“God does not respond to what we do, we respond to what God does. We’ve finally figured it out. Our lives in step with God and all others by letting Him set the pace, not by anxiously or proudly trying to run the parade.” -Romans 3: 26-27 (MSG)
It’s something that I’ve been accustomed to ever since I started being an adult in mid-2007. Ever since that time I’ve been busting the hours away to earn my keep, and earning not just in the financial sense, but in the sense that I needed to earn the respect of my peers, colleagues and so on.
It was a new concept to me as a fresh graduate, however, earning for something was entirely new to me, I just probably called it something else.
In pre-school in order for me to ‘earn’ an extra hour in the playground, I needed to behave in the classroom. In grade school, in order to ‘earn’ high grades, I needed to spend an extra hour slaving over the multiplication tables that never made sense (till this day it is really complicated to me). In high school, I needed to work out and not eat in order to ‘earn’ an upperclassman’s attention.
It seems like the concept of earning something has been around even before the first time I had cashed my first pay check.
It’s like my entire life, I’ve been trying to adjust to the pace imposed by society, people close to me and at one point, guys. I was on the eternal, hypothetical treadmill always trying to earn good grades, earn good money, earn good friendships.
The concept of ‘letting things be’ was a foreign concept to me. I could never sit down and wait for things to happen. No I had to get out there and control things just because I could.
It didn’t help that in college, I attempted and miserably failed at being Superwoman. I needed to be on top of things, I knew that no one would take care of things for me; that’s why I decided to take care of things myself, sometimes even refusing help from people who cared the most.
In November of last year, the façade that I’ve been carrying around finally cracked. I realized that there’s no way I could handle everything on my own.
Especially my relationship with my Savior.
You see, everything in my life needed to be earned and from day one, I was suck into thinking that I needed to be good in order for me to be loved and accepted. When I was thirteen I blindly thought that if I was perfect, everything else will fall into place. Mistakes were not allowed and I was always on the defense. I could never simply sit down and not do something about a situation. I needed to be on the proactive side.
So whenever someone in church talked about ‘letting go and letting God’ I was baffled. Another concept that totally baffled was the fact that even though I’ve made mistakes, that even though I don’t always feel like praying and when I did something I knew I shouldn’t have, God still loved me.
I was not living in freedom as I should be, I was living in a cage filled with fear and doubts simply because I thought that one wrong step would lead me to another spiral. In a way, I was thinking I could manipulate God’s blessings in my life. If I was good then good things would come my way, if I was bad, bad things would come my way.
And although I understand the concept of ‘sowing and reaping’, I wasn’t ‘sowing’ for the right reasons. Instead, I was doing so to be good. What freedom it was to do good things not because I wanted to impress God but because I loved Him. There was a huge difference in the two things and I was often fooled in thinking they were the same thing.
Deep down I was still that girl in high school, desperately trying to be perfect so everything else in my life would be perfect. Up until recently, I don’t think I’ve ever fully rested in the way that the Bible defines resting. I was always on the go, always analyzing things in my mind, until I was doing something about it, I couldn’t rest.
The guilt was overbearing as well.
Up until finally I figured out: it’s really not about what I do or what I don’t do, it’s all about what God has done for me.
And no matter what I do or don’t do, God won’t take it against me. No matter how many times I stumble or fall, He’ll be willing to pick me up and lead me out of the mess, one step at a time.
In His name, I don’t have to be perfect, I just have to be me.
The best that He asks from me is my willing heart to do what He wants me to do and even if I don’t get it right away (which is often the case), He won’t take it against me, He’d still love me and He’d be patient enough to wait.
It’s kind of unnerving to think that King of the Universe would always have my back—no matter what.
Now finally I can put my feet up, knowing and believing that things are working out the way they should and that no matter what happens, I win not because of who I am but because of what He did for me.