Tuesday, July 30, 2013

A Lesson in Unlearning Unworthiness

You never know where God might lead, but you can count on the path always leading to Him. In his book, My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers writes about disillusionment and how Jesus did not put His confidence in man. Christ knew the power and ability required to never disappoint a human being could only be handled by God.

Chambers wrote, "many of the things in life that inflict the greatest injury, grief or pain, stem from the fact that we suffer from illusions." Each of us has expectations of others and we see what we want or need to see in each other. I may meet some one's immediate or deep need at some point in their lives and they may have the expectation (intentionally or unintentionally) that I will always meet their need in the same measure or greater. It is impossible for any human being to accomplish this and yet, we do this to ourselves and each other daily.

This morning's lesson uncovered the truth that God led me to where I am living now so that I could heal from my deepest wound - a belief of unworthiness based on the illusion that I could in my own strength measure up to another person's expectations and needs.

For my entire life it seemed that I always missed this person's mark, no matter my intentions or how perfectly my efforts were executed. I have been met with disappointment, a condemning tone of voice, and words sharp enough to cut through bone. I have believed I am unworthy of any good, success or blessing because I missed this person's expectations. Anything bad or wrong that happened to me had to be my fault because of what I had done in the past, whether related or not.

Now, I have also had unrealistic expectations of this person as well. I believed that if I followed through and acted accordingly on their expectations, I would be rewarded with praise and love. I was rewarded and praised, but not always and not always when I needed it. I expected this person to fulfill my needs and validate me as a person.

The lesson I am learning is that disillusionment comes when our expectations are not being met. This is reality at its best. When disillusioned we can see people and ourselves as we really are. The challenge we must face for healing and abundant living comes in releasing ourselves and each other from unrealistic expectations or deep needs. This takes courage - courage to unlearn what we have practiced throughout our lives and learning anew how to live, trusting God to meet our deepest needs.

When God calls you to do or be something for Him, do not be surprised when He takes you down a path that doesn't make sense. When I first moved here, I kept hearing, "Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light" (Mt 11:28-30). I was exhausted mentally, emotionally and physically when I first moved here, so I believed those words were a perfect fit. Six years later, I realize Christ's invitation has become the solid foundation I need to stand in through my healing, unlearning and new learning process.

His invitation for rest and a lighter yoke has offered and still offers a safe place for laying down everything we carry - shame, humiliation, despair, disappointment, fear, worry, surrender, other people's burdens and fulfillment of expectations. He offers a safe place to be as broken as we are so that He can meet our deepest needs. Only He has the patience, comfort, timing, grace, and love we seek for fulfillment.

Today I gained a greater understanding that when Christ died He took on my soul ache and my deepest need for acceptance and love. He took on every bit of despair and bafflement, every deep cutting wound and bore them upon Himself.

For years I believed the enemy's lies just like Eve, but now I am becoming a new Eve - whole, worthy and more than enough. It is in Christ that we are whole and have a safe place to rest. He took on the sins and soul ache of all those who have come before us as well as our own and those to come after us. His invitation has been extended to all. This is grace.


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