Friday, July 17, 2009

Independence and Transparency

I hesitate to write this post - and honestly, have put it off for a few days...

Those who know me "in real life", know that I am "Independent to a fault". I also try to remain very "transparent" - especially in areas where I struggle.

These two things - independence and transparency - are pretty dichotomous. And, would you believe, also the two things about which God is very actively "stalking" me. The reason I hesitate, is there are people "in real life" who read this and love me enough to confront me on it. But, I'm learning - one will kill me, the other will make me strong.

So here I go. "Independent to a fault", that's me. If I CAN do it, I will. If I CAN do it without help, I will. And, even if I THINK I MIGHT be able to do it, I will try. I laugh now to think of the time I tried to load my grill into my minivan when we moved. It's a nice big grill - side burner and all. I managed to get it up onto my knees, balanced on my lap, before I lost my balance. It was the slow-motion backward fall that sticks in my mind. I landed gently onto one arm - so it's now me, backwards, two legs and one arm on the ground, grill still on my lap, LAUGHING hysterically, thanking God for lowering me gently and begging for help up!

This time, as I read The Shack, I am writing down lines that speak to me. One that knocked me square between the eyes reads: "When we choose independence over relationship, we become a danger to each other". Guilty as charged. In the midst of our marriage series, I of course think back to the days of raising infant twins. Sure, I COULD manage most of their daily care - so I did...and very rarely asked for help.

Independence leads to isolation. It builds walls around my heart, disconnects me from others and from God. And I don't mean the type of independence I'm trying to instill in my children - brush your own teeth, dress yourselves. I'm talking the kind of independence that shadows truth - the kind that attempts to make up for vulnerabilities and protect our hearts from disappointment.

I am better at the aspect of independence that tries to force it's way. As I sit here now, I'm very aware that I will likely not get the overtime shifts I signed up for this weekend. It seems that He thinks I need time with Him more than I need the money right now. I would be lying if I told you I accepted that gracefully. I struggled for some time with trying to figure out how I could possibly work a different floor or a different shift....I think, as of now, I may have accepted it. Maybe.

But I still struggle with allowing others to help me... of being willing to risk and hope and trust.

How's THAT for transparent?! It's a little scary sometimes, but it is the only way that I can live in truth. It keeps me honest and "real". It helps develop humility. It keeps me truly connected to others, and allows others to see my struggles, the traps into which I have fallen... and the glorious ways that God has worked in the midst of it all - in spite of me!

Independence and Transparency. One will kill me, the other make me stronger. Why is it that the world has them reversed? My strength is in my weakness - in those moments where I am willing to allow Him to step in...or send others here on earth to minister to me as well...

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