It’s amazing how quickly life can become mundane. I’m at the beginning of my seventh week here in crazy YWAM land, and some how or other it’s become routine. Already we all are starting to take for granted that we get THE WORD OF GOD poured into us every day. Already we’re accustomed to the amazing people that surround us and have forgotten that it won’t always be this way. Already complaining has crept in here and there, and crankiness and comparison and all those annoying lies that always sneak in, no matter how “sanctified” the environment we’re in, apparently. It’s really frustrating!
This weekend, my old enemy self-pity paid a visit. I’m one of those people (are we all this way?) who falls prey to comparison from time to time. I have this crazy cycle I go through: 1. Life is good and hunky dory and I have all the friends and am super happy. Hurray! 2. I start taking everything for granted and stop trying so hard to reach out and be friendly. 3. I start having more and more alone time and begin to get sad that people aren’t reaching out to me. 4. I begin suspecting everyone around me of secretly thinking I’m really boring and not wanting to hang out with me. Everyone has other friends they would rather spend time with. I’m just everyone’s background friend, and unless I force my presence on people they will forget I even exist. 5. Something happens to “confirm” this attitude, and I melt down in a torrent of bitterness, anger, and self-pity. It’s not a pretty cycle.
This week the last straw was my friend rescheduling my appointment for a henna tattoo not once, but twice! How dare she? I had to work all weekend and had limited time off and she literally forgot about me the first time and should already feel bad and so she should definitely keep our second appointment and how dare she have the nerve to reschedule after all that, I was doing her a favor since she was the one trying to raise outreach fees anyway!! Amiright? All the righteous indignation. OOOOOOHHHH I wanted to vent! I wanted to rant at her when we finally did meet up, or just cancel on her out of spite. I stomped around the last hour of work duty and glared silently at an evil and uncaring world.
Buuuuut, it appears that fortunately something has gotten through in the past 7 weeks. Because I decided that instead of venting, or worse, going into my appointment full of pointy passive-aggressive comments, I would try this new thing called “giving it to God.” So I went to the prayer room and sobbed out all of my self-pity, poured out my feelings of rejection and insignificance. And (it was Jesus talking to me this time, it seems) all he said was, “I know. I know how much it hurts.” Suddenly I was reminded that Jesus’s own family thought he was crazy. His brothers taunted him for acting like he was all important. His disciples fell asleep on him in the garden. They abandoned him in his time of greatest need. He must have felt like they were only around because of what he could give them as they squabbled about who would be greatest in the kingdom. He had to listen to a crowd that he had only loved, only served shout “Crucify him!” He suffered through worse rejection than I ever have or ever will. And suddenly my tears weren’t for me anymore, they were for him. And I actually felt really close to him, because we were sharing our hearts with each other. Friendship goes both ways, both sides share, and that night I got to share a little of his pain instead of him just always listening to mine.
How did Jesus deal with the rejection? He always went to his Father. He turned to the One who would never reject him. I can do the same. I can seek out the One who always wants to talk with me. Who always wants to share, just Him and me, for as long as I want about whatever I want. I can turn to the One who delights in my presence and my words, Who wants to listen to me and talk to me. Feelings of rejection or insignificance may never not be part of my life. Maybe someday I’ll get rid of them entirely, but until that time I know I can turn to my Father and His Son, who gets it, instead of turning to self-pity or anger. As I look to them, the false feelings will relinquish their hold. And they did. I left the prayer room Sunday night human again. I was even able to logically consider my artist friend, who is young and sweet and understandably wanted to say “yes” to an invitation that wouldn’t come again. She did what I have done many, many times and overbooked herself. So I was able to go into my appointment with the desire to bless her an love her up instead of making her feel how much she’d hurt me. And she gave me a super awesome henna tattoo, which I wouldn’t have gotten if I’d grumpily cancelled on her.
The moral of the story? (The moral of every story…) Just give it to God.