It's been a six month long stint of reading Mere Christianity. Slow going, but so so worth it. Mr. Lewis has given me so much to gnaw on lately. I know I say it every post, but at this point it's tradition so I will just say it again, these past few months have been so hard. It's been change after change, heartbreak after heartbreak, and it's left my mind destitute and my heart empty. The glue that's been holding me together is the fact that the Lord has been so faithful in it all. So true and tangible. So good.
The constant ripping away of familiarity has left me a lot of space to question things. Space to ask about whether my way of life is Truth or is familiar. Not that familiar is bad, it's just familiar. But a lot of times we mistake familiarity for Truth. Maybe our way isn't always the only right. And if that's true then we need to shut up a lot more and grace others with the ability to find their own right way. C.S. Lewis says it this way, "You may say that we are washed in the blood of the Lamb. You may say that Christ has defeated death. You can say that Christ died for our sins. You may say that the Father has forgiven us because Christ has done for us what we ought to have done. They are all true. If any of them do not appeal to you, leave it alone and get on with the formula that does. And, whatever you do, do not start quarreling with other people because they use a different formula from yours."
God did not create us to create a cookie cutter Christianity based on one system of right. God created us to possess complete individuality. As I've written before, individuality is so hard for me. I tend to latch on to others individuality and wish it my own to the point where I am just a hodge podge of other people's interests. But that's where this season comes in. I know I'm no where near the edge of the woods yet, but I do believe the Lord has given me this season to shatter the facade I've created. It's a time for me to be completely my own and to learn to enjoy who that is, and to enjoy the own-ness of others.
I love to read and learn. I love to know things. I love coffee. But....I'm not necessarily picky, I may not be similar to anyone I know, and I am afraid to try new things. I don't think I'm going to come out of this having a Do's and Don'ts list of things I like and don't, but I do think that when I find those things, I'm going to be a whole lot more likely to let that be me.
The thing my sister and I talked about yesterday that has struck such a strong chord came from a conversation about our mother. My mom is wonderful. Gracious, gentle, a fantastic listener, and completely her own person. She is so comfortable with who she was created to be that she gladly invites you to join her in the activities she loves, but is not offended if you don't want to join her. She is satisfied in Christ. Her wholeness is there. And that's what it comes down to. My mother is Christ to me. She emanates who I would so see Him being here (with a fleshy side too, don't hear me say I think my mother is perfect). But the reason I know it's Christ in her is because I cannot for the life of me pinpoint a characteristic to be why I see that in her. I look at my mother and say, "wow, there must be something bigger that is changing her and making her this person. That isn't human." I KNOW it has to be God in her.
And that's what I want. I want to be consumed with Christ in my individuality. I want Him to create in me a person who is not looking to be admired and loved, but who is looking for Christ. In 1 Samuel the people of Israel ask Samuel to appoint them a king so they can be like everyone else. They don't need a king, they have God to lead them. But they don't care that they have what is good, they want what is the norm. God ends up giving it to them and it screws them over. Their king ends up being an awful man totally bent on protecting his ego. I think that's how I've been. The Lord is here, waiting for me to just admit that who I am is good enough because I was created by Him but I keep wanting what everyone else has. Instead of asking Christ to come in and work in the passions and desires He's given me, I keep asking for new ones, "better" one's. But in the end it's not better. It's just different, and not my own. And if I keep wanting what everyone else has then I'm going to screw myself out of the goodness of the relationship God has in mind for me and Him. That breaks my heart.
It's Christmas Eve. Tonight and tomorrow are going to be spent hearing about Christ being born. About the hope of knowing that sometimes the different, even seemingly ridiculous way, can be the best way. The way that brings about wonderful things. May the Lord consecrate this time to Him. I pray with deep desire that all of us experience that kind of hope and joy these next twenty-four hours. May the knowledge of God's willingness to work in everything draw us to Him. May He take away the fear of hard things and fill us with the knowledge of His nearness through them. May we understand God's goodness and loosen the expectations we have of Him to be a certain way. May the Lord keep coming in manger's, keep surprising us.