to choose. A smothered firefly, trapped in a jar. A wildflower ripped up by your roots and soaking up the excess dribbles from someone else’s chin, thankful for the condensation from someone else’s cup. Second best is the best you ever had.
You’ve never been the object of someone’s unconditional love, have you?
“They really can take you or leave you. Sometimes the do-gooders need a break from the constant ‘give’ that you require.” Whose voice is that? Who is ripping you to pieces when nobody is looking? You smile because you don’t want them to see how damaged you really are. They think they’re holding you together and, all the while, you are being categorically dismantled from the inside out.
Skin paper thin. Can they see from the outside in? You distance yourself so they don’t see how much work you are.
Eyes watch as your light grows dim. Aching wings and swollen eyes, you curse the wind that calls you from the lip of the jar.
You don’t really believe there is a Savior, do you? Like He’s for someone else and you grasp for coat tails.
As long as you held it together, you could wait for this phase to pass. No one will be the wiser. You never wanted anyone to know how close you were to the edge of the Great Nothing. But, then a voice from the Great Nothing called your name. Your name.
How few times you’ve heard your name.
The Great Nothing is an eternity away from the Contrived Something. You never meant to fall, just get a closer hear. You were trapped in Safe, but now you’ve crashed into Everything is Possible.
It’s the place you’ve tried to avoid, the endless questions are a challenge to the faith you felt no need to challenge. The groping hands claiming ownership over your success don’t want to claim you anymore. A bounding distance between them and the embarrassment you threat. Nobody wants a firefly whose light went dim.
Ask the questions. The faith threatening questions. What do you have to lose? According to everything you trusted before, it would cost more to fix you than it would to just lose you. The ink has dried. They’ve already collected on the loss.
With nothing holding you together, you can find out what you’re made of. You’re not leftovers, a lost cause, or an accident. You’re not an embarrassment or a project. You’ve always been in a shadow. This time, you’ll cast your own shadow. With no one threatening you with condemnation, you can figure out what you believe. When you know what you believe, you’ll know when you are off track. No one else can be your Holy Spirit. He won’t stand by and let that happen.
Don’t set people up as experts over your life, letting them tell you what to do. Save that authority for God; let him tell you what to do. -Matthew 23:9-10 MSG
He’ll get rid of them even if it cuts you back to the root. Every child knows that if you crush the light of a firefly, it stays lit.