Since I had the shingles last March, I've been stripped of my brain. I can't think like I want to. I can not study like I used to. I can't remember much of anything. It's hard to process and think. As I was sitting here TRYING to reflect over the past year.... I realized that what I've been going through has really been an answer to prayer.
Anybody who knows me (or has read any of my way too long blog posts lol) knows how much I LOVE knowledge and words. I used to type and write SO much. I had a pretty elaborate system. I used to memorize scripture like crazy and really have always just enjoyed learning and studying so much. So much so that in many seasons it just wasn't healthy. Looking back, I remember now that I did pray for God to help me get over my obsession with knowledge and my studying. In my Spirit I knew I needed a better balance.
I believe I will be healed from what I'm suffering from. I believe the PA is right and it's simply that the virus last March never left and that when I fully get that virus back "under" I will feel like myself again...... but, I also have accepted that whatever happens is okay. In my heart I can truly say "it is well". It is okay. This IS hard. But I trust God. I feel really stripped but I know I am God's. I want Him to strip what needs stripping and build up what needs building. I want Him to define me. I want Him to tell me who I am and how He wants to use me.
The truth is, this past year, I have been having a really hard time connecting to God apart from the religious activity I had set up in my life. This past month, I finally feel like I'm beginning to connect and live by His Spirit again but it's been a dry year. When I left the institutional Sunday church in 2010... I felt like God used that year to strip me of my dependence on "feelings" and emotional connections (and many other things!!!). This year has felt so similiar and I feel like I'm now being stripped of even more religious activity I had in my life - religious Spirit that I didn't even know I had. The "religion" I had set up I guess was pretty much just self focused. I have always depended on my studies my notes my ability to understand (and know everything... ouch) more than just depending on God Himself.
So I need to speak some TRUTH to myself:
God's love for me is not dependent on knowledge. God's love for me is based on Him and HIS knowledge of me.
God's love for me is not dependent on my religious activity.
God desires me to forego all man-made and RandiJo-made religions and understand HE came to me.... so I can stop trying to get to Him.
Lie: I am only "okay" and "good enough" when I'm meeting my own "good christian" expectations.
Truth: I am secure. I am held. Redeemed, empowered, cherished - because of what HE did, not what I do, did or will do.
I am His not because I study about Him.... but because I truly do KNOW Him. I have experienced Him! I really have. I know His love so deeply and no matter what else is taken away.... I know my Spirit is eternal and will be His forever. This is where FAITH comes in. and He is the one that will always keep my faith strong. HE is the author & perfecter of my faith.
Knowledge is always secondary to love and I have His love in my heart, for eternity.
Perhaps the last year has been necessary for me to practice WALKING OUT life and love with Him instead of just KNOWing and writing about it all. I can love and live because His Spirit is in me and HE really IS all I *need*. He will lead me and I can count on Him much more than my own brain or anything "strong" about me. All of "this" body and earth will fail me fully someday. But God's Spirit will lead me in HIS plan (if not mine). He will lead me now and then someday usher me into eternity. He will lead me whether I am sharp and have a good argument and theological explanation for everything I confront.... or if I don't. He will lead me with His Spirit, through others, through His Word at just the right time. I may not be able to RETAIN the Word...but if I just keep opening it and taking in as much as is possible!
I have to give up my own plans and agenda and how *I* want to be used and continue daily to just "ride the wave" and surrender my life to Him. I have to stop wrestling Him and fighting His plan. I have to TRUST that however He wants to use me.... He will equip me and I can stop trying so hard to equip myself and be used how I want.
Knowledge puffs up... but LOVE builds up. and if this is what it takes to help me truly LOVE more and understand His UNCONDITIONAL LOVE... I accept what He is doing. It is so hard to be stripped of what I felt were my strengths but I trust God and I am honored to know that He has chosen me to suffer in this way. I believe that He will use all things for my good & His glory. Off to ride the wave.