I finished writing my post on giving up and letting God take over the reconstruction of my life, and then 2 days later got to the chapter in a new book I’m reading called The Truest Thing About You that was aalllllll about doing just that. I may be easily impressed, but I still just sit in complete awe when God makes his timing so clear to me! Everything Lomas wrote was so encouraging and exactly what I needed to hear/exactly what I felt the Lord had been telling me – “We cannot change ourselves, just as we cannot save ourselves” (120).
Lomas compares Eaustace’s character in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader to the way that we cover up our true identity that lies at our core with multiple layers of scales and false identities until we, like Eustace, become a dragon, and can no longer recognize our true selves. At the end of the story, Aslan, the “messiah figure in the story”, is the only one who can “undress” Eustace of all his skins (119):
“We cannot undress ourselves, just as we cannot fully know the self we long to undress. The only One who can undress us, who can remove the lifetime of layers, who knows the truest thing, and everything about us, is the One who created us… Our watcher has been waiting for the moment we sheath our own claws in order to reveal his” (120).
When Aslan begins to undress Eustace of his scales…
“’The first tear he made was so deep,’ recalls Eustace, ‘that I thought it had gone right into my heart. When he began pulling the skin off, it hurt worse than anything I’ve ever felt. The only thing that made me able to bear it was the pleasure of seeing the stuff peeled off’” (121).
^^^After I read this, I drew a big exclamation mark next to it and then went back and read it over and over again. I say this cautiously, but it may be the best thing I’ve ever read, and exactly what I needed to hear. Being separated from the things we hold on to to make us feel safe can be so painful, but the pain will be so worth it.
“There is nothing you can do to contribute to your own survival in any ultimate sense. You can add a year here, a decade there, a season of happiness and fulfillment between spring and fall. But you cannot save yourself. When you try to save yourself you will fail. Only when you want to live so badly that you give up trying to save your own life – only then do you have any chance. It is only when you do nothing but cling that you will find yourself carried to safety” (129).
You cannot save yourself. You will fail. You have to give up trying.
“…when we call out to Jesus for rescue, that is exactly what happens – immediately we are rescued. Saved. Snatched from the lions’ den. Jesus, God’s eternal Word and the One in whom we and all of creation live and move and have our being, is the only One who can stage such a rescue mission. Jesus reaches down into the river of human sin and sorrow under which we’re drowning. Jesus, the One whose hands carry scars of His love for us, pulls us bodily from the water and lifts us into new life” (133).
Something about that image of the God of the entire universe reaching down with his own hands to save me out of His love for me was like everything I needed to hear.
“It is only when the old has passed that the new will come” (129).
While trying to save myself, I was preventing myself from letting go of the past. I know that in giving up the control to God, he will give me something brand new, and it will be something way better than anything I could have come up with on my own.