Monday, September 3, 2012

Slipping into Selfishness

Usually I don't disclose the things that occur right before I sit down to write. So, in some ways my words are in a vacuum. But, this morning I am going to try something different, because I think it gives a clearer picture of my life and current struggles and growth areas.

As I woke up to some "heavenly sunlight" streaming through the window of my childhood bedroom, my weary soul was renewed. This trip home has been perfection, because I was worn and hiding discontent behind a rapidly fading smile. But now I am ready to head back to work with a refreshed spirit and attitude.

As I literally got down on my knees in humble prayer this morning many realizations came to me. Like gifts of wisdom, from an all knowing God. A simple mantra floated through my head. Have FAITH. Have HOPE. Hold On. This is the boiled down and summed up reminder that I needed and I will come back to it often I am sure. Because for the last 3 weeks my faith has been weak and full of complaining. My hope has been depleted and beat down. And I was losing my grip. And boy do I hate to admit that! I was slipping rapidly into selfishness, self-pity and fear.

Yes, I can admit it. There is a selfish part of Sabrina and as I got more and more tired and overwhelmed and frustrated, that part of me was growing (I really believe it was feeding on the negative emotions). My thoughts were turned to how unfair my life was. I was constantly figuring out ways to escape as soon as the pressures of my difficult job increased. After looooong days of working with needy students and staff, I took refuge in turning my remaining energy and thoughts onto myself. Though I seemed strong (at least I thought I did), my weaknesses were mounting up quite quickly.

And then I came home. I ran home really. Scared, that God's will had taken me beyond what I could do. Home, revived me and I am thankful to God for knowing what I needed. I was desperate for something positive and familiar. And with my family all around me, and sweet memories to soothe me, I found myself again in one weekend. My troubles diminished as I basked in the amazing presence of my grandma. My vanity was reduced as I shared my work woes with my family and they reminded me of how vibrant and rich my life has been. They helped me see that I have been spared so much, and that these are rightly some of the hardest days of my life. And they helped me grasp the fact that, that is OK. It's normal. It's life. My faithful family reminded me that God will call us to go beyond what we could ever do ourselves. It's a vital part of the growing Christian life.

Selfishness is screamed at us in this life. What do you want? Where do you want to go? What will be the best for you?  Find what you like, the things that make you the most comfortable and then spend your life pursuing them. Run from hardships. Elevate yourself. Build up and gather all the best things for yourself and if you remember it, share a tad with someone else. But you should probably share with someone who is like you, because they are deserving and will in some way help you.

I didn't see my selfish ways clearly until I realized that I was bending over backwards for people who are so vastly different from me that it's not even funny. And I was unhappy about that. I was so used to getting, that I literally had to be forced out of my complacent and self-indulgent bubble back into real life. And that was a painful experience. It was like manually repairing a broken bone with no anesthesia. It is an intense thing to wake up to the reality of the flaws of our character. To finally understand the Bible when it says, when I am weak, then he is strong. To be weak is no fun, but the lessons from that place in life, they get etched on your soul.

Today I go back to life and work in GA. Today I am feeling renewed and peaceful. Today I am honestly thankful for the blessings that have come my way. The road ahead of me is unknown but I am changing into a much better version of myself, and with God's grace, I think wonderful things are ahead.

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