Sunday, November 8, 2009
No one has ever become poor by giving. - Anne Frank
"Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. 13But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed." (1Peter 4:12-14 NIV)
Then the mother of Zebedee's sons came to Jesus with her sons and, kneeling down, asked a favor of him. 21"What is it you want?" he asked. She said, "Grant that one of these two sons of mine may sit at your right and the other at your left in your kingdom." 22"You don't know what you are asking," Jesus said to them. "Can you drink the cup I am going to drink?" "We can," they answered. 23Jesus said to them, "You will indeed drink from my cup, but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared by my Father." 24When the ten heard about this, they were indignant with the two brothers. 25Jesus called them together and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. 26Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 27and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— 28just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." (Mathew 20:20 - 28 NIV)
Do you know what my problem was most of my life? (Ok...there were lots, but lets just go for the Big Daddy of all problems, k!?) Do you want to know why I was depressed, dissatisfied, selfish, fearful, and always left wanting more? I lacked understanding of the one act/concept/desire that is the key to the knowing and experiencing the heart of God....One little word, big big big thing:
Giving is the key to everything.
I wasn't a giver.
I was a taker. I was a requirer. I was a blamer. I was an expecter. (A smiley and cute taker, requirer, blamer and expecter...and that's what made it hard to detect.)
I wasn't a forgiver. I wasn't a server. I wasn't a follower of Jesus.
You can't serve without giving. You can't truly love without giving. You can't grow without giving.
Without true giving there is nothing. Love means nothing. Friendship doesn't exist. Pain and Growth are nada. You can't have God living in you and not become a giver. You just can't. When the Spirit of God guides you, you become a giver without even thinking about it. Because that is God's way. Giving. He gave up His only Son for us. Giving is the way that God operates.
I spent a lot of years not understanding the concept of giving in the way that Christ gives. Sure, I gave things...when it was convenient for me, easy for me, or made me look sweet and nice....but I am sure I rarely gave when the giving would require pain or self sacrifice. Heeeeeck no. I didn't want to be a sucker. I deserved respect darn it.
I didn't even give to people that I really loved. Because the only love I knew was a copy of what real love is. I hadn't met with Love yet. Not really.
I have never loved like I love now. The love I love now...is for real. It's deep, wide, and awesome. Because it's God's love. Our human, fleshly love can only take us so far.
Until I met God, I didn't understand what love really was, not even with my family. I think I mimicked what I thought love should look like, but I didn't really really get it until I got a taste of the love of God. It's still a hard thing for me. It just seems too good to be true. Could God really want someone like me sitting at His right hand!? The answer is yes....yes He does want someone like me sitting at His right hand. He wants everyone. Here's where it gets tough....just like Jesus told Zebedee's sons, James and John, yes..they can sit by Him in Heaven, but they have to be willing to drink the cup He is going to drink. This means that if you want to hang out with Jesus and be great..you have to be willing to do what he did. And what He did is He served. He gave. He gave EVERYTHING. He gave His life. The concept of serving is hard because of our pride. People feel like they "deserve" to be treated a certain way, but God is no respecter of persons. We are all loved the same in His eyes no matter what we do.
We are a world of people that feel like we "deserve" stuff. We think the world....and God....owe us something. We all think we deserve respect, deserve the best things in life, etc. That is what society is telling us....but really....we don't "deserve" jack. In fact, I think the world needs a time out.
Ever since I wrote that blog last week about my ex, I have been realizing so much about myself. Old Katie was selfish, fearful, and manipulative. Ew. I covered it up pretty well unless you got too close. Then you could see the truth....the emptiness....the fear....the void. I felt like I "deserved" to be treated a certain way...no matter how I acted. I wish I could say that he was the only guy that I manipulated and treated so selfishly...but that is just not the case. What I have been dealing with this week is the fact that because I didn't have God in my life, I hurt a lot of people. I didn't think about them. I thought about me. All I thought about was...What could they do for me? I wasn't asking much...just that they fill the huge empty hole in my life and cater to my insecurities and fears.
I am so glad that in real life the ghosts of boyfriends past don't come and visit you....because I would be totally and completely mortified by how I acted. I just loved to blame everything on everyone else. It was ALWAYS the guys fault. Not mine.
I don't know why I feel compelled to air all my dirty laundry via my blog, which at this point I am kinda hoping only my mom reads...lol....but I just have to get it out of me. If I have to be something in this world, then why not be a chronic oversharer. It may not all make sense, but that's ok. I just have to write what I think I should write no matter whether I think it's important or not. I'm not ashamed of my past. I regret my actions and deeply apologize to anyone that I treated badly. I've apologized before, but never with the sincerity that I apologize with today. I want people to know the truth. I don't really know what people thought of me years ago, but I suspect that in general people would have considered me nice, fun, happy...maybe. My point of airing my dirty laundry is to show that we allllllllll need God. I appeared to have it all together, but I was seriously messed up. We all have this void in us that makes us act like selfish, self-deserving, fearful, yucky poo faces...unless we let God come in to where He belongs...in the void...in our hearts. Without God, we can't understand true giving, true love, and true serving.
If I have to go through hard times and feel some pain and suffer for God...so be it. I suffered before knowing God, and it got me nothing but depressed. Jesus is asking us to sacrifice and suffer in the way He did....drink His cup....and the way that He suffered was to serve and to sacrifice out of love no matter what people did or said to Him. If I have to be single and "suffer" being lonely sometimes, eating dinner by myself, paying bills by myself, sleep by myself, etc...so be it. If I have to "suffer" people judging me because I don't drink, go hang out at clubs, and sleep around....so be it. These little sacrifices are NOTHING compared to the miracles that God has already done in my life and will continue to do. There are so many ways that people truly suffer in the world...I don't consider it true suffering to sacrifice for God.
Ok...so...stepping down off the soap box now. I can't promise I won't talk about it again. I also don't want it to come across like I am talking bad about myself and don't like myself. I am talking about the old me in these posts and she is long gone, so we don't have to worry about hurting her feelings. For the first time in all my life I truly realize my worth. It took me a long time, but now I get it. I'm awesome. I will never be that empty girl again. I love ME!!! But that is only because me is me because of God. So, while I am talking about the past because I am dealing with it and moving on....I'm not trying to be self depricating....I'm straight up amazing and I know it. Ok...seriously, I'm done now....