Being the hero means making a choice and it’s not always the easy one.
The end of 2016 held deep reflecting. I questioned a lot of my decisions from the past. I dug into my mindsets and values that had defined the year. The ups and downs had brought a realization of emptiness and dissatisfaction. A decision begged to be made but I didn’t know if I had what it took. But I knew if I desired the life I dreamed of, it was time to cut a few things out.
You see when I tried to change before a seed tried to take root, but something was holding it back from growing. My heart hadn’t been receiving because the enemy was stealing. The self-destructive outlets I entertained left an empty dull feeling rather than contentment. My inner desire and pull had always been to find fulfillment through others but the relationships weren’t adding anything to life.
How were things going to change if I didn’t have accountability? I had sought it in the past but it bore little fruit. I refused to be entirely vulnerable and admit my mistakes or the temptations leading up to it. Humbling my pride and letting go of my shame meant full disclosure. It was terrifying to seek a new community all while balancing a new life of vulnerability. Rejection taunted me but I took the step of facing the loneliness that plagued me. I was afraid God would see the gunk in my life and stop loving me. Deep down, that was the real fear. Maybe it was time to accept that I never had the answers. I took one little step at a time and read a chapter a day in the gospels trying to get to know someone who gave their life up for someone faulty.
I was slowly reading and stopped at Matthew 13:19-23. One I’d read many times but had never thought how we ask for the right heart before evaluating where we had been, our present scenario, and where He desires us to be.
I saw the different seasons I stumbled through in each example of the soil. Comparison tried to take weed out revelation and the good soil appeared unattainable, all while shame tried to push away revelation. I lacked understanding because I wasn’t entertaining God-honoring things. When trials came I had let go of the knowledge of His sovereignty and clung to faith in myself. My time wasn’t invested in growing my relationship. Rather, I sought to build material things in the attempt to find acceptance.
Suddenly, I was staring at the ugly image of self-reliance and the negative results. Isaiah 50 tore at my raw heart and left me reeling. (:10-11) “If you are walking in darkness without a ray of light, trust in the Lord and rely on your God. But watch out, you who live in your own light and warm yourselves by your own fires.”
Disclaimer: “Aha” moments have never felt real to me. People say they have them but when you look back to assess you begin to see the slow breeze driving out the fog in order to see what was in front of you the whole time.
I had made myself my own hero and in the process, the villain.