This is embarrassing to admit, but despite the fact that my husband and I moved into our home about a year ago, we still have a mess in our basement. When I use the word mess…I mean disaster. My husband moved my boxes of childhood keepsakes from my parent’s basement to ours and I have recently begun the process of attempting to purge through everything I have a hard time letting go of.
My name is Bekah and I am a sentimental schmuck.
I seriously found a project on Japan that I completed in the third grade that, for some reason, has made it twenty years and two moves later. I worked VERY hard on that project, domo arigatou!
If you’re like me, you cannot just throw journals away without re-reading them…even college notebooks have provided a few hours of entertainment (I can’t believe I stopped taking notes THERE! Tell me MORE about the Faerie Queene!)
One pocket-sized, silver-bound notebook has been my favorite find so far. Written in the pages were the musings of a twenty-three year old woman on the precipice of the most dramatic change of her life.
In light of Andy Stanley’s new series, Starting Over, I thought it would be appropriate to start a new blog series called “Buckhead Bytes,” where I take the Sunday Sermons and transfer them to every day. Even though I will be writing a week behind the series, I figured this particular story was worth telling.
The second sermon of this series focused on OWNING your part in your past. Up until the journal entry that I will share, I was the WORST offender of blaming EVERYTHING on everyone but myself. I was almost four years into a relationship that was not working; I was in a job that I really did not like; I was a poor friend, at best. Even so, I wanted to blame my unhappiness on other people: my boyfriend, the economy, and everyone else that hurt my feelings. I was not about to blame myself. After all, it wasn’t my fault. Or was it?
“One reason history repeats itself is that we don’t own our parts of our history. And the reason you don’t own it is there’s nothing to own—it wasn’t your fault! But if something important has come to an end and you are starting over, you must look back and own your part in order to move ahead. Your best bet for a successful future is to own your share of the past. One reason history repeats itself is that we don’t own our parts of our history. And the reason you don’t own it is there’s nothing to own—it wasn’t your fault! But if something important has come to an end and you are starting over, you must look back and own your part in order to move ahead. Your best bet for a successful future is to own your share of the past.”
In February of 2009 I wrote,
“God, please reveal your purpose for my life. Let it be all for you and for your glory. Let me be patient in the uncertainty. Let me show grace in unkindness. Let me personify restraint in overindulgence. Give me patience to wait on your time. Let me accept the things I cannot change. Let me be slow to anger. Give me rest when I am weary. Let your love shine through me. In all of my timidness and in my determination, give me the drive to do your will.”
I knew that I wasn’t living up to the standard that I should’ve been. At the time, I was working as a secretary and I was completely miserable; not because of my employer, but because of myself. I took a job that I shouldn’t have. Each of the people that I worked for deserved much better than what I was putting forth. I was unhappy, and despite my efforts to shine the love of Jesus, I was an extremely poor example for what living for Christ looked like. I was not patient. I wasn’t working hard. I was allowing my issues to cloud my witness. Many of those issues were because I was forcing a relationship with my college boyfriend that just didn’t work. We both knew it, but I was too insecure to let it go. I didn’t trust that God had someone else for me; or rather, I didn’t want to trust God to bring that person into my life.
The next entry was in April of the same year. At this point in my life, I finally began to realize that if I didn’t examine the role I was playing in my discontent, I would never be satisfied. This entry was the beginning of the end, in a lot of ways.
“Am I getting everything I want out of my job? Am I getting what I need from my relationship? Is my need for a new adventure being met? Am I the most profitable “me” I can be? Am I reaching my potential? Is this why I am not satisfied? Am I settling for just ok? I am not inspired. I do not feel validated. I feel like a waste of talent. What is it that might take me to the next level? Do I want to run away? Where is my imagination, enthusiasm, spark?? Am I bright?
What if my withdraw from social situations stems directly from my insecurity. Have I been insecure and filling a void with relationships? I want to be in love…I want a love that covers all and trusts. I don’t want to settle for someone who doesn’t want to commit to a future. It has been the same internal battle since the beginning.
Is this love even real? Is it completely impossible to find another human being who will be loyal and faithful? Does love the way I see it exist? Love is a concerted effort to see someone as more important than your own selfish desires. Have I been too selfish?
‘We must be careful not to reverse these two…God is love…Love is not God.'”
I began to ask the questions that allowed me to own my part in my history. Up until this point, I blamed my college boyfriend for “not wanting to commit,” but I didn’t see that I was dating the person who didn’t want to commit, despite his honest admissions that he didn’t want to be married. I held onto a relationship that was never supposed to work. He was the one who was honest; I was the one who wanted to be validated by having a boyfriend…even if we were miserable. I admitted that the struggle in our relationship was the “same since the beginning.” It just took me three years to see it.
I asked about my future. I asked if I was settling and wasting my gifts…and I was. It was this particular point of my past that allowed me to move…quite forcefully…into my future. I acknowledged that I was the major player in my life and that I had to start to make proactive changes in order to begin to live the way God wanted me to live.
I didn’t realize that these changes would bring me into both the darkest and richest times of my life…but that is a story for next week.