Friday, May 21, 2010

Exposing the Battle Within to the Light

I'm a walking contradiction. I want to be special and unique, but I don’t want to be different. Like anyone else, I love attention, but the moment I’m in the spotlight, I want nothing more than to be invisible. I’m not content to blindly follow others, but I fear I lack the leader mentality and I don’t care for change, but I don’t want to be stuck doing the same thing all the time either. Sometimes I grow weary of the internal battles that arise from these conflicting feelings and thoughts. Have you ever felt like that? How do we resolve the conflict and find the peace and joy Jesus came to bring us?

I could blame my predicament on my past. I’m the way I am because of the life I’ve lived. The abuse and pain of my life have screwed me up beyond ever being “normal” or fitting in with the group. However, I know that to be a lie because nothing is beyond God’s power to overcome or heal. Jesus gave sight to the blind, made the lame walk, and brought the dead back to life. He can and has healed my heart and my life from the pain of my past. So much for that excuse.

I could try to rationalize it away. I’m shy and an introvert. I’m never going to be the magnetic personality that my extrovert friends are. It’s never going to be easy for me to be outgoing or “normal” by society’s standards because it’s just not my personality. Well, that’s just wrong too. Perhaps I am wired differently than an extrovert, but that doesn’t mean I am less valuable as a person. Being an introvert doesn’t make me less capable, it makes me capable in other ways. God created me to be what I am and to chastise myself for not being something else sounds rather foolish to me.

As I pondered how to resolve the conflict within me this week, I began to realize that if I am to embrace the peace and joy Jesus brings, I need to first embrace Jesus in my life. I need to look at my life through him. God created me as a unique individual. When you think about it – everyone is created as a unique individual, so in that sense, I’m no different than anyone else. Being the center of attention is never easy for a person who practices humility. And because of the humble heart God is cultivating in me, it is Jesus who is and will be glorified when I find myself in the spotlight. I’m okay with that. And after much soul searching, I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m too much of a leader to be a follower and too much of a follower to ever lead well. That is on my own. However, I am committed to following Jesus where ever he leads me and I am comfortable with the idea of encouraging others to come with me. I will follow Jesus and they can follow me. (Sort of like middle management.) Lastly, change is constant. Sometimes it’s good. Sometimes it’s bad. Always, Jesus is with me which means I have my All-Powerful, Loving Savior and God with me in all change - his unchanging nature guiding me through the changes of life. Yes, when I look at my life through him, I can’t help but find the peace and joy he brings.
About the pictures:
Pittsburgh, PA (May 2010)

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