Shiny Objects: Dead Ends

After I surrendered myself fully to Christ, I imagined living the “Christian Curated” life. A life where, through prayer and supplication, I’d meet my wholesome husband instantly, land a perfect job where I could easily and safely spread the Word, sell some Christian merchandise on a perfectly curated website, and most importantly, take amazing photos with great lighting to add to my flawless social media feed.

I imagined living the life I described in my first post.

Unfortunately, on the journey to an impeccable Instagram page, I ran into obstacles. Many that I am realizing now, I created myself.

As I went deeper into my relationship with God, I began to hear from Him. Though, I didn’t immediately obey Him. I began to understand how I live a life of fear instead of one of faith. I would hear from the Lord and feel so grateful that He responded to my prayers and sometimes cries, but then become anxious, and convince myself that I knew what was best for me and my life.

Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it.

James 4: 17 (NLT)

I began to live in a toxic cycle of praying to the Lord, asking to go deeper in my faith, to hear from Him, to live for Him, then hearing his response and turning away from it. I allowed fear to eat at me, to control me, and instead of obeying, I turned to my creature comforts. Instead of seeking Christ wholly, I sought comfort, things I imagined could quickly fill voids, quiet my fears and hopefully strengthen me.

Relationships were my go-to. Men, really. I felt dating was a strength of mine I never really had to sharpen. I found myself in relationships, I never sought them. I found myself on dates, never asking for them. I wholeheartedly allowed men, some who didn’t identify with Christ, pull me away from what God asked me to do, time and time again. I realize now that even though I did not consciously seek their company, subconsciously I welcomed it. They were void-fillers. I convinced myself that they could sate the void that only God could fill. Some of them were even brilliant, hardworking, handsome, strong, and shiny, like a gift. But they could never replace my need for God. Despite their attractiveness and potential, I would eventually find myself unhappy and ready to abandon ship.

Though I realized this about a year ago, my anxieties and fears did not disappear overnight. I continued to get closer to God, now allowing myself to obey Him, but with trepidation. And during those times of inviting fear into my life, a shiny object would appear in my line of vision. And unfortunately, I’d allow myself to be distracted, over and over again until my disobedience caught up to me.

God rescued us from dead-end alleys and dark dungeons. He’s set us up in the kingdom of the Son he loves so much, the Son who got us out of the pit we were in, got rid of the sins we were doomed to keep repeating.

Colossians 1:13-14 (MSG)

God rescued me from the sin I was doomed to keep repeating, disobedience that leads to more sin because sin begets more sin. It pulls you further and further away from Christ and leaves you at a dead end.

It took finding myself in a dark place, at rock bottom, in a place I never expected to live in, a place I was too ashamed to share with anyone, to wake me up from disobedience. God allowed me to see the light in a place of darkness, and desire to live in His light.

Though the consequences of my disobedience haven’t completely vanished, I am happy to have learned a great lesson, to let go of the thoughts that try to control me. The thoughts that aren’t from Christ. I learned to obey. I learned what I allowed to distract me and why.

I have also learned to cut off the things that pull me away from God. I have decided to do a dating fast. I have realized that I am not strong enough yet to date the way that God wants me to, so I won’t until He decides I am ready.

What are you deciding to cut off today? What distracts you and pulls you away from His love and grace and light?