Friday, May 22, 2009

Even More Awakening

We just got to Springfield today for the wedding we are attending on Saturday. Looking back at the last couple of days we spend in St. Louis has been life transforming. Father has opened the door for us to meet with Kent and his family during our travels. It has truly been a mind and heart awakening for me. Mainly because talking with fellow travelers who are captivated by the power of Father's deep and compassionate love and the freedom that is found in Him has truly helped the transformational process in my life due to how contagious this way of living is, and I mean that in the BEST way ever possible. When it comes to freedom, I have seen it, but only at certain times in my own life, and never have I truly experienced or have seen it talked out or literally lived out until now! The way we talked about it when we were visiting has really helped me see things differently in the light of freedom. Have you ever felt so connected spiritually with someone that you almost feel like the connection has been purposely placed in your life that has brought out the transformation? This transformation I am talking about is strictly about giving up power and control in relationships and diving into the process in which we decide to relinquish control and allow uncertainty to take place in which to find ultimate freedom and get prosperous outcomes with whoever is involved! I actually got to experience this first hand while visiting Kent and the family. The thing that got my core attention was how real and honest they were even with us there. Nothing changed when we were there, and we were able to see these dynamics firsthand. The realness that Kent and Julie shared has taught me to even be more real and transparent with others than ever before. I don’t think I have ever had a problem with being real with people especially in the last couple of years, but, there is something completely different when it comes to experiencing it in reality, like right in front of others. If I could only truly experience that without the fear of what others may think would be the 1st step in freedom I believe. The real and necessary family life stuff I have been able to experience has truly changed my way of thinking on so many levels in regards to relationships in general. During our visit, I remember Kent said something that I will never forget and that I believe wholeheartedly. He said something like, relationships are the hardest dynamic ever created, but it is usually the humans that make them difficult than anything else. This is so true because it is self that makes them so messy; the one who mostly strives to live for himself and does not sacrifice himself in the light of freedom or love for another. Today, this has been on my mind and I truly believe that another process of transformation is on the verge of happening. Uncertainty is scary when it is looked at without the lens of freedom from needing to be in control of situations and outcomes of circumstances. Usually in the midst of trying to be in control of situations, we more than likely will try to defile those who stand in the way of what we want. This is just one piece of the puzzle when it comes to relationships and I feel I am but touching the surface of what my heart is yet to understand, but with Father’s wisdom and grace, He will make a way for it to lead me and guide me closer to where He is. That is the whole point of living anyway… More to come later!!! I will be in Springfield until Sunday, and I hope to have more time to write in the near future.


Joel B. said...

Great words!

"It's usually the humans who make relationships difficult..."

How true. Our desire to be in control of situations and to have circumstances work out in the ways we want can really wreak havoc in relationships.

In a subtle (but very real) way, this is what caused the relationship problems with me and my wife a few years ago, that had really been building up for years. In short, we didn't fight and argue, but in various ways we both had unspoken expectations of each other. In my own case, I even was trying hard to live up to what I thought Tracey expected of me. Again, it's not that she was laying down the law... not at all! But the message from the church is focused on conformation, and I felt like such a miserable failure when it came to being all that a husband 'should' be, so I tried all the harder.

It wasn't until the stuff really hit the fan in 2004, and I finally spoke up about how things really were, that we saw a counselor who was surprisingly very, very helpful. He didn't give us a bunch of principles to work on. He didn't tell us how to work on pleasing the other. Instead, what he said to me (in my own words) is that God has 'wired' me a certain way (made me His unique creation) and has wired my wife a certain way. Instead of trying to get each other to conform to some certain standard, we need to step aside and let each other breathe, and be who God created us to be!

A marriage doesn't work when she's like me and I'm like her, but rather we can encourage one another in who we actually are individually, and not try to control or manipulate each other to be what we think the other should be.

We're still growing in this, and it can be messy at times. :) But it's good to have the pressure of performance off.

Kent said...

That was my experience also Joel. I just can't stress enough how destructive expectations are on relationships and on us as individuals. But until people are ready to see it just seems they can't even begin to wrap their brains around how expectations shape everything they do.

Rich said...

I so enjoyed your sharing of the fresh discovery of his love for you.

In the most recent pod cast Wayne Jacobson was reading from a letter about a couple he has been praying with to be able to connect with others in their journey, specifically with those who are further along in that journey, what the person brought out about this very much reminded me of what you've shared here in your time with Kent and his family.

The piece on the pod cast starts at 23:47 and goes to 24:37/The Fragrance Of Father.

Amy said...

Nicole, cool that you and Jonathan got to meet and spend time with Kent! I certainly consider him such a wise older brother in the faith. His words on his blogs and in comments, mean much to me.

Indeed, control and expectations I am finding as well, are simply illusions that are only destructive in relationships. I so deeply desire to live less and less in those, and more and more authentically and in the freedom and Love of Papa Jesus Holy Spirit.

Thank you for sharing what you have learned, seen, understood during your visit with him and others during your road trip. Good words here, as they brought to heart reminders I desire to live in.

P.S. I love the beautiful picture on this blogpost of the bridge!

~Amy :)

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