Relying on myself takes many forms. And these forms are often dressed up. Dress forms. (Yes, I've been watching Project Runway lately.)
My ideas - dressed up very clever.
My intuition - dressed up all wise and feminine.
My sense of justice - dressed up all starched and ready for court.
My need to fix things - dressed up with a tool belt that carries a hammer, crazy glue, Clorox Cleanup, and maybe some baking soda and vinegar for the purists.
I'm sure there's another 15 to 20 forms I could add to this list. Perhaps you have your own or can identify with mine.
I'm sure you see the problem with those statements above... they all start with "My..."
Nothing that comes after that word really matters, because the failure begins with those two little letters.
And the result of any effort based on "my anything" is often the phrase "oh my oh my oh my... what have I done?"
While there is often a ridiculous amount of pain that results from such self-reliance, there is infinite amazing grace waiting to pick-up the pieces. There are pieces because something was broken. That something is self-reliance. And self-reliance or a self focused life is the very best way to hide.
I didn't even realize I was hiding because it was dressed up so pretty. It even prayed pretty prayers. So in order to be found I had to be broken. Which means I had to fail. Oh and fail I did...
I told you the process of being found began on September 30, 2011. Well... I ran back into hiding not long after the new year. My ideas, my intuition, my sense of justice, my need to fix things myself, my, my, my, my everything fought quite hard for several months. Until the end of July, 2012.
Then I finally reached the end of myself. Failure lead to brokenness. And boy was I broken, shattered really.
You see I've been working on a doctoral degree for a bit over three years now. Simultaneously I've been working on a PhD in the theology of ME.
In all of my self focus I managed to burn bridges with precious family, neglect my husband, lose sight of my gifts, and let my passion for my field almost completely die. All I could see was what I thought I needed. My focus on self made me spiritually blind. I still attended church, prayed a lot, and worshipped - but I was still hiding.
So at the end of July I did the following:
quit my job at the university where I was working/studying
put my house up for sale after the prime time to sell in a university town
packed up my cats, a few clothes, some books, and toiletries
moved back to the town where my husband and family had been living while I was off "discovering myself"
to live with my 82 year old aunt
I am unemployed, separated from my husband, making zero progress on my dissertation, and living in a guest room.
I'm a failure by all earthly accounts.
I'm ridiculously happy. Seriously - not kidding at all. It's the strangest thing. Nothing in my life at the moment makes much sense to a lot of folks. But it makes all manner of sense to Him.
Thank you Lord.