Sunday, January 4, 2015

2014 Good Riddance

I hated 2014. I'm not sure if I hated it more or less than 2013, but I was pretty much happy to see the door slam it on the backside on its way out. 2014 was a year of getting "Unstuck". We discussed it at church, we discussed it in small groups, and I had been having my heart molded to be able to accept this way of thinking for two years prior to implementing it. However, I'm going to just say right now that getting something unstuck isn't usually pain free. Have you ever had a band-aid stuck to any part of your body? The only time I can remember pulling a band-aid off and it not feeling somewhat uncomfortable, was when it was on a finger and the thing was sloppy wet from washing my hands, so pretty much it was falling off anyway. No pain there. No effort either.

In 2014, the year of getting Unstuck, I found that all sorts of things were painful. Getting out of the sticky goo of my unhealthy attitude stung a bit. Taking my mind and body through a better eating plan sure wasn't easy, and was often downright uncomfortable. Telling people "No" sometimes hurt, and on the flip side, telling people "Yes" sometimes hurt too. All of these things were necessary.

Another painful experience was taking one more step in our marriage relationship to bring things to a place where I was me, and he was he -- instead of us being mush. I learned to choke down the meaning of the word "Codependency", and to begin to set firmer boundaries, and to love people the right way. I also decided to let God love me the way He wanted to, instead of pushing Him away and only allowing Him to love me when I felt I deserved it. That's the nice thing about love... it isn't for those who deserve it. It's for all of us who don't.

Early in the year 2014, I assisted in directing a Women's Retreat where the theme was "Get Out of the Boat". Now this theme wasn't just coincidental, believe me! My 2014 goal of getting unstuck, had begun an entire year before, when we were in the planning and developing stages of this retreat. One of the important things we discussed at that retreat was how to stop falling prey to fear. A BIG part of getting out of the boat, and to start really living, is to stop letting fear rule over our minds. Fear is basically telling God that we simply believe He can't, or He won't, fulfill His promises. We're telling everyone that our way is much better, and that His way is a lie. How selfish of me to believe that I can do things better than the one who created me??

Thankfully, the retreat went well, but unfortunately I was left to practice what I preached. (Good thing I'm not a preacher, right?) As with anyone else, getting out of the boat meant I was going to get wet more than once. Every time I looked away from the Lord, I sank. I have spent many, many hours floundering to keep my head just barely above water, trying to do things my way, trying to muscle my way through life even when I had no more energy left to move. There are times I've felt as if I'd literally leapt over the side of the boat, only to land in a sticky tar pit. Getting out of the boat and getting unstuck go together very well, but there's a fine line. You really have to watch intently where you're going, and stop looking back so much at where you've just been.