It’s weird how you can spend so much time with God, find His love so refreshing, stand in absolute awe of His presence and power, and still mess up, still sin. But I suppose messing up reminds us that we need Him, reminds us that we’re still human and we’re not quite to the finish line.
Last night God vanquished a demon of mine. When I say demon, I don’t mean I was possessed (that’s not possible for me because I have the Holy Spirit), I just mean that there had been a burden on my heart hiding beneath so much bondage, and God destroyed it, lifted it off of me, because I was finally ready to let it go.
My head had been pounding and I just felt so warm and frustrated. I had gotten to the point where I finally hated my bondage, I finally felt absolutely disgusted that I had let it govern, weigh down, and possess my decisions for so long. I was sick of it. Last night, after taking some medicine for my head and sitting outside my dorm room writing to God, on the verge of tears, it left. It’s gone. And now I feel really weird because I never knew what it felt like to be completely free. It’s like (and I don’t mean to sound cliche) starting over. I’ve never been hurt. I’ve never been wronged. I’ve never messed up or run from God. My past is over.
So this morning, when I woke up, I realized how new I was, how, when God saved me from myself so many years ago, He’d done a 180 on my heart and I was not the same person anymore. I haven’t been that girl for a very, very long time. So there really had been no need to keep the same worries and fears that she had. And now they’re gone and I feel like I might blow away with the next breeze considering how light and in weighted I am right now.
I’m not saying that I won’t still struggle with things, or that life will be perfect from here on out, but I am saying I get it now. When God said via Paul, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. (2 Corinthians 5:7),” He meant new, not different, not changed, brand new. Realizing that I’m not her, that I’m no longer that person and that I’m no longer a child of darkness but now a child of light, I’m shocked that I had adopted the fears, worries, anxieties, and bondage of someone that I’m not. I just can’t believe it.
I had no words to write in my journal today. I didn’t know what to say. I just hadn’t realized how bound I had been with chords of fear and bondage. I sat in the lounge, staring out the window into the rain, and I had no words to express how I was feeling. So I just sat there, curled up in my blanket, enjoying God’s presence, standing in awe of Him in my mind, and leaning into Him.
After doing my Bible study, I was still quite speechless, but I was able to function. I got changed and got breakfast, and I was getting ready to go study and get lunch when Edward texted me, asking if I wanted to go to the Metropolitan Museum with him and Precilla. I said yes.
I spent a couple of hours studying and outlining my term paper in the cafeteria. Charlene joined me after a little while and we talked about silly things, mostly because things had been crazy (school-wise, family-wise, just crazy in general). It was nice to just talk like a teenager.
Later on, after I left the cafeteria and put my books in my dorm, I headed out to meet Edward and Precilla on Atlantic Ave. now, I’ve walked to this place countless times. I know the walk by heart and could probably, maybe, do it blindfolded. But I stopped at a subway stop to fill up my metro card, and when I came out the other side of the stop, I found myself heading back the way I came. This didn’t make sense. I hadn’t turned or changed course and the subway stop had gone straight in the direction I needed to go, so I should’ve just walked back out onto the sidewalk I’d been walking along. Then it began to rain again, and I started to wonder if God was trying to tell me I shouldn’t be going. But after meeting up with Edward and Precilla and scoring free admission to the museum, I concluded this was not the case.
We took the 6-train to Manhattan and got out to walk for a while. Edward stopped at a fruit stand and bought apples and bananas because we were all hungry but not quite ready for a meal. We got to the museum, acquired our passes, checked in our coats and bags (which I didn’t know was a thing), and gained a map. Edward asked if he could lead us and we consented. So we mapped out a plan of action and began.
Oh. My. Word.
The Met is huge, and every piece of art, every painting, every sculpture, every everything is absolutely breathtaking and impossibly beautiful. My favorite part was the sculpture gardens, specifically that of Greco-roman. Most of the time, Edward and Precilla would stay at a certain painting or display and I would walk around and do my own thing, meeting up with them here and there. Near the end of our journey, Precilla and I walked and talked together while Edward went and did his thing. We all had a lot of laughs and a lot of fun 🙂
After the Greco-roman sculpture garden, we were all exhausted and hungry and sore, so we decided to exit. We made plans to go to the Brooklyn Museum next Saturday, which I’m really excited about 🙂
When we stepped out of the museum, Edward asked if we wanted to go to Shake Shack. When I asked what it was, you would’ve thought I said I’ve never seen the sun from witnessing Edward’s reaction. Needless to say, we went to Shake Shack for dinner.
At Shake Shack, because we were outside, munching on delicious burgers and fries, there were a few mice running around. I didn’t mind…I mean, it’s not like I’ve dealt with mice before or anything…
We finished eating and then headed to the train. We then stepped off the 6-train at Burough Hall, where I was going to transfer to the G and they were going to get on the bus.
At one point we found an F-train station (which runs along the G, I would just have to transfer at some point), and I was prepared to go there, but Edward offered to walk us a little further to find a G-station. Precilla’s feet hurt and she wasn’t in the mood to keep walking; honestly, I was exhausted as well. I felt her frustration though, and I think with my tiredness I allowed it to fuel my actions, and I rebuked Edward for not just letting me go this way. He continued to rationalize walking further. I had very meanly told him that, as far as arguing obstinately was concerned, that he was being worse than a woman.
As we walked towards the G-station, I realized how mean I had been to him, that he’d just been trying to make it easier for me. I realized that that’s really what I did most of the time with men who are chivalrous: I don’t think I know how to react to it. Whenever Edward is chivalrous or gentlemanly, or even when any of the men at church act that way towards me, I either react with an awkward smile and a thank you or I’m very sarcastic. I just hadn’t realized I’d been acting with such contempt, when I should be encouraging that kind of behavior.
I felt like an idiot.
I apologized to Edward and he, of course, said it was no problem. Later on, when I arrived back at my dorm, I told Bree about what happened and we had a good talk about it all. A few texts, a cup of tea, and some classical music later everything was worked out.
I just feel like such a stooge-face! I need to let men practice being chivalrous instead of letting the whole feminism thing infiltrate my behavior. How did I let that slip into my train of thought?
At least I know now. At least I can now work on continuing to encourage men to be gentlemanly, to just back off and give them the opportunity to be men of God, while simultaneously giving myself the opportunity to be a woman of God. *Sigh* Well, at least I’m doing all of these things (messing up, tripping over myself) now instead of however many years from now when it will really matter. God is amazing like that: when you cooperate with Him, He starts doing things in your life and changing things in you right away, once you surrender your life to Him. It’s all His anyway 🙂
“You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” —John 8:32