Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Beauty of Discovering I Am Not God

This past year has pushed me to realize something very important that I should have figured out by now...

I'm not God.

Laugh.  Go ahead.  You think I'm kidding.  I'm not.

I'm completely serious.

In July of 2011, after months of trying, God allowed us to conceive Pax, and by August, I began to really struggle in the pregnancy.  The vomiting started.  I experienced a migraine that resembled a stroke that landed me in the ER and multiple doctor's offices.  Life went out of control very quickly, and since then, nothing has been the same.

Waiting at the pediatrician's office again this week. Both of the kids have become waiting pros.
Between Pax and me, I have spent countless hours in doctor's offices and in the hospital.  My body still isn't the same,  but after my cholecystectomy six weeks ago,  I am just now getting to a place where I think I will have a "new normal" again.  Five months old today, our little guy has had his share of misery with terrible reflux, and the medications he has been on to control it have only helped minimally.

Finally, It looks like we are having a breakthrough with his treatment in the past day.  I am ecstatic, relieved, hopeful... It couldn't have come at a better time.

This past week I hit a wall.  Burnout.  Ugh.

I had tried to pace myself carefully, but my best efforts weren't enough.  Being a caregiver to a baby who is often irritable and crying has drained me, and for the past week, depression has been visiting and threatening to stay.  If you've ever experienced depression before, you know the fear I feel.  I hate being down, but I think I needed this.  I needed to be slowed down, so I would listen.

Here's what I feel like God is teaching me.

You're not God.  I am.

You're not in control.  I am.

You can't do this by yourself.  You're not God.  I am.


You would think I would realize that by now.

Nothing about me looks strong anymore.

I am just now really beginning to get it.

I can't do life alone.  I can't shoulder the responsibility of raising my kids, being a good wife, or being a somewhat decent friend by myself.

I have to do it in the grace that God gives me, and sometimes, that's through others.

Sure, I know what it is like to have the support, love, and friendship from my family and my Christian community.  We have experienced the abundant kindness of others often, and the past few weeks, I have been intentionally rearranging my life to invite help in more often.  But, until this point, I thought that help was a luxury, and I was wrong.

Asking for help is a need for me... and them.

When I ask for help because I am struggling and life is too heavy for me to bear, I am being humble and admitting to those listening that I am not God.  I am opening myself up to the fact that I am not self sufficient and am indeed human.

Yes, I think we sometimes need to be reminded.  Isn't that what happened in the garden of Eden?  Eve listened to the Serpent (AKA. the Devil) because she wanted to be like God.  She ate the fruit, shared it with her husband, and life has went downhill since.  As humans, we've had a God complex since the beginning.

It's time to end it.

When I give others (referring to the Christian community) the opportunity to help meet my needs, they get the blessing of loving and serving me like Jesus loves and serves them.

Then, my vulnerability and neediness become a beautiful thing as the unbelieving world that is watching gets to see my suffering being eased, and the beauty of Christ is put on display as I get off my pedestal and He gets on it where He belongs. 

Trying to cheer up Little Man Sunday evening
with glider time.
At that moment, this isn't just a Christian friend helping me sweep my floors or someone bouncing a sick baby to give me a break.  This is the Christian Church functioning unselfishly in a raw and beautiful way that screams Jesus is alive.

I know what some of you are thinking.  I like being independent.  I feel safe when I am in control of what I need and how I get it.  If you look up the definition of a Type A control freak, my photo is in the margin.  I am not a good example of this yet.

Being vulnerable is awkward and risky.  

But, right now, I am realizing again (yes, I'm a slow learner) that it is not about me.  This life is about God and His glory.  If in my weakness, the world sees Christ more clearly and He becomes more desirable, it is worth it.  My life isn't about making sure everyone knows how strong or how "together" Anna Cirlot is.  It's about Him.  God's strength.  God's design.  God's sovereignty.  God's glory.

I'm not God.

He is.

This is war.  We have a real Enemy that is more than happy to take us out.  If we harden ourselves in pride, we'll either crumble under the pressure or become too puffed up from "making it" on our own to let Jesus get the spotlight He deserves.

Let's be real.  Let's be vulnerable.  Let's hold each other up.  Let's admit life is messy, and that we need each other.

Let's live in such a way dear friends that the world will know this isn't just another fairy tale.  Jesus is real.

"Let me give you a new command: Love one another.  In the same way I loved you, you love one another.  This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples, when they see the love you have for each other." John 13:34-35

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