Sunday, April 6, 2008

Do more than survive...Let's live like we're alive.

God has been trying to get something across to me lately, I've realized. I'm very excited about this, but also very terrified. Let me explain.

I am a very opinionated person. I am very loud, outspoken, blunt, sarcastic, and stubborn.

Yet the question of who I am is one that I have never been able to truly answer. If I ever did manage to produce an answer, it was someone else's me. Somebody else's Eliza Ray. Or at least, the Eliza Ray Jarvis I thought they wanted.

I have always based my identity on who I am closest with at the moment. Who I believe they want to see, to know, to be with. As you can imagine, this has caused me a lot of heart ache and confusion. People don't stick with you, they're not constant, they're not unchanging. Trying to warp yourself to fit perfectly with them is impossible, for multiple reasons. Basically, it's just an awful idea to ever try to do. Because when it's time for that person to leave your life (not to be pessimistic, but let's face it, every relationship has that point), your whole foundation is going to be utterly shattered. You'll be heartbroken, lost, confused, and in unimaginable pain.

Or at least I was.

I've made that mistake over 4 times in my life. I changed who I was for who I was closest to, all the while claiming that I was very much my own person, and I would never change for anyone...Looking back, I think that was just my way of trying to convince myself that I didn't change myself for whoever walked by, when in all actuality I did. Every time those friendships came to an end - no matter what the cause behind it may have been - I was left feeling very much insecure, hurt, confused and lost. Until the next person came along that I started to grow close to.

After a certain point, I had had enough of it. I grew extremely bitter, cynical, and untrusting of others. I decided that the only person who would define me, would be myself. I convinced myself that I didn't want or need anyone other than myself. And I was totally set on this.

I'm sure you can see how ridiculous that is, and just how horrible of a decision that is. Because I wasn't just excluding people, although I thought I was, I was also excluding God. I said no one was going to define me but me...And that meant everyone.

Now, as most human beings are, I was toxic. And locking myself up inside of myself just led to a continuous poisoning of my heart, soul, and mind. I got extremely caught up in various self destructive behaviors, and was spiriling down a very dark and lonely place. But I knew who I was. I knew who and what defined me. Or at least I thought I did. Thanks to God's grace, and really and truly ONLY His grace, I finally realized what I was doing and how I had to get out of that vicious cycle. So I started trying to dig and scrape myself out. Note that I said I was trying to do it. Soon, I gave up on that. I knew I couldn't do that, and that I needed help. So who did I go back to? Other humans. Again. I went back to that same cycle of identifying myself off of other people. I didn't even realize it. I went running to them with my fears, insecurities, anger, everything. And still I felt so lost, so confused, so utterly faceless.

And then suddenly God came and grabbed my hand and pulled me out of the grave I had dug for myself.

Still though, I was unsure, untrusting, and unwilling. I'd grown quite used to my little hole.
But God kept making a point of speaking to me. It reminds me of that feeling you get when your parents keep pressing an issue, and you just desperately want them to drop it and forget it. God kept on popping up everywhere, pressing the issue. But I didn't get annoyed, like I would normally. I got kind of paranoid, and scared, while putting up the farce that I was totally accepting it.

My friend John wrote me a message, and was speaking about how we have to die to ourselves to be alive in Christ. At the opening of Aquire The Fire the message was about diving down as deep as we possibly could go in "God's water", which is what we were made for. Not just swimming in the shallow end, where we could jump in and out as we pleased. But diving in, drowning, in God. Allowing God to bring us to life again, in HIM. The worship was all about surrendering, so we could become who we are in Christ.

Everything lately seems to be revolving around letting go of who I am, dying to myself, surrendering all I have, and becoming who God would have me be. Become who I am in Him. Because that is truly who I am. I'm not just some seventeen year old girl. I am God's daughter. Seriously. I am God's daughter.

That is who I am. He sees me as I am, too. This whole image of "me"...it just doesn't matter. So I am no longer pretending to accept it. I am still terrified. But I'm not going to just pretend that I'm accepting it. I am accepting it.

I'm trying my hardest to swim to the very bottom. To surrender all of myself, every last aspect. That is what I am made to do.

Because otherwise...I'm no one.

4 comments:

Katie said...

Wow, Eliza. Profound and touching. I'm so thrilled to see that kind of change taking place in your life.

It's a good reminder of how as God's children, when we're devoted to spending time with Him each day, we can bring to Him those characteristics in people we think we'd like to emulate. He'll clearly guide us as to whether or not the characteristic is Godly and whether or not we should try to bring that into our hearts.

And really, everyone we want to emulate should really just be someone who points us to God. Something about Him that He has done in their life.

The greatest part is He'll never fail us or steer us wrong. It's so simple that, like you said, we stop and listen to the ways He keeps reminding us throughout our life.

Very good post, I loved it!

rachmipaul55 said...

thanks.

Em Williams said...

hmm.
good words.
good thoughts.


I have some stuff to wrestle with now (:

Christy Joy said...

I found your blog while googling some of Shawn McDonald lyrics and I was amazed at the depth of your thoughts. I can identify with a lot of what you've gone through. Keep surrendering.

Isaiah 30:15