My Circumstantial Journey

Allow me for a moment to get spiritual. I don’t typically discuss things in a very spiritual manner on this blog because I feel that I can address topics or ideas from the perspective of my own faith without making those without a specific belief uncomfortable. Some (more evangelical focused individuals) may find this cowardly, but in this current time of my life, due to my background and personality, I find that my faith is better lived than spoken.  I won’t say that I will always adhere to this belief or that I have previously, but currently, this is where I stand.  I wholeheartedly believe that the greatest strength of my belief system is that the principles within this system can apply to everyone regardless of their own faith or lack of faith ( in this context, I am defining “faith” as a trust in God.) However, the topic in which I want to address today requires a little more discussion of the spiritual, but I believe in a way that people of any faith can understand.  I say that this is a “spiritual” post, because some kind of belief in non-worldly things is necessary to have this particular conversation.

Alright, so let us begin. I read a quote by Oswald Chambers the other day, “We are not responsible for the circumstances we are in, but we are responsible for the way we allow those circumstances to affect us; we can either allow them to get on top of us, or we can allow them to transform us into what God wants us to be.” This quote grabbed me the other day because right now, I’m in some pretty difficult circumstances. “Difficult” is clearly relative. I’m not forced into prostitution or in the middle of a genocide. Maybe I should remember that more often. Rather, they are difficult in the way that they are emotionally draining and they take far too much of my focus. No matter how much I try to take my focus off of these circumstances, I can’t help but replay them over and over in my mind. I keep trying to handle the circumstances, to fix them and to right my wrongs. The problem with the way I am handling these circumstances is what Chambers says in his quote, “We are not responsible for the circumstances we are in.” I keep focusing on how to fix things, how to make the circumstances better. But that is not what God calls us to do. He wants to use the circumstances to transform us. What does that mean? It means, instead of praying to God asking him to help me fix the circumstances, I should be praying that God will use the circumstances to fix me.

When Tek touches the hot stove, there is no point in me focusing on undoing the burn. You cannot undo what has been done. You can’t eliminate the circumstance. Rather, my time would be better spent on teaching him to not touch the hot stove and focus on caring for the burn to prevent future scaring.  Time spent dwelling on the circumstances creates an unstable person. It is someone who is so focused on everything that is happening rather than focusing on what lessons can be learned. This person is missing the point of this journey we call life.

Self-awareness is not being conscious of the circumstances, rather it is being conscious of our response, and more importantly, our growth in the circumstance. This is where my faith enters. If I have to depend on myself to figure out the appropriate response or the appropriate growth, nothing will get done. I am a self-involved, emotional human being. In the midst of conflict, I am rarely able to see which way is up. I need a God that is bigger than my abilities. A God that is capable of understanding the bigger picture. A God that loves those in the circumstance just as He loves me. A God that engages in a personal relationship with me and desires to show me how I need to grow. I have honest friends and husband, but none of them can truly see the circumstances as objectively as I need.

I think the greatest example of this principle was shown by Jesus, just moments before his arrest. He said, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” Jesus saw the overwhelming circumstance before him, his arrest and his death. He knew what was coming ahead of him. He focused on the circumstance for only a moment before admitting that His Father understood the ultimate plan. He knew that in order to accomplish the plan, He had to allow the circumstances to transform Him into what God intended for Him to be, the savior for mankind. No circumstance that I have endured even comes close to what He experienced, so why have I been so incapable of seeing past the circumstance?

Rather than following the example of Christ, I have attempted in my own power to change the circumstances. I’ve spent so much time dwelling on what is happening around me, that I did not stop to realize what should be happening TO me. It is time to stop focusing on the fact that I got burned, it is time for me to focus on how to prevent the burn from happening again and to focus on caring for the wound. If I want this journey to be one of growth, then it is time to focus on my transformation.

Side-note: And NOT the transformation of others, that is their journey to experience. But this may be another post…

So here I go, another commitment to another step in my journey for self-awareness. I will stop focusing on the circumstance, but instead focus on the will of my Father. I will stop looking at what is happening around me and trying to figure out how to change it, but rather I will accept that it has happened and look to God for the transformation into what He intends for me to be through these circumstances.

2 thoughts on “My Circumstantial Journey

  1. Announcement! Life gets a lot easier form this point on, seriously! This one basic lesson is so hard and most people will never come to grips with it, but once we do the struggles ease up and we become so much more relaxed. Congratulations on being a person that looks inside before blaming the outside. Yeah You!

  2. well said! It is now that God can fully take control and make your life the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen. He looks at you and is pleased at what He has made- only wanting to show off His beautiful daughter- You!

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