India (Part 2): Healing   2 comments

Much of my life’s darkness metastasized from this one seed thought: I felt inadequate because I accomplished so little for God and I feared  his disappointment.  If I just did a little more, I could please him at last.  And so I drove myself to extreme lengths–choosing celibacy, relocating to a city of misery, sleeping little, fasting and praying weeks at a time.  But I could never do enough to feel secure in his love, because I used my fruitfulness or effectiveness to measure his blessing and pleasure, and the results did not speak well of me.  I subconsciously assumed that God’s love for me was based on my usefulness to him.  In this way, my success was fundamental to my well-being.

I lived 40 years out of that false assumption, building up a whole network, a fully functioning system based on that foundation.  It required a long process to break free.  For the last ten years I have applied the salve of grace to my deep wound of worthlessness.  Given time, grace works effectively for me when I can identify my specific need and saturate it with mercy.    So for a decade I worked on delinking God’s love from my success, even from my behavior or choices.  I was determined to rewire my thinking, conscious and unconscious, to ground all my well-being in the unconditional love of God.  Though I did not focus on my heartbreak in India, I did focus on those underlying issues, so when it came to opening myself to that shrouded past, I found the weight had largely lifted.

It was not fully lifted because there are always new aspects of that one great confusion of grace which I need to identify and work through.  As I planned for the trip, my wife warned me against a determination for good results, but rather to do my best and leave the outcome as it came.  She knows me well, and it was good counsel.  Still I felt dragged down too much by a sense of responsibility to succeed.

I have a long way to go, but I am moving in the right direction.  I always thought I was responsible and therefore in control of my own success.  As each string tying me to that assumption snaps, I find growing relief and peace.   Results matter, matter profoundly, but I am not responsible for results, only for motives and actions.  My heart is slowly embracing the unconditional love of God… even, amazingly, when my motives and actions are faulty.  God is always packed tight with grace bursting to be free.

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Posted August 28, 2011 by janathangrace in Personal

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2 responses to “India (Part 2): Healing

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  1. I identify with much of this Kent from my time in Italy. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Hi, Greg. Thanks for sharing. I have found it brings real comfort just to know others have experienced the same things.

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