It's not about me. That's the core issue lately. And I have been making it about me and about what I experience right now. Who is going to want to spend his life with me? How am I going to pay off this bill? Why can't I have a home? Well, at least I was being honest in my selfishness! Admitting all of this exposes a lot of issues. They're all sort of crashing down on me at once, and it's time to do some deep digging and let some buried things heal. David is a perceptive person, and one thing he said to me on Wednesday is that whatever is in my heart that contributed to the situation I'm in now is something that God wants to heal and it's very deep. He couldn't have been more right.
I need to look better over the actual text for tonight. I was playing catch up while he was speaking, and I think class will go much better if I'll stop that. A lot of good things did come out of my catch-up session, and I want to try to fit them together with some things that were said tonight and some things I've been going through.
We started class tonight with a passage (Ephesians 4:17-24):
So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more. You, however, did not come to know Christ that way. Surely you heard of him and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
He talked about the difference between sensuality and sensitivity. Sensuality is focused . on what I experience (my feelings, sensations, etc.) Sensitivity is an awareness of what God is doing. ... It's not about me. This really comes down to three fundamental questions asked in the Foundation Stones book. Why does God love me? Who am I? What is my purpose in life?
Satan attacks in three areas of belief: the abundance of God, our freedom in Christ, and the goodness of God. This is my summary, and in the book he goes on to dissect the conversation with the serpent and Eve and show how each of these areas was attacked. That pattern holds true in my own temptations. I've also been thinking about something Sheila Walsh said in a 1991 seminar at Praise Gathering. Temptation is always in my greatest area of need. It isn't wrong for me to have needs, but I have to trust God to supply them rather than letting them take my focus from God. And that's exactly what I did. I made a person an idol.
The discussion about lies was very powerful for me. I made a note that lies aren't necessarily communicated in words--they don't have to be when they're on a spiritual/emotional level. But they can be expressed in words. I think that the lies started for me in my infancy, when I was left alone and nothing I could do would summon someone to comfort me or meet any basic needs. "Take what you get," is the name of the game for preemies--and you often get things you don't bargain for. A baby in NICU is not only stuck in an environment she isn't ready for. She also gets a lot of pain that other babies generally never experience. I learned that pain was the norm and that no one cared; and I transferred that belief to God. Even though I know better, part of me still holds that experience and she believes the lie. God doesn't care if I cry. He only cares about something that cannot be real or understandable to me. But that isn't truth. It's a lie that I have lived by for a long time. I have to challenge it by standing on the truth, whether or not I feel like I can believe it. Eventually I will be able to see that truth being manifest in my life. It already has been, and when I testify to it I draw my own attention to God. I build sensitivity. This is what's called overcoming by the word of my testimony.
All the things that I've been through have a purpose. I'm trying to put a spin on that. Even the time in the NICU had a purpose besides just keeping me alive. God is using it to show me that He knows about everything that I experience, whether or not I realize it. Maybe I can make better sense of that tomorrow... Sleepy...