Life is like running in a maze. Blindfolded.
You have a goal, the doors open, you run with all you have. With so much faith, with so much determination that it’s almost embarrassing. Then, inevitably – since you can’t see ahead – you run into walls. Full speed.
This is what 2015 was like. I had very ambitious goals. Embarrassingly ambitious. I ran with all that was in me, as fast as I could, and I crashed into many walls. It hurt so much that I stopped and just had to sit down, press the pause button for a few months, to regain motivation. Motivation was a scarce commodity. Hopelessness abound. I am not going to make any less of it, it was terrible.
What I learned in the end was that it was worth it, and I don’t really know how else I would ever have learnt if I didn’t just go for it. Here are a few things that I learned from (what felt like) failing at life:
- Failure is not fatal.
- It’s okey to admit that you don’t have it all together all the time.
- You are not what you know.
- You are not what you do.
- God is the source of life – literally the breath inside of your lungs.
- When I force things, then it does not work (not by power, nor by might, but by my Spirit, says the Lord).
- You will not die of crying or heartache. You are stronger than you feel in that moment.
- Much of what you experience is your perception.
- Your perception is your reality.
- When you speak about things and bring it into the light with other people, then it becomes less of an issue.
- There really is wisdom in the council of many.
- All authority is under God. Submit to authority, even if you don’t agree with it.
2015 was a year of darkness for me, but thanks to a great support structure, darkness did not prevail.
I am thankful for a community of friends who supported me through the toughest of times, through the lowest of lows and the ugliest of cries.
Just when all things tumbled, glass balls shattering on the ground and I withdrew from everything that was draining me. I was left with literally no motivation for living – I just cried and cried and cried. I asked God, what now? God told me “stick with the church”, the church is going somewhere. From that moment, every single sermon was a step closer to a healthy life. God’s word is true, He is faithful in everything: “On this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” – Matt 16:18-19
I thought that “Courage”, the word that God gave me for 2015, was going to be about conquering fear and doing great things. Turns out it was a word about identity, and at the end of the day courage is not so much about facing fear as it is the willingness to let ourselves be truly, deeply, vulnerably seen.
Only when all the ugly is in the light and you can see what you don’t want to see in yourself, then you can start eliminating the junk. It’s not something you can do alone, and you won’t always know what’s junk and what’s not. Surround yourself with people who can help you sort out your junk. I am not right about everything, and I know there is still a long way ahead, but one promise I cling to: “God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.”
Thus, this blog will probably stay active for my whole life and I will keep writing about the embarrassingly ambitious things that I want to do. I will probably look back and laugh about some of the things that I wrote, but I will take up the courage to do it anyway.
One desire – to stand before God one day and hear Him say “Well done, good and faithful servant.”