Tuesday, August 23, 2011

5.17.2009 Enter In

Some days I just want to run away from my life. I convince myself that my husband is never going to change [into the impossibly perfect man that I want him to be], that I will never have enough energy to entertain my baby one more day, that I cannot possibly handle one more whine out of the dog, and that given my lack of friendships, I might as well head to the hills without a backward glance.  Being around people - being with people - being available to people - can be exhausting.

And if I gave in to that extremely self-centered notion that I'm suffering in this droning existence, it would take little effort, once my husband walked in the door, to hand him the child and walk out in search of some undefined hope of a better life.  Or I could stay and suffer in silence, letting bitterness and resentment build up without a word, allowing my imagination to multiply the offenses committed against me and transforming my circumstances into the direst of dramas.

Instead, I battle on with(in) myself. 

I have to choose to fight - to fight FOR my marriage by bringing forth my complaints, however unreasonable they may be, releasing my judgments, and being at peace with my spouse.  To fight against my selfishness that desperately wants to claim me a victim in the struggle for joy.  Every day, I have to choose to move towards the people I care about, to press in to the trials I face, to believe that the hard work of relationships and community is worth the effort because the alternative - the idealized vision of an utopian existence isolated from trouble - is a big fat LIE.

I believe that this temporal life is a war for our souls and that the outcome of this fight determines our eternity.  There are so many empty things battling for my energy that I often lose sight of what I really should be fighting for.  So sometimes I lose the battle.  Sometimes I feel tired from working so hard to serve others, to give generously, to be kind and gentle when I just want to stand up and scream "What about me?!?"  Sometimes I feel too weak to keep moving forward in love.

But I know that the final victory will be mine because when I have my head on straight, I rely on a power much greater than my own.  Jesus said "I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world."

A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.  Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil.  For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.
 Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm.  Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness.  For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the good news so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers.
                 ~ excerpt from Paul's letter to the church at Ephesus     

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