Boot straps and big girl panties...
How often do I get right in front of myself and trip myself up? Too often. I can be "cruising" along and then in a moment... without much warning... find myself flat on my face... or back. Having actually just fallen on my back TWICE in the past week, and my body hurting in about 200 places, I just can't shake the image... spiritually.
I tend to lean towards being strong. I have to be... right? It runs all through my life... moments... seasons where strength is the only thing that could keep me walking, breathing, functioning. That need to be strong has actually caused some damage... subtle... but so very present. It has given birth to self-sufficiency... striving... and separation. Mistrust.
I have developed a "I don't need you" attitude towards things/people in my life and that bleeds over into my relationship with the very One I need every moment of every day. I can "pull myself up by the boot straps" and "put my big girl panties on" and just walk around on my own strength looking... well... pretty silly and childish in the eyes of the Lord. I use that strength as a blanket to hide my true vulnerable heart that is begging not to be hurt, as a wall to protect me from ones with whom vulnerability is necessary for healthy relationships, and as a badge of survival for the one in the mirror.
But when that strength fails... that strength that comes from self and fear and mistrust... I see God as the one who has failed me... not the girl in the mirror. And that causes me to draw inward even deeper... digging down for little bits and pieces of strength stored in reserve for such desperate times. Anyone can become the enemy... I am all I have... that little girl sitting in her closet floor... trying to make it through the night.
I don't want to be weak, vulnerable, broken. I fight it with everything in me. I add brick after brick to that wall... in hopes that strength and walls will give me what I need most... protection... safety.
I retreat... my heart and I... we start slowly backing away... step by step... day by day. And then there we are... alone. Empty.
"Complete weakness and dependence will always be occasion for the Spirit of God to manifest His power." Oswald Chambers~
In order for the Holy Spirit, who resides in me, to live through me, I HAVE TO STAY OUT OF HIS WAY! I can not rely on little pieces and scraps of my own mortal strength. The power that raised Christ from the dead is available to me through the Spirit! But NOT A DROP of self-sufficiency or self-strength can be present for the holy and righteous power of God to operate. It is the very opposite of what the world offers and promotes.
Why can I not grasp this... accept it... live it... be delivered in it? Freedom from walls and isolation and self tripping lie in "getting this." Yet... I fall away from this truth over and over and over.
"Are you in a place of insufficiency? Don't despair. It may feel as if God wasn't watching or caring for you when you arrived there. But not only was He watching; He planned it! He brought you there because it is the only place where He can step in and work and be acknowledged as the power behind your victories. If you were not completely unable to meet your own needs, you would receive credit for fulfilling them. He had to bring you face-to-face with His abilities." Chris Tiegreen, At His Feet.
I needed this reminder today. If one of you did, I am so thankful to share it with you.
Amazingly enough... on my calendar today... the theme for blogging is FREEDOM. How I need freedom... from my self... from my boot straps and big girl panties! Instead of burning the bra... we need a burning party of the big girl panties! LOL When in the past I reached for them... I want to only reach for HIM!
I pray I can stay out of my own way so the Spirit can move and guide me. I pray I can have the real strength to lay my strength down so that His strength can fill me. I pray I can keep my eyes focused
on the One who sustains me, loves me, and lives in me and off the one I see in the mirror. And I pray I can remember I am clothed in His righteousness and not just boots and big girl panties!