Whoever finds his life [in this world] will [eventually] lose it [through death], and whoever loses his life [in this world] for My sake will find it [that is, life with Me for all eternity].
Many Christians believe that to lose one’s life is to give up earthly things, to sacrifice their tithe and time in service, to sometimes step away from relationships that don’t honor and support our walk of faith. While these things may be true, I am discovering that to lose my life means to completely die to self – not in a sacrificial way, but to literally watch as one by one, little pieces of my personality, dreams, even values, are being chipped away.
In what has probably been my greatest season of isolation to date, I am discovering the beauty of losing all the things that I have ever known to be true.
As with us all, the years have unfolded into many seasons of loss and disappointment, breakthrough, healing, change and restoration. A life dedicated to Christ is never one of complacency or mediocrity – the adventure brings with it a predictably unpredictable ride. And yet, in the past few months of spending more time in a metaphorical bubble than not, I am experiencing a stripping of pieces of me I never fully recognized as me, let alone realize they required releasing. Some days my responses surprise me, and my inner dialogue seems only vaguely familiar. As hard as I try to hold on, the thread is thinning as I release the fragments of what is left of my former self.
More uncomfortable than the stranger I often catch a glimpse of in the mirror, is the void I sometimes experience now; the unknowing that can come with not having yet been filled back up, built back up, by His Spirit. It is this lack of direction and familiarity that feels like an actual death to me. And yet, how much more now, is my capacity to truly allow God to mold and redefine who He is truly creating me to be.
Without true death, without a completely blank canvas, how can the Creator create?
Wherever you are in your journey, I would admonish you to begin to seek such an emptying. The desert (loss) often leads to an island (isolation), and islands to mountains. When we face the mountain and choose to climb (pursue God), it initially can feel as though we don’t have enough left to reach the summit, but when we do….
Press in today, my friend. Open your hands, let go of the wheel, let the Lord lead and trust in the journey. Do not fear the emptiness, for it is here that we find our greatest fulfillment.