Lately I’m seeing how much God wants me to let my spirit meld into his. I’m seeing that he won’t punish me, hurt me, or give me more than I can handle. I’m seeing that His will is my true will and my true will is His will. God is love, nothing else, nothing less.
It hasn’t always been like this. At one time, I so wanted to impress God, and other people, with my spirituality that I became a one-person counseling machine. I was a stay-at-home mom. The phone rang so many times during the day while the kids were at school and Bill was at work, that I couldn’t do much else than keep up with the household, talk on the phone, and answer the doorbell. Here’s a sample of my projects at the time. There was the woman whose husband beat her, another was a married woman who wanted to have an affair, then I felt responsible to talk a woman out of killing her aged husband because he was driving her nuts. Of course such “clients,” often threaten either directly or indirectly to kill themselves. I stayed available because I certainly didn’t want that to happen on my watch. It was so bad I couldn’t even go for a walk without taking a backpack of other people problems onto the trail with me.
One day, I was tired of fighting it and asked for help. The Spirit of Christ brought ideas and people to my aid. I got an answering machine and when people learned I wasn’t available at the exact moment of an emotional crisis, they stopped calling. In the book, When Helping You is Hurting Me, Rene Berry says, “They’ll find another fool, they found you, didn’t they?” Yes to both. My “clients” moved on and so did I.
Most of my life, I’ve known I was called to be a writer. Now I began to write for myself. That meant giving up doing the writing other people asked me to do for them. I started living a more normal life. I told the Lord he was in charge of all my personal contacts. I began to wait for him to lead instead of selecting my own purgatory. Soon I slowed down from an unnecessary and counter-productive pace. I’ve discovered that God makes and presents wonderful plans.
Sweet invitations and delightful conversations happen in which our Lord takes His part. He gives me love pats every day. Love pats are good things that happen, which otherwise might be called coincidences. I’m getting more writing and painting done than I ever have, but I’m not a recluse or a hermit. All that counseling without qualifications did me good though. I learned a lot. What could have been better for a budding writer? He was guiding me through all that to get me to go where He really wanted me to go.
Here’s a paraphrase of Matthew 11:30 personalized (taken from The Message)
Walk with Me and watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill fitting on you. Keep company with Me, and you’ll learn how to live freely and lightly.