Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Confession #76: Clinging to Unicorns

Who among us doesn’t love a Unicorn?  Majestic, magical symbols of hope, love and happiness.  As a kid one of my favorite movies was “The Last Unicorn.”  Many movies have painted such beautiful pictures of these creatures of fantasy.  But they aren’t real, they are the stuff dreams are made of.  And clinging to fantasy instead of God can lead to dark places.

To those of you who followed me in the past, you know that it’s been quite a while since my last post.  You might be wondering where I’ve been, so I’ll put to you plain and simple, I’ve been LOST.   Spiritually speaking, I took a wrong turn and ended up down a dead-end back alley that got me wandering for a while; a long while.  I was trying to find myself and I finally realized it wasn’t me I’d lost, it was JESUS.  I lost him because I took my eyes off the King and only focused on fantasy.  I found myself at the bottom of a pit.  Believing that if I could just cling to my hope and dreams for tomorrow, this insane Unicorn I invented, that somehow all would be okay.  Instead, I found myself spiritually empty and out of touch with reality, clinging to this unicorn and spiraling out of emotional control. 

In my last post “The Last Seven Years”, I spoke about how God was blessing us and how things began to change and improve for my family financially.  However, I think God may have been using that time to test me.   Honestly, I was worse off during the few years of financial security.  Believing this was the end to our struggles, I clung to hopes and dreams of a relocating, buying a new home, vacations, and material possessions.   God never promised me any of this.  He never promised that He was going to open doors to worldly desires.  I turned to a Unicorn instead of the Lord.  Sadly, I not only invented this unicorn, but I believed in it with all my heart.  I bought a lie.  As you’ve probably guessed, the improvement in our finances was temporary and we are back to struggling, worse than before.

Normally I would be wallowing in this.  I’d be mad as, you know what!  But I’m not.  Okay I must be completely honest, this dirty Christian woman was mad; that is, REALLY, REALLY MAD.  So angry in fact, I turned away from God.  Then I became depressed.  Depressed enough to think that my family would be better off without me.  And for a long while I seriously contemplated ending my life.  I had fantasized so much about what our lives would be like, that I didn’t know how to live anymore without that fantasy, I didn’t know how to let go of the Unicorn. 

Previously, I thought my relationship with Jesus was predicated on my “Christian” actions.  Dedicated and consistent prayer life, being in a bible study, leading a group, serving at church, donating and giving.  None of this was bad, but I think in the back of my head I believed that my relationship with Jesus hung on it.  It doesn’t, and it never did.  Jesus showed me that He just wanted to be with me.  He showed me that the times in my life I was the most content was when I was closest to Him.   I was happiest when I spend time with Him by reading the word without question or provocation and praying, just to talk to my Abba, Father.  Truth is, I forgot that He loves me because I was too busy being in love with a Unicorn. 

Thankfully, God is so good!  The LORD lifted me out of the pit of despair and gave me a new hope.  No fantasy, no Unicorn, but the presence of a real, living God.  He reminded me of whose I am, and who I am in Him.  I’m not angry about our struggles anymore, I’m not depressed about my circumstances, I’m hopeful for a future grounded in Christ.  I’m hopeful with a God that has ALWAYS provided.  I’m hopeful that by keeping my eyes on Jesus and my grip on the word, that I will never desire a Unicorn again.  I’m hopeful that JESUS is all I need. 

Hopes and dreams for the future aren’t bad and wanting a new home, or to take nice vacations aren’t wrong.  But becoming more focused on these things instead of God can lead to destruction.  Like the bible reminds us, “…For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” 1 Timothy 6:10.  It doesn’t say money is evil, but the love of it is.  My love of these things kept me clinging to a Unicorn. 

Deuteronomy 13:4 "You shall follow the LORD your God and fear Him; and you shall keep His commandments, listen to His voice, serve Him, and cling to Him.”  Joshua 23:8 "But you are to cling to the LORD your God, as you have done to this day.”  Deuteronomy 11:22 "For if you are careful to keep all this commandment which I am commanding you to do, to love the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and hold fast to Him…”  2 Kings 18:6 “For he clung to the LORD; he did not depart from following Him, but kept His commandments, which the LORD had commanded Moses.”  Psalm 63:8 “My soul clings to You; Your right hand upholds me.”  Jeremiah 13:11 “For as the waistband clings to the waist of a man, so I made the whole household of Israel and the whole household of Judah cling to Me,' declares the LORD, 'that they might be for Me a people, for renown, for praise and for glory…”

What are you clinging to today?  My prayer is that it’s Jesus.  

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for rescuing me from my Unicorn!  Thank you for showing me who I am in you Dear Lord.  Father I pray for my sisters who may be struggling with this as well.  I ask that you reveal to them the truth, take away the fantasy and help them have healthy hopes and dreams.  Keep them from clinging to Unicorns and grab onto Jesus!  In His precious name I pray, AMEN!