Saturday, November 1, 2014

The Eleventh Hour...or Month

It's November 1st today.
I began a journey of "trust" this year. I chose one word to devote my entire year to, and that was it. That I would begin to trust God more; that I would yield control to Him in everything.

Wow. To say this has not been an easy task is barely scratching the surface of the deep gardening He has been doing.

There are areas of great progress in this dusty vessel, ones that I can now look back at in awe and wonder and say "I'm glad you did that, but I'm also SO glad it's over!"

There are areas He has not yet ventured into, however, and as they come to light, I feel like they're described best as Lazarus' dead body. "But Lord, He stinketh."

If you take a closed but infected wound and open it, the air combined with the bacteria is often described as "smelling like death". (Have you had your coffee yet today? I hope you're not losing your appetite) There are deep pockets of sin in my life that God is gently probing at, asking if I'm ready to let Him clean them. Ugh.

We don't like the word "sin". We don't like to admit that we are still sinners. Once we are redeemed, we're supposed to embrace our newfound forgiveness and identity in Christ. That's valid and necessary, but we cannot, at the same time, ignore the constant work of a Holy Spirit within us, transforming us through His righteousness into a living, breathing replica of Jesus Christ.

1 John 1:8-10 "If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us."

I have an area of sin in my life that I am going to share with you, because it's important to be held accountable. There is a part of me that likes to hide things. I have a sneaky side. Usually I am hiding something that benefits me-but perhaps not the others around me. It's a selfish part, and leads to selfish decision making.
"Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy." Proverbs 28:13
As a child, I would sneak candy from the drawer in my Mom's first grade classroom when we were there after hours and she was still working. (I was in mid to late elementary at the time). The worst part is that I would not always confess my wrongdoing. I lied for self-preservation, though I knew I was in the wrong.

Years later, there is still a part of me that tries to hide the truth if I feel that I will disappoint or bring disapproval. In financial decisions, I am sometimes impulsive and then avoid discussing my spending (even if it were for a cause), because it was not something we planned for. I will allow myself to be pressured into on-the-spot, emotional purchase or donation, rather than logically and rationally thinking through a decision (or discussing first with my husband).

What this causes is lying by omission. It separates the joy and closeness that we have when we are completely honest. And? It is rooted in distrust, which also produces distrust of its own. Why, oh why, do I not trust the reaction of my husband to my spending? There is not one moment where we have had a fight when I have been up-front, so why would I still continue to hide and be sneaky?

I apologize that this is so...well...yucky. It's true and not easy for me to discuss, but how can I claim to be allowing God to work in me if I'm hiding these pockets of sin?
The tax collector prayed and beat his breast in the temple, ""But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, 'God, have mercy on me, a sinner.'" Luke 18:13

This life will be over when God has done all He set to accomplish through Himself in me, but until then, I have to be molded and transformed.

I've not arrived at that place where I can sit and be satisfied, and never want to portray that image to you. This is tammysincerity, not tammyhypocrisy...and hopefully never tammysuperiority.
So, if you've stayed long enough to read all this, I'd appreciate your prayers as God works on me to trust Him, trust my husband, trust enough to be a full-disclosure person so that I will always be trustworthy.

I thought perhaps I'd be better at trusting than I am, eleven months later, but I'm thankful that He who began a good work in me is not finished. 

"And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns." Philippians 1:6