I know. It’s a strange word. Most of us haven’t heard it often, if ever. And even I didn’t really use this word before starting this adventure. But, stick with me. I think it’s just right.
It’s pretty much a cliché to say that I sometimes feel pulled in a hundred different directions. In my mind, I picture the spokes of a bike wheel or the structure of an umbrella. I had to look up what they are called, but the long supportive bars that stick out from the center of an umbrella and hold up the edges are the ribs. Fitting, isn’t it? Sometimes that’s how I feel… like my very bones are stretched out in competing directions, just trying to hold up all my flimsy edges.
Sometimes that’s how I feel… like my very bones are stretched out in competing directions, just trying to hold up all my flimsy edges.
If we carry on with the metaphor of the umbrella, it creates a question about that middle. What is it? As my bones and sturdier places reach out trying to help me hold on to some sort of form in the middle of the windiness of life, where are they reaching out from? What’s holding me together?
If I’m honest, a lot of the time, the answer is sheer gumption. I’m good, really good at just sucking it up and powering through. Until I’m not anymore. And then I bend and crumple, and stress and fatigue seem to consume me. Here, too, the image of an umbrella – this time misshapen and turned inside out by a storm – is àpropos.
Now, like most of us, I give good lip service to doing things a different way. And sometimes I even succeed in living out the ideals of surrender and acceptance, of yielding to Jesus and just letting go. And when I do, it’s awesome. Amazing. But sometimes, that life – pursuing discipleship – well, it can feel like just another spoke on the wheel too, another straining rib.
It’s that reality that this blog addresses. I decided some time ago to stop fighting with my self – and by myself. I was working so hard to try to be a better follower of Jesus, a better woman, a better wife, a better mother, a better friend and daughter. But for all my efforts, mostly I was just tired. And I definitely wasn’t fulfilled. I had to let go. I had to release all my efforts and relax. I had to rest. I had to trust.
What I’ve learned since then, although I live it quite imperfectly, is that what God really wants from me is me. And that all the prongs and spokes and the different directions are handled with ease when I let Him have me. I have to yield my expectations of myself, the comparisons I make to others and all my agendas. I have to let my plans start from a quiet place inside, a place whispered to life by His Spirit. He invites me to pull in and just be present. To just show up is enough. And suddenly, but without fanfare, my structure changes. My insides more closely resemble a casually closed umbrella, all my different priorities seem easy to reach and close at hand; there is no more straining just to hold myself together. All the ribs and lines pull together, and they come into accord with Jesus.
what God really wants from me is me…I have to yield my expectations of myself, the comparisons I make to others and all my agendas. I have to let my plans start from a quiet place inside, a place whispered to life by His Spirit. He invites me to pull in and just be present. To just show up is enough.
It’s in that active yielding that I am not only best able to propel forward, but also I find I’m more comfortable with me. And then I can really do and become what He calls me to do and be. I talk a lot more about that vision here. It’s being in line with myself, being a whole, congruent me that is, surprisingly, also the place of Jesus, of Spirit and of God.
We were designed to become more like Christ, to pursue a wholeness in the Spirit that embraces the unique, created you-ness deep inside. It sounds like an oxymoron and maybe it is. As I discover and embrace more of the created me inside, I am able to better shed the selfish, empty thing that passed for “me” before. I’m free to become more of who He is calling and beckoning me to be each day. That’s what true accordance is. That is why accordant. And that is the Accordant Life. So let’s dive in; I think it’s going to be fun.