Alternate title: When the Going Gets Tough . . .
This week’s study was all about remembering . . . and forgetting. The homework (though I have not completed it yet, ahem!) focused on forgetting not (in other, less complicated words: remembering) God’s benefits. And the video focused on forgetting our past and ourselves.
As with most topics in this study, those of us on last night’s chat find these instructions to be difficult. Not difficult to understand. We seem to grasp the WHY of these teachings fairly easily. It’s the HOW that is proving difficult for me – and, I think, for others doing the study.
For me, personally, it’s hard to get past the surface when discussing these matters. Because you know what? Getting past the surface and actually facing what’s in my messy, dirty, dark thought closet? It’s hard. And it hurts. And I don’t like it.
There. I said it. I don’t like this process.
Please, please don’t misunderstand me. This study and the Truth it is based on are amazing. Jennifer Rothschild, the author, is sweet and wise and wonderful – and she uses all of those characteristics to hold a mirror to my heart and then point me straight to God.
But – and make sure you hear this in the right tone of voice: whining – it’s hard!
See, what I’m learning is that I have a little issue with denial. Because I was raised – even in the middle of the Midwest – to be a good Southern girl. And a good church girl. One who answers the question, “How are you?” with an “I’m fine, thanks. And you?” every time.
That’s not to say that we don’t talk feelings in my family. On the contrary, it’s often all we do. And that, strangely combined with the Southern background and church culture of my childhood, is exactly why I would just rather not rehash all the nasty stuff that’s going on inside my heart, if you don’t mind, thank you very much.
Now, I can put on my Bible Study Face and confess all my sins and dredge up long-forgotten hymns and half-memorized Scripture to meet each situation.
But the truth? Well, the truth is, friends, that I’m not really addressing my issues.
I’m doing a lot of talking and a lot of listening to my Bible study friends. But I’m not doing much praying and certainly not enough of listening to my God.
Apparently – I either believe that I can handle all my junk on my own, or I believe that my junk isn’t that bad after all. And I think it’s a little bit of both.
One of the things that Jennifer said in the video that accompanies last week’s chapter was this: When we are full of ourselves, we dishonor God and we are the most miserable.
I think that’s the place I’m sitting squarely in. Full of myself, but standing my ground. Because taking a step outside of that spot to dig deeper into truth and reality and issues? Is scary.
There you have it: I’m scared. I don’t like this study. It’s hard. This stuff hurts.
And as scary as it was to admit all that to you, it’s even scarier to think about truly opening up my heart and really leaning on God to work through this thought closet renovation.
But I’m going to do it. Partly because I don’t like to be a quitter. And partly because I so enjoy our Monday night chats and can’t imagine dropping out on you. But also because this is what I need to do. God didn’t bring me to this study for no reason. It’s no accident that I found this book and found a group of ladies to join me in working through it.
So I’ll keep on keeping on. Will you?
[For those of you not struggling quite so desperately, I also discuss this week’s lesson at To Live Beautiful, where I ask: What tangible things do you use to remind yourself of God’s blessings in your life?]
This post is linked to What I Learned This Week.