June 20, 2008

Going Deeper

Growing up in a small town, I had dreams of becoming a lawyer and moving to Boston. I would return home once a year at Christmas. I would, most certainly, never reside in a small town, let alone my small town.

When I started reading Rachel Hauck's novel,Georgia on Her Mind, I immediately saw myself in the heroine, Macy Moore. Macy has left her hometown of Beauty, Georgia in her rear view mirror and set off to Florida in hot pursuit of the American Dream. She's been gone a decade or more, and has been pulled into an ultra-materialistic lifestyle. She's got a high power career, a BMW, a pair of Gucci boots, and a financier boyfriend. From the outside looking in, Macy's life is perfect. A demotion and a cheating boyfriend spark Macy's journey back to God and the "good life".

I read several reviews of Hauck's other books and thought I'd give her a whirl. Georgia is the only one of her books that my library has. It looked like a light, fun read. Yet I had the distinct feeling that this was a divine appointment. God was giving me a glimpse of what my life would've been if He hadn't intervened.

Can I just tell you that I'm so glad He did?

Macy had her life all mapped out, much as I had mine. God was obviously looking at another map. Here I sit, 10 minutes away from the house I grew up in. (I wonder if He's still snickering over that one.) No high power career or businessman-husband. The closest I ever got to Gucci was the imitation body spray that was so trendy in the 1980s (and still on sale at Walgreens). My aging, beat-up SUV is a far cry from a Beamer convertible.

Still, I have defined myself by worldly standards - my home, my church, my daughter's achievements. I've accumulated things that I thought would make me valuable in the eyes of others. I've participated (or not participated) in activities based on what others would think. Foolishness, all of it.

During the past year, God has been breaking down the layers of clutter I have built my life upon. We began by confronting the material (actually, we're still dealing with that one). We've moved on to the relational.

Lately, He's been relentless in bringing to my attention how often I hold back from doing what He wants for fear of what others may think. While I could easily spot it in Macy Moore, I wasn't as quick to see that struggle in my own life. To further the point, God hit harder in my Bible study, No Other Gods by Kelly Minter.

When I consider what I set my heart on, what motivates me in life, what controls me, and what I serve with my energy and resources, suddenly I am far from graven images and am toe to toe with my lust for attention, my attachment to comfort, my demand for people to meet my needs. These are just a hint of the things I often look to as my personal saviors.
Now was that really necessary?

Here's what I'm learning, friends. People come and go. Things rot and decay. I am not defined by the car I drive, my child's accomplishments, or the praise of others.


No matter what, there will be days when I look like a fool. If that means being a fool for Jesus, let it be.

Oh, Lord, may my prayer be

I do not seek or consult My own will [I have no desire to do what is pleasing to Myself, My own aim, My own purpose] but only the will and pleasure of the Father Who sent Me.
~John 5:30 (AMP)


Jill said...

Oh, this is so very, very true but so hard to "master". It's so hard to get mired in the surface and even materialistic world. Regarding heading out for the "big city": When I did it, I had $200 in my pocket, no job, no friends and no place to live. But I've done well for myself, but often times I long for the small town / simpler life I left behind. I didn't leave because I hated where I was. I left because I wanted to see if I loved someplace more. Of it someplace else loved me more. 12 years later, I'm still not sure!

Mrs.Naz@BecomingMe said...

Beautiful, beautiful post.

Heather C said...

Amen... and ouch. :)

Anonymous said...

Great post Melissa,

I just started that study and it has already hit me between the eyes...in the heart...it is necessary groundwork yet I wonder do I really want to do this kind of digging in the summer time...but walking completely with Him demands it...thanks for your insights.


His Girl said...

it is not about me.it is not about me.it is not about me.it is not about me.it is not about me.it is not about me.it is not about me.it is not about me.it is not about me.it is not about me.it is not about me.it is not about me.it is not about me.it is not about me.it is not about me.it is not about me.it is not about me.it is not about me.it is not about me.it is not about me.it is not about me.it is not about me.it is not about me.it is not about me.it is not about me.it is not about me.it is not about me.it is not about me.it is not about me.it is not about me.it is not about me.it is not about me.

you think I'll ever be able to remember that for more than an hour? that would be sooooo awesome!

much2ponder said...

Stopped by for a quick glance and found myself really enjoying your blog. I have been dealing with many of the same issues for a number of years and could so relate. Though I thought I would be content to be a mother as if that was what I was made for. That is not all He wrote for my life. I am a mother, but God has brought me places I never dreamed of. One thing I can count on is change...nothing ever stays the same. Another thing is the fact that things generally turn out fine no matter what the circumstances, but they hardly ever or should I say "NEVER" turn out as my rational thinking would expect. God is full of surprises and I want to be more proactive with where He is taking me instead of learning everything through hindsight. Still a work in progress and by the grace of God, I will keep getting back up each time I look foolish or fall on my face. Thanks for your honesty!

Alana said...

Why is the "It's not about me" so hard? Big struggle for me. Trying to get back in the swing of things and catch up on blogs. Hope you are well!

Kelly said...

Amen! Sounds like we have been on similar journieys recently. I just started this Bible study and immediately felt the convicting begin... loev it when God has something for me!