The War Within

This is a blog post for the people pleasers – self-confessed or still closeted.

It feels unnatural to take stock of all the things in one’s soul that need tending to, when the rush of life recedes. These faint murmurs, rumblings and stirrings within that were lost amidst the clamor of busyness seem to come to life with a vengeance. I am yet to make up my mind on what analogy best suits this fact – skeletons dancing in darkness or tender shoots of green springing forth to life when well watered? Since I believe this is a “God-season” I will go with the latter.

Early this year I wrote a blog post titled “My Year of Intentional”. I have wanted so many times to pull the post down and pretend that I did not write it. It seemed too vulnerable, too cry-babyish, too whiny and too internalized – or so I have been telling myself. But I left it up there in the hopes that vulnerability would somehow begin to feel comfortable after a time (for the record – I am still waiting) and also because I hoped that another soul on a similar journey might read it and know that they are not alone in this “being over doing” journey.

If you are anything like me – the only thing you tend to do more than wanting to make people happy, is trying to keep them happy. At any cost. And so the stories we spin justifying why another’s desires, wants and even perceived needs might be more important than our well-being, what is best and doable, somehow gets all tangled up until honest reality and the value we place on ourselves being people pleasers at all costs, exist in parallel universes that do not cross paths…ever.

A wise advisor reminded me today that I am not Jesus. That Jesus’ body was broken on that cross once and for all, so that His broken body could absorb the pain of every broken, human soul and that I did not have to keep breaking mine in order to fix another’s brokenness. That was His job. I must let God be GOD.

To me this means that when family situations are not resolved because people are stuck in un-loving, self-serving patterns, when friendships do not work out the way your heart desires them to, when pain from past wounds of abuse, violence, betrayal, trauma …. surface time and time again impacting the present, when partners hurt each other knowing exactly which buttons to push, when working relationships do not work, when nothing about who we are in the world’s eyes fits who we are on the inside, when loved ones are ripped from our arms by death, when a couple’s longing for a baby remains just that…a longing, when loved ones stand helplessly by as a family member battles sadness and depression, and/or addiction and when nothing in this world makes sense or fits the picture of God being in control – God is still God.

You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.

Isaiah 26:3 ESV

The need to justify and fix, and the choice to accept and rest, will always war within us. One comes with control and the other acceptance. Choosing control throws us back into a state of doing and unrest. Choosing acceptance brings rest and peace. It almost always brings with it a deep sense of grief like it did for me as I realized that I can not save or mend what is broken (even if it means that I am willing to die trying) and that I might have to live knowing that the broken will remain so on this side of heaven. But I choose to believe that God is still GOD. He sees beyond the realms of heaven into an eternal tomorrow and knows that somehow, someday, it will be well.