For a woman to enjoy relationship, she must repent of her need to control and her insistence that people fill her. Fallen Eve demands that people "come through" for her. Redeemed Eve is being met in the depths of her soul by Christ and is free to offer to others, free to desire and willing to be disappointed. Fallen Eve has been wounded by other and withdraws in order to protect herself from further harm. Redeemed Eve knows that she has something of value to offer; that she is made for relationship. Therefore, being safe and secure in her relationship with her Lord, she can risk being vulnerable with others and offer her true self.Captivating 181-182
I have been bathing in grace recently. It's better than a Japanese bath! Last weekend was so good for restoring my soul to a place of peace. God is amazing with how He works. I was blessed by being with people, when that was the last thing I wanted. My fears were calmed and I felt peace from my stress.
I was in a good mood yesterday it seems. I was goofing off with some of the 1st years (who are really cute) when one boy asked me "Did something good happen?" I was surprised why he would ask that. I guess I'm not always so cheerful. Sad. He could see the change in me easily. Wow.
Yesterday we paid the deposit and all the fun stuff for our new apartment. We now have the keys and everything. This month will be a month of moving. I'm trying hard not to think of all the things that need to be done. This month will be a month of saying goodbye. I'm trying not to think of all the people I will no longer be blessed through. This month will be a month of new adventures. I spend perhaps too much time thinking of only the fun parts of the month. ;-)
One of my friends referenced a blog by Ann Voskamp today. I've been reading her blog for a few weeks now and am often inspired by it. Today's blog was about how being pushed out of your comfort zone is a blessing, because it is the only way to experience God in more intimate ways than can be done when everything is hunkie dory. (Hey, I've still got some Texas in me! Horray!)
Looking at my past month, and even farther back, I can agree with that. It is in my pain, in my stress, in my fear when I cling to God the most. It is in these places where I find new aspects of God and learn more about who I am. I can become vulnerable, because I am forced to. And I can grow. And I can be closer to God.
When things are comfortable and routine, I forget. I let things slide. I become lazy.
So mercifully, God shakes things up for me, reminding me that the best place is to be in His strength, not mine.
Today I read the quote at the beginning of the blog. It's so true for me. I am Fallen Eve. But thanks to this past weekend, thanks to being thrown out of my comfort zone, I've found a place of peace, where I'm not striving to be filled by others. I think that's why I was able to accept the blessings of the past weekend. I was too tired to strive anymore. I just accepted.
I notice that I am Fallen Eve often. I try to manipulate people into liking me, or pitying me. I want people to fill me and support me. And I judge those who don't. I judge all the time, critical of those who don't measure up. And I become miserable. I look at myself and see how ugly it all is. And I mistake it for myself.
But I don't need to do those things. I don't have to fear. I don't have to struggle. I don't need to be filled. Not by people. Not by manipulation. Not by judgment. And when I chase after those things for too long, God will shake things up a bit. So I can meet Him and be filled by Him. And experience peace.
Things seem clearer with peace.
Until I trip because I'm spacing out. :-P
Today, right after coming to these conclusions, I got mad at the Elementary school I'm supposed to go to tomorrow. They canceled the English classes that were scheduled for tomorrow, and I thought I had lost my chance to say goodbye to the kids. So they gave me 20 mins with the 5th graders to say goodbye. But then, at 4:00 today, they ask the Japanese teacher to prepare lessons for the 4th graders. All 3 classes of them. The 4th graders have not studied English yet. What kind of lesson do you prepare the day before? I leave at 4:45. We had about 20 mins to come up with a plan. This happens a lot in Japan. This last minute type of stuff. And I was frustrated that they don't bother to plan ahead. The Japanese teacher is currently preparing for the final exams and now she also has to prepare everything for a completely new set of kids last minute.
The other teachers were kind of surprised that I got mad. The Vice Principal gave us chocolate to make us feel better. They wanted to know if I wanted to call the Elem school and yell at them. That's not the problem. I just wanted to vent. We made the plan. It's just the way they think that bothers me.
And I get confused if this is my American culture taking over. I don't know where humility goes. Japanese humility is not always healthy. But am I just judging again?
I get lost in the currents of culture.
I lost my new-found peace so quickly.
But this is just another day. Tomorrow will also be a day of rediscovering God and peace, and falling, and getting back up. I may never understand Japanese thinking. I may never be able to separate my own culture from tainting the Truth.
But, there will always be the blessing of being pushed out of my comfort zone, where I hope to one day become a Redeemed Eve, who is a life-giver and a place of peace for those around her.
Even when I trip.