I am attempting to gather my thoughts, and it's taking longer than I thought it would.
Several weeks...and hey, maybe these thoughts aren't the sort that get gathered after all, aye? So I'll just try to sort through them in this way, instead. When I can see them in front of me, and read through them, and tilt my head, and see what I can get done in that way.
So. yeah. I've been struggling, I guess. For no good reason, which is always the worst kind of struggle- with no pinpointed reason why, it's hard to make it stop. And before you know it, you're stuck in this cycle of internal struggle because you don't know why you're there, and what does it matter anymore, you'll just deal. But no! I do not want to deal! I want to fight it! Or do I? See, the internal struggle...
The verses that came to mind was Romans 7:15-18. It's Paul's somewhat famous internal struggle. He says:
"15 I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. 16 But if I know that what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law is good. 17 So I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.18 And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature.[a] I want to do what is right, but I can’t."
It's nice to know I'm not the only person who wonders, "Why do I do what I don't want to do? Why do I insist on feeling what I don't want to feel? Why am I making myself unhappy when I see the way to happiness?" Honestly, I want to be happy. I truly do. I have felt the joy that comes with submission to Christ and I want it, every single day. But...there's always but. But it seems that set myself up for failure, and then stay there. This weekend a bunch of my friends were out of town, and so I hung out mostly with my best friend, and something just felt off. And as the days went by, I couldn't put my finger on it, but something seemed wrong, and it was just making me frustrated and angry with her. However, instead of confronting her, I just continued to let all of that bitterness fester even though I honestly had no idea why we were mad at each other. It seriously impacted my days- this feeling of hurt and neglect and abandonment and cold-shoulder syndrome and I had absolutely no explanation for it, except for "she was being that way towards me." And the angrier I got, the less I wanted to confront her and the more I just wanted to pout and sulk. I could throw blame and say she should have confronted me because she started it or something, but, no, the fault is mine- I should've confronted her. I knew what I was feeling. I know myself- well. And yet, I knew what I wanted and what would feel the best, and I just continued to be bitter about it.
But two things have been brought to my attention by this situation, both things that I have discovered before and that I'm sure I'll discover again. Number one is this: I tend to let my relationships take precedence in my life. I worry so much about what my friend does and thinks of me and being with her, and not just the best friend I have now- it seems it's always been that way. This is no good, because it doesn't matter at all what she thinks, and I don't want to be her, I want to be me, running in my own lane, using my own gifts, living my own life, which has a totally different purpose than hers. BUT, I see that I don't need to shift my direction completely- just to a different best friend. I need to stop letting any earthly relationship steal the spotlight form the one with my Father. Secondly, I need to just do it, whatever it is that I think I don't want to do because I feel like sulking and pouting and feeling unhappy is better, because being happy is better.
Said best friend called and I think most things got squared away and clarified and I don't know for sure, but that's a first step, right? Right.
I read this.
And I realized that it's my sinful nature, and it's the Devil attacking me. I mean, seriously- unhappiness isn't of God. God is joy and love. Sure, God lets things happen to you that make you unhappy, but this isn't that situation. This is the Devil, trying to steal the progress I'm making, and I say, no, sir. Step away, man. You will not win! I will turn to the Lord and He says, "Look, you're not alone. Even the apostle Paul had a sinful nature and yours is no worse than his. The Devil attacked him, too. You're not alone." Okay. I'm not alone. And I have a Redeemer who will be waiting to renew and refresh me.
Hallelujah. With this knowledge, I am tackling next week. Pray for me- and I'll say a little prayer for you, too.