Coming to the end

When it comes to TV-watching styles, my husband is a classic channel flipper. He'll surf through the whole lineup, paying no attention to how much time is remaining in the program. I used to ask him, "Why are you changing the channels at 7:57? Everything is about to go off." After having that conversation approximately 4,635 times, I finally accepted the fact that when he is in charge of the remote, I'm going to be watching the last few minutes of a lot of shows. As a token of appreciation for my pain and suffering (which utterly bewilders him), my husband patiently sits through endless shows about women hunting for the perfect wedding dress (which I watch from start to finish, of course, like any sane person.)

The other day I was making some tea in the kitchen and listening to the last moments of a movie my husband had just flipped to in the living room. I have no idea what movie it was, but the final scene had one of those inspirational voiceover narratives that attempt to impart a Really Deep Thought. It said something to the effect of, "There is a source of wisdom that is never ending. All the truth of the ages is there."

My ears perked up. Yes! I thought. There is! "This source is the ultimate power. It will never let you down. It's always there, if you just make the decision to tap into it." I so agree! Man, this is powerful! I'm geting chills!

"And that source"

Cue the disappointment horns: wahhhh, wahhhh, wahhhh.

Me? Really? The woman whose emotions pull her in different directions constantly? The one whose opinions and outlook change as the years progress? The one who has good intentions but never lives up to them completely and lets herself down all the time? Everything I could ever need is all inside of me?

There's a beautiful song on Sara Groves' new album called "Finite". Part of the lyrics say this:

I'm not every woman
It's not all in me
I'm proud and guarded
When it comes to my needs
Fighting to stay younger
Trying to stay thin and in control
Searching for a magic formula
A thing to soothe our souls
Wonderin' where the peace went
I'm finite
I come to an end

I spent many years of my life fighting against the viewpoint Sara sings about. I was an empowered woman! I could do anything! I didn't need to rely on anyone! After all, that's what the world told me would bring satisfaction. But honestly, I was just exhausted. It's a lot of pressure for one human being to rely on him or herself for wisdom, discernment and truth in every situation.

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How freeing it has been for me to increasingly realize and accept that I am finite. I don't have to be all and know all for myself. All I have to do is look to God. His love and wisdom far surpass what I possess. When I'm empty, He fills me up. When I come to the end of myself, He takes over. In fact, that's when He shines the brightest.

These last few weeks of the school year are tough, no doubt. The kids are over it and you're probably drained. I encourage you to lean into that fact instead of fighting against it. You are finite. You come to an end. But our God does not. Let go of the notion that you have to hold everything together, and keep your eyes focused on Him. It's the Lord that holds all things together. In Him we move and breathe and have our being.

And that is true freedom--not self reliance, not looking inward to meet your needs, but looking upwards at your Creator who is omniscient and full of never-ending love and patience. Hang in there my friends, through whatever you're facing. He's got this.


Mel said...

Thanks for the encouraging words! I've been listening to that Sara Groves album for a couple weeks ago and I found this encouraging too, just the idea that's it's okay to lean on a strength outside of ourselves. I'm trying to strike that balance between trying to have it all together, to be confident and competent, but also knowing it's not all in me, but in the one who made me.

Amy said...

Thank you. Funny how your timing is always impeccable. :)

Unknown said...

Men struggle with most of those themes too; we're all just human, all too human.