Sunday Sentiments is an attempt to record what God has been teaching me and the way in which He does it.
A few years ago I was heading to my monthly dinner with college friends. My good friend Melissa was in my car and we chatted the whole drive there. I don't remember what we were talking about. Maybe she was worried that we would be late, while I was sure the traffic would start moving and we'd get there on time. I do remember that she turned to me and said, "you're so positive, Leigh! I need to spend more time with you." It was a nice compliment but it absolutely floored me. I'm a positive person? Did she realize who she was talking to?
Of course, she did. She was talking to her friend who always listens to others, always encourages everyone else, who is always sure that things will turn around...for everyone else.
I realized that I am indeed a positive person- but only about others. I tend to be more pessimistic about my own life. If anything can go wrong, it will. Because it's me. The dreams of my innermost heart will never come true. Because it's me. God loves me but He doesn't want those dreams to come true. Because it's me. Somehow, somewhere along the line, I began believing that I am the exception to the rule.
This faulty belief system has been nagging at me the last couple of weeks, in the sense that I need to actually work on it. Someone brought up a similar struggle during our discussion of the Beth Moore study we're doing. I don't think I'm alone in this. I have no idea why I feel like I’m the exception to God’s rule. Is this some aspect of my past self-esteem issues that I've never dealt with? Perhaps I don't believe I'm worthy of God's love or blessing. I've overcome a lot of those hurdles but this could be left over, a lie I didn't realize I believe.
Is it easier to believe that God doesn't want good things for me, than to keep hoping and waiting for His timing? That's my default. Instead of going to God with my hurts in these particular areas, I just chalk it up to "God doesn't want me to be happy." In a sense, that's true. My earthly happiness is not God's greatest concern. God wants me to be dependent on Him. Maybe if some of these things happened, I would not lean on Him. Maybe God, in His infinite wisdom, knows that my desires would not truly be met if these things happened, or at least if they happened NOW or in my sense of timing. We will never be satisfied in this lifetime. Instead of wrestling with that truth and the fact that my dreams may not be in my best interest, I revert to "exception clause" beliefs.
I don't think I'm the exception with everything in my life, though. I can clearly point to how He’s worked in my life. God has done some huge things (um, my entire move to Nashville), He's allowed some dreams to come true (my cheap trip to Ireland), He's given me strength to deal with my past depression, and so much more. I apparently cling to the fact that He hasn’t done some of the things I think He should do. It's a lack of faith really. It's a belief that my way is better than His, which is getting me nowhere.
I’m not sure how to embrace truth in this area. I’m hoping between the Beth Moore study, quiet times, and conversations about embracing truth, I’ll move a step closer.
Do you ever believe you're the exception? What has helped you move past the lies to the truth?