Jan 19, 2016

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Looking back over the past season, year really, I realize that it’s been a time of asking many questions and, over time, finding answers that have lead to a new level of maturity. The passage of time is the important factor. Sometimes God answers prayers directly; sometimes he delivers the answers naturally, through the course of life. At the time of asking the questions I saw no answers anywhere in sight. My sight was limited to the present moment. As I look back I can see that the answers to my questions were in the process of coming and have now arrived, almost unnoticed except through review. My heart was crying out to God in desperation from deep confusion. But I was asking and seeking and so, as promised, I have received and found.

In the spring I was searching for a life where you open the wardrobe and it leads to Narnia, where that ring you inherit leads you there and back again and where there’s something interesting and exciting and unknown around every corner—True Life Abundant! I thought that the answer was in living an unpredictable life. I thought that the expected settling down into a rhythm of responsibility would completely undermine my purpose. I was, as I rightly diagnosed at the time, experiencing the growing pains of maturity, the transition from unfettered childhood to rather fettered adulthood. What I didn’t realize was that accepting responsibility is finding purpose, taking on that challenge is an exciting adventure and meeting the requirements of it is fulfilling.

I was also exerting a last thrust towards independence. Getting married means a relinquishing of independence in favour of oneness—something easier said than done when one is surrounded by a culture that worships the individual. I think our move to and from Huntsville has finally killed the last bits of me that were clinging to independence within marriage… or at least killed a significant batch of bits…

One reason for this is that I chose Huntsville for Sean over my own dreams. I thought he needed Huntsville, turns out he didn’t, but the act of giving that to him cleansed me in a way. Sure, there were selfish desires involved, I wasn’t in a place where I could do something entirely selflessly, but the main current driving that decision was love for Sean and hope for his best. I really thought I was doing something that would be good for him in ways that even he didn’t fully understand. That heart posture is so healing and freeing. Having done that I finally feel ready to play life as a team sport. When we were first married it was such a news flash to me that I had to run my plans by him! I’d always just done whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted to. Coordinating my schedule with Sean’s is something I’m actually ok with doing now, for the first time in our relationship.

The interesting thing is that in surrendering my independence I now have more freedom instead of less. It’s the age-old gospel truth that, though paradoxical, being a slave of Christ is where we find true freedom. If I’m playing a sport I have to play according to the rules in order to win the game. I was created to worship God and so the only way that I can be true to my calling and myself is by surrendering my will to God and obeying his rules for life. It’s the same in marriage—I have chosen to be married which means that my life is no longer my own. It’s our life now and only when I play according to those rules can I win at the game.

So here’s to winning at life!