Day 20: A Lowlife

Today’s chapter felt like I was reading my very own words. I could relate so very closely with the emotion that Jen poured out.

Perhaps, this last paragraph rang with the most frightening familiarity:

The ascent is so ingrained in my thought patterns that it has been physically painful to experience reformation at the bottom. The compulsion to defend myself against misrepresentation nearly put me in the grave recently. I was tormented with chaotic inner dialogues, and there were days I was so plagued with protecting my rung that I couldn’t get out of bed. With every step lower, the stripping-away process was more excruciating. I had no idea how tightly I clung to reputation and approval or how selfishly I behaved to maintain it. Getting to the top requires someone else to be on the bottom; being right means someone else must be wrong. It is the nature of the beast. (Interrupted pg 73)

Yes. I have been there too many times. Defending my need to be right run deeps. Approval of those around me all too many times takes precedence.

Going out on faith and doing something new will not always be grand and glorious with angels singing your praises. Warning: It may be lonely and painful (SHOCKING!). What? You don’t run towards loneliness and stretching and refining???

Writing is that for me at this moment. I have known for some time that God was asking me to write – and I have never considered myself “a writer.” I’m in unfamiliar and uncharted territory. I can’t run fast and excel and make huge strides like I can in other areas of my career.

I’m learning to take the lowest place. I want to be released from the idols of greed, control and status.

Dear brothers and sisters,[a] when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. – James 1: 2-4 NLT

Do you struggle with these types of things as well? What are some ways that you have found to let go of control and be lowered instead of trying to always get to the top?

~Starr

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4 thoughts on “Day 20: A Lowlife

  1. For me the whole “possessions” thing is different – I’ve lost (almost) everything a few times in my life (including relationships with family). So I start at the bottom and work up again – but I know each time it happens, God will provide and He will see me through.

    That said, for me, this journey is more about less of ME and more of HIM. Because while the possessions don’t get in my way, I get in my way. I am too mouthy at times (probably more often than I’d like to admit). I am too sarcastic. I don’t make time for what I know I need to do (spend time in the Word). Or I play “martyr”. (I don’t see it that way when it’s happening, but in hind sight, I can see how others would.)

    In the past I’ve volunteered A LOT because I enjoy doing things – helping people – being involved. (And, in all honesty, not being alone.) I volunteered for noble worthy causes – and most of the time there wasn’t any reward for me – as far as others could see. But it was rewarding to me. Not for financial gain or physical gifts, but for something to do with others around.

    So what was my motivation? Did I do these things for the right reasons? Or was it a combination for the wrong reason and the right reason? I think that is what it was for me. I know reading this book, I can see myself in a lot of what both Brandon and Jen are saying.

    Father, open my eyes, ears and heart, guide my steps.

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  2. Your perspective is so appreciated here, Melissa. You can share from a side that many of us haven’t been able to relate to and God is using your brokenness in extraordinary ways. I appreciate you speaking up, making yourself vulnerable and sharing your fears and doubts with us. I’m praying that God reveals more to you each day as you walk closer to Him. Love you!

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    1. Agreed. Testing is not fun. I feel like I’m being tested in leading this study, for sure. I have to be obedient to what God has asked me to do – no matter what the response from others may be. There is a purpose and I have to be obedient.

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