When I feel like I have come to a wall in my life I had gotten into the habit of taking a personal inventory of myself. I split it into 2 lists, a YES list and a NO list. My YES list contains the personal qualities about myself that I see as helpful or things that I find good about myself. My NO list are the character defects in which I can attribute the reasons as to why I feel I have come to my wall.
This past wall I have hit came on a year ago. I was just about to start my personal inventory back then because I could sense a wall coming, and then the wall fell down on top of me before I could start taking the bricks down one by one. Needless to say I never got around to doing my personal inventory until tonight. I was too busy trying to claw my way out of the rubble. I wish I had done my inventory sooner, but then this wall was just waiting to fall down on me at some point anyway.
Tonight’s inventory was more eye opening than it had ever been. It felt more honest and clearer. I didn’t have to stop and think about my faults, they just flowed out of me without effort. It also wasn’t a pity list like they had felt like in the past. This list is raw, real and anyone who truly knows me or has spent a great deal of time with me would probably agree with everything that is on it.
It included things like: selfish, insecure, self-seeking, lazy, argumentative, manipulative, fearful, boastful, stubborn, childish and pushy. Doesn’t really paint me in the best light does it? You know, this person who can sit here and spout off the need to be grateful to you one day but struggles most with selfishness. Doesn’t sound very grateful. In fact it’s pretty much the exact opposite. I’m grateful for the things I have, but I still want more.
I struggle with this blog itself because many times I fight the urge, sometimes unsuccessfully, to use it in order to speak indirectly to certain individuals who I know may/may not end up reading that particular post. That’s where part of my struggle with manipulation, boastfulness and childishness comes in to play. It’s rarely the case, but I do find myself feeling regret after having posted a blog that I know will come across to that person as being directed at them. I lose sight of the original intent of my writing and that is to simply share my testimony in hopes that others can relate and feel encouraged. To grow bonds and gain insight from others and their own testimony.
Needless to say there are many things about myself that I am not attracted to. I thought I was doing good and that I was still growing, but honestly I was still butting my head on the wall and simply willing it to go away. Thinking that it was someone else’s turn to do the heavy lifting for a change.
I try, honestly I do, each day to turn my cares and issues over to the care of God, but I haven’t been doing a very good job. I keep snatching them back from him. Like the addict that I am….Someone who is trying to quit smoking will sometimes throw out half a pack of cigarettes thinking, “that’s it.” But when the craving or the itch hits, when the feeling of stress starts to cloud their judgment, they will dig through the garbage to find that pack of smokes and justify that they’re still ok to smoke. Just 5 more, THEN they’re done.
It’s the same with me and handing things over to God. “Ok God, today I am giving you my first. I am going to listen to your guidance, I will be patient and kind and I will let you move as you will.” Then something triggers an old emotion and I panic. I fight frantically to control the urge to react prematurely but then I’m provoked again and I go scrounging for that old habit. “Well they kept pushing me, God! What was I supposed to do?! Just let them walk all over me? Just let them keep thinking something bad about me? They needed to be convinced of the person that I am trying to be!”
Then, as the dust of my mistake settles, a feeling of guilt and remorse sets in and I tuck tail, approach God and ask for forgiveness while trying to hand the keys back over to him. Like the teenager who snuck the truck keys out of dad’s coat pocket while he was sleeping and took it for a drive even though he was told not to. Then, after backing over the mailbox and waking up the household, walking up to dad and handing the keys back over…awaiting the scolding.
That’s how I feel tonight, stronger than I ever have and it’s scary. I know my payment is come due but I don’t know when the bill is going to arrive. Either way, I can do nothing but wait for it. I would like to think that it won’t be as heavy as I’m afraid it will be, but I know that I must willingly take the blow to my ego. That I need to hold tight to my YES list and use my good attributes to get me through. Most of all, I need to hand my life over to the care of God and just grit my teeth when things start to feel uneasy. There’s no growth without the “ow.”
God, I offer myself to Thee- to build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt. Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will. Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy Power, Thy Love, and Thy Way of Life. May I do Thy will always!Tags: Character flaws, courage, faith, God, Growth
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