Sunday, May 30, 2010

{somehow different.}

Blogging is one of my favorite things to end the day with.

Today was one of those days that is really hard to explain, but also a day I will remember. You know, there's only so much time you can spend talking about thoughts and ideas before you have to actually make concrete changes - and today was a day for change.

What do we replace insecurity with? We replace it with dignity. In Proverbs 31 - one of the few passages directly speaking of a woman, it says, "She is clothed with strength, and dignity." (v.25) Dignity is realization of our significance, it is honor, it is awareness of how deeply loved we are - and it is marked with humility, not pride.

The beautiful thing about desiring to reclaim our dignity and strength is that we know beyond a shadow of doubt that God desires the same for us. In 1 John 5:14-15 He says, "This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us - whatever we ask- we know that we have what we asked of him." In some areas of our life God's will isn't obvious and so we pray for clarity - other things we can pray and claim knowing that it's almost as if we're turning in our token and receiving something that's already ours.

In Beth Moore's book, "So Long Insecurity, You've Been a Bad Friend", she encourages the reader to set aside half an hour to pray aloud a prayer that is written out and to fill in blanks with personal confession, desires, and acknowledgement. It was pretty intense, and I wish you all could have it in your hands now. I want to share the parts that spoke the loudest to me. The double underlined.

"You look beyond the point of my failure to the depth of my need.
Grant me insight into patterns I've developed, and give me answers that bring healing.
You know the complexities of my soul and that most of the time
I can't even figure myself out.
Forgive me for thinking pitifully little of the person You've made me.
Forgive me equally for every time I've sighed with relief at the thought that I might be superior after all.
I also ask You to pull up the roots of insecurity that were not my doing.
You know the rational origin of every irrational fear.
Empower me to forgive those who have let me down, failed to protect me, or inflicted injury upon me.
Help me to see them as needy, broken people in their own right, and where there is still life and opportunity, bring redemption.
Help me understand the gravity of this juncture: that if I do not seek healing and wholeness, I will instead end up perpetuating the cycle of injury.
Break the cycle with me, O Lord. Break the cycle with me.
You know how my feelings frighten me and how the enemy of my soul would have me believe that I will never be okay.
Make a liar out of him. Do not let him win. Do not let loss win.
Where I lost innocence, grant me integrity.
Where I lost a relationship, grant me true intimacy.
Where I lost a home, grant me an internal, unshakable sense of belonging.
Where I've held someone responsible for my loss, grant me the ability to forgive.
Don't stop until You've made a miracle of me.
You want to defy the odds in order to make Yourself conspicuous in me.
And Lord, where I've otherwise lapsed into self-adoration and self-centeredness instead, help me to recognize my narcissism and no longer tolerate it.
Of all things, please don't let it be said that I loved myself too much to fully love anybody else.
Please don't let me gain the world but lose my soul.
Help me to cease being so easily wounded, but at the same time, keep me from growing hardened.
Clothe me with strength and dignity.
Transform what drives me.
Quell what triggers me.
Make me a courageous woman in this harrowing culture.
Give me the discernment to call a lie a lie.
Make me the kind of woman a little girl could follow to dignity and security.
Help me to recognize that I've lost my dignity only because I surrendered it.
Empower me to claim it back and hang on to it with all my might.
Because of Your mercy Lord, I am no fool.
Only a wise woman shifts her trust to You."

I know it's just a book, and words written for a lot of people to read...but I'm not the same after that hour spent. Maybe those words will find the deep places of your soul, as they found mine.

Today as I was sitting in church I was thinking about my life here for the next year, and wondering if God has given me so many opportunities to travel just so my heart will one day settle somewhere. I cried when the plane landed coming back from Ireland, traveling doesn't usually deepen any patriotic feelings in me...but this time seems different. The driving desire in me to see the world is waning. I quite like the idea of one day living in an old farmhouse in the heartland of America. Somewhere with wide open spaces where the land is unending and the sky stretched over like a tent. A place I can call home and know I'm not moving anytime soon. There I would write, and my heart's content.

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