Identity · Revisit

Surrender

Surrender

Emotions Anonymous has meant a lot to me these past few weeks, specifically, this week.

It has given me the space to start moving, shaking, growing. It has been a safe haven even when I don’t feel safe anywhere. Most of all, it has brought my attention to my behavior and the way I feel/treat myself.

As you read in my last post, I am done with being in the ring with myself. This was good to announce because I feel like it set some things in motion. Now I am starting to recognize the way I treat myself, the names that I call myself, the way that I am constantly hanging in the ring with myself. I am starting to observe the little lies my subconscious is throwing at me. I am starting to reveal the ring to myself, see the insults that are set into motion by a simple little mistake.

It is easier said than done, as I am learning.

As I am making my way through the book Emotions Anonymous, I am starting to realize that these steps take time, and that it is not a one and done thing. I guess I already knew that, but I didn’t yet experience the repetitiveness of it all, how I have to repeat them multiple times in one day, sometimes one hour, and that is only the first three.

But today I wanted to share the third step with you, because I feel that this has made a real difference in my life. Even though I know most Christians already know this, I feel like it makes a real difference to practice it, because I’ve noticed how many times I realize that I take the step back immediately after practicing it. I’ve noticed how controlling I am in some aspects of my life, how quick I am to want to regain control of a situation. And because control won’t really get any of us anywhere, I feel I should share my story with this step (a story that is still being written), and maybe invite you to do the same.

3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.

I know that this is kind of basic to Christianity, when we become centered and rooted in Christ, and maybe I just need it printed in a book for me to truly understand and practice it, but I found this to be a new concept to me, even though I knew of it before and it was an essential part of my faith. I always had trouble with this concept, and I still do.

It is hard to let go. It is hard to come to the realization that you are not in control, and that you really were never in control to begin with. Control is an illusion, and in and of itself that is a scary thing.

You don’t know how many times I was swept up into that illusion, how many times I still am. Maybe you’re the same way. I guess in some ways, we’re all in the same boat here. We all have the potential to be swept up into the mirage of control, to want or {feel like we} need it in our lives to feel secure.

I know I did, and apparently I still do. I figured since my anxiety has gone down a significant amount, my need for control had gone down with it. Little did I know that I was wrong. This step has helped me to realize my powerlessness (Step 1) and my need for God (Step 2) more than ever. And this step is currently saving my life.

Since realizing my negativity and how deep its streams run, I was depressed this week at how much it controls me, and I felt so out of control I felt like I wanted to die. It was so jarring for me to realize the depth of my problems, for me to come face to face with the way I had bruised myself and was still continuing to. I didn’t know how to stop it. I didn’t know what to do.

So I just did the next few steps, one at a time. I thought I wasn’t really progressing much with the program, and then one evening, in the parking lot of Harris Teeter, I realized my powerlessness, my helplessness. I recognized my need for something else other than myself and my vices, and I admitted that I needed God to restore me to sanity (Step 2). I couldn’t do it on my own, I was powerless and distraught over my emotions and my emotional health. I had no plans left, I had no ideas for how to make it better.

Then, I heard the whisper of God, He said, “Why don’t you just give your will to me? Why don’t you just give me this messiness that is life right now? Just hand it over to me. I’ll take care of it all. You don’t have to worry about a thing. I can tell you the next step.”

I never thought it would be so calming to be out of control. Normally, I would grab for it. But this time I had no choice, I had no vices left, no strategic plans left. I only had a choice, and this time I was not going to stick to my artificial comfort that I found in control. This time, I was going to consciously choose to let go, and let the freedom in.

Afterwards, I remember hearing a little whisper in my brain on the way driving home: “The struggle is over.” Then I remembered a promise God had made to me, about a good, long, new season coming. And I thought to myself about how faithful God is, how He works in wondrous ways. How He is truly a fantastic God, and how to be free you must first let go.

This is still a work in progress, no doubt. And as I said before, though this was the first time I fully let go, it would not be the last. There were, and still are, many times when I take back that choice, and I constantly have to remind myself that I am not in control here anymore. I have to constantly hand back my fake reins and decide to embrace the One who holds the real ones.

I am a work in progress and I am learning that that is a blessed, wonderful thing to be. I hope that you can be inspired by my story to practice this yourself, and I’d love to hear your story in the comments. If you are still learning this as I am, then feel free to comment with a prayer request or just a “me too” if you would like. Thanks for listening, and I hope to see you next time!

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