I think one of the greatest challenges for me as a writer, as a human, is my tendency towards complete transparency. While some might find it endearing, and disarming, others can find it tedious; possibly even challenging. Over the past few weeks, I have sat down to write more times than I can count, only to start, stop, delete, start again and walk away.
Politics, stone-throwing, tantrums, civil rights violations, social injustices, family fueds, dying dreams and a hectic personal/family life has left me with plethora material to bring to dialogue, but not enough heart to engage.
Coming off a 40-day fast a few weeks back, I felt grounded. Restored. Breathing and speaking from a position of faith and intentionality. A few days of reality, an election, real food, lack of focus, and, voila! … I found myself trying to do life and relationships solo again.
My worldly filters, life experience and personal opinions began to cloud (once again!), my mind. Instead of filling time with worship and the Word, my free moments were turned over to the world around me and my emotions. Attempts to choose faith over fear were attacked by “well-meaning” friends, and my heart sunk as I found myself struggling to choose to remain in my self-assigned role as peace-maker.
My grace meter quickly drained.
The biggest mountain I have ever managed is not marriage or parenting, being the perfect daughter or sister, wife or friend, but to be who God has called me to be. Sometimes it can feel as though every person I value is choosing to deliberately derail me from my space – calling me out, testing me, just begging me to lose my temper… to embrace my self-indulgent nature and dive into chasms of fear, anger, unforgiveness and judgement. Some days, it feels that the more calm and love I choose, the angrier those around me become.
Would it be easier to just give in??
Not too long ago, someone close, told a mutual friend that they were surprised I still loved them after how they have treated me. It struck me so deeply that the knowledge was there; it wasn’t ignorance that caused my pain, and I have been challenged as to how to even have relationship with them moving forward.
It’s the craziest thing to love those who do not return it. And yet, how can we do any less than what we are called to do?
Love with expectation of reciprocity is not love at all.
At the end of the day, we have only ourselves. As much as I would like to please all of you – touch every heart and motivate every spirit – there is only myself and my God I am ultimately beholden to. Every day is an opportunity to choose the positioning from which we will operate, regardless of the way that those around us choose to live, to love, or, to not. True love, raw authenticity, real relationship is rooted in pure heart, clear vision and a passion to walk out this life with a full intention of completing our own unique, God-designed purpose.