Today I went to a workshop about Peacemaking. Like most good things in life, you go in expecting a certain result but you leave with that expectation met and then some. I thought the course would be a great addition to the work of a reconciliation group, of which I am a member. I never expected the tools to apply so well to my role as wife and mother as well as my role as me. Yes, just me.
As I was driving to the workshop I was thinking through all the ways I can be reconciled – to God, to my husband, my children, my friends, people of other cultures, races, economic backgrounds, faith traditions. So many avenues to walk down in this pursuit of reconciliation.
Then I had this weird notion. In fact, I would even say it was a divine notion… a message given to me in the midst of my morning prayer time. I had been focusing on all these external relationships, although my relationship with God is more internal than anything else, and it occured to me that I cannot reconcile to anyone if I have not yet reconciled to myself.
I haven’t quite processed through this whole idea yet, but the first layer is expose. I’m recognizing that until I work through some of the issues in my life that cause me to split from the real me, I cannot truly have peace and unity with anyone else. This is not to say that God will only accept the perfect me or the good me. I am confident that he sees me as he created me to be and apart from my ugliness. It is me, rather, that tries to hide from him and cuts myself off from him.
The bottom line is that when I am in a place where I want what I want, and those wants aren’t necessarily God’s desire for me, in essence I say, “I am now my own god because I WILL get what I want.” I’m not talking about material things, really. I mean things like happiness and comfort. If those things are threatened, then I will take matters into my own hand instead of giving my fear of loss to God and this is where I lose part of myself. I become a fractured me in need of a reconciling to a more whole me.
I don’t mean that I will be whole in this lifetime because I think I will always be a work in progress. Nor do I mean that I will never be broken as I will certainly continue to struggle with sin. I’m talking about splitting myself into two. Not in the mulitple personality way but in a self-protective way. A way that chooses not to trust God. A way that says I think I am about to get hurt so I better do what I can to stop the pain.
I came home today with so much good information. But that’s all it is unless I make a plan on how to use the information. I am encouraged. I am hopeful. And I am willing. That’s a good start. A start in doing the honest work it will take to shift from this fractured, scared girl to a redeemed, strong woman.