Thursday, January 26, 2012

The battle is won

This subject speaks right to the heart of something that's defined me my entire life - and that is war.

Due to the spiritual inheritance I have struggled with, my life has been one of endlessly battling to survive with the idea that I had to remain in a mentality of war at all times or risk certain death if I ever dropped my guard. I felt as if I had to fight at absolutely every second of the day in order to stay alive. Peace, rest, compassion, grace and love were all foreign things to me. I knew of them, but I had no idea what they looked like or felt like.

Once I finally began to find healing when I went through burnout in early August I realized just how highly strung I had been my entire life and just how constant and desperate my need to survive really was. It went much deeper than I realized. I realized that at the depth of my endless need to fight was the deep despair of believing that my fighting for my life was in vain and that regardless of how much I fought, I could never truly win and save myself but fighting in vain was better than just giving up and quitting.

The more I have unwound, the more I have began to realize that the battle for my life has already been won when I accepted salvation and that although the desire to fight to save my own life is still very powerful, it is only that - a desire and not a reflection on reality. I still need to work through this to process it completely but the realization that I am slowly gaining is that I am able to rest and that resting will not immediately bring death as I've always automatically expected that it would.

The world is able to support itself without my constant need for control of things and my desire to control the world to keep myself alive is not being resolved by trying to fix things around me. God is able to take care of me and He is able to carry me when I'm unable to carry myself and blocking out the entire world to enter into a place of rest or intimacy with God or another person does not for a second mean that I am being a deserter and leaving the battlefield and leaving myself for dead. Humans were not designed for war every second of the day. God is in control, and He's much bigger than we are.

The more I begin to experience God's grace and the realization that my life is in the palm of His hand and not my own, the more grieved I am at the years of life that I have lost trying desperately to keep my head above water and refrain from drowning when what I really needed to be able to do was to let myself sink so that God could truly catch me. That's something I've found nearly impossible to do - truly yield to another person - even God - allow myself to break down at times and stop expecting so much of myself. I've felt like I've deliberately lost the war if I've tried to do that.

God fights for us - especially when we can't fight for ourselves. He is so much bigger than we are and our feeble desire for control and the satisfaction we get from controlling things is nothing compared to His unfathomable knowledge, power and influence. To God, there is no equal. So why do we fight so hard to keep ourselves alive when the One who has always been and always will be is on our side and has our best interests at heart?

It's terrifying letting go of the war, especially when war is all you've ever known and your entire life has been defined by a desperate need to survive at all costs like mine has. When you deliberately forsake control it's a scary place to be as the fear that drives us to fight all the time comes to the surface as it's lost the cover that was holding it down. Though this is hard, that's the best time to face it as it gives us a real chance to see what is driving us, break through it and become more at peace with the realization of what's been true all along - that God is in control and that we don't need to fight all the time. It's ok to live and ok to be loved.

To all of you warriors out there who are terrified to leave the battlefield even when you know God is calling you out of it - learn to let go. The battle is won. Letting go takes time but it does happen. God can fight better than you can and He's on your side if you've chosen to follow Him. Take heart and allow yourself the chance to let go of the fight and truly begin to live life instead of just surviving.

Take care.

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