I attended a Bible study/community group last night. Afterwards, I found myself having a lot of angst. I found myself stuffing myself with food because I did not want to feel the disappointment of yet another Christ centered group that I was not going to want to go to. I had already let go of trying to find a church, but thought this small group might work for various reasons. I realize now that I had high hopes that this could be a place where I could find community.
The next day I woke up feeling very strongly that I needed to communicate with the leaders and let them know the reasons why I would not be coming. I felt really bad because once again I had entered into the situation with a lot of enthusiasm. I really didn’t want to share the reasons that I felt uncomfortable. But because of how committed I was at first and the friendships I had developed, I thought it was important for me to share what was going on with me.
I was very restless after writing the letter. Then I received a response that was less than nurturing to me. I found myself going into a kind of panic attack where thoughts and feelings were going out of control. I knew I needed to nip this in the bud. When I notice the symptoms of out of control emotions, I felt horrible. I wanted to call Robert (former husband and present best friend) to listen to me, but he was not home. I was actually relieved because I am experimenting with being dependent on God and making him the first source of where I get emotional needs met.
This does not mean that I don’t need to talk things over with friends. However, in the past, I relied on people rather than God. I made the nurturing of my relationships with people much more important than cultivating a friendship with God because people were more tangible and touchable. I have a long history of feeling that God is distant, and believing that if only I could have perfect relationships then I would be happy. Yes, good healthy relationships are important inside a life with God—but I let them become my god, my idol, my first source of fulfillment.
So I decided to be proactive. I wrote what is called a love letter to one of the leaders of the group. I did not send it yet because it was very unedited and needed a lot of work. But just getting my feelings out in this format was helpful. I also wrote a letter to God and told him what was going on. Funny thing is—I can’t even remember what I wrote.But I would call it a prayer. I was already feeling calmer. I reviewed my 30 day spiritual experiment where I am focusing on being totally dependent on God, utterly surrendered, making him my first source when I have needs, and having faith that I can have a touchable tangible relationship with Him. I also read some from an inspirational book called DEATH OF A GURU. Then I put on the most recent podcast from www.thegodjourney.com while I started on my chores. That podcast had words that really validated the reasons I had decided to leave the group. Then I listened to another podcast which lead me to an article about spiritual warfare.
This article on spiritual warfare sums up the sense of what I felt when we were praying in the group I was in. At the time I felt some discomfort, but could not put my finger on it.. I Then later I thought that it made more sense that if we would stay surrendered to Jesus and focus on our dependency on him, then the enemy would not gain a foothold. This article confirmed what I was intuitively sensing.
This is one of the paragraphs that jumped out at me. The italics are mine.
“Often we think we are being attacked by the enemy and blame things on him when in fact what is happening is that we have exposed ourselves to attack by doing things from our carnal nature instead of remaining hidden and protected in Christ. When we repent and return to our Place of Rest, we find that the battle is taken care of through Him: “He gives us more grace… That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (James 4:6,7). Most of the emphasis in teachings on verse 7 seem to be about resisting the enemy and telling him to go in Jesus Name as though that is some magic formula. It seems to me that the key to resisting is not so much in telling him to go, but in the words previous to it: Grace is given to the humble; to those who know they cannot and who yield and fully surrender themselves to God and know Jesus Christ as Lord of all!” from http://www.unveiling.org/Articles/warfare.html
I know part of my panic was coming also from the fact that I have so much to do here at home and what I often do is escape from the work by getting on the computer, reading, or going to an activity that I think I should go to. I am clear that if I do not get my life in order right now, that it is going to be harder for me to rest in God and surrender to him. In fact, I am sensing that God is telling me that this is my highest priority—to get my life in order so that I might experience his still small voice (instead of being distracted by the clutter and unfinished business.)
So now I will go back to listening to some uplifting podcast from www.thegodjourney.com and get some more work done. I hope and pray that as I work I can enjoy resting in my Father’s love, knowing that with God all things are possible—even me getting my life in order. As a professional organizer, I do not particularly like to spend my time off organizing my own life, but I am ready and willing to focus right now. Also, I am hoping to have reconciliation with the leader with whom I communicated. And, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.