I’ve always been that person who wants to fix everything.
Ever since I can remember, I’ve always wanted to make sure that everything is okay and sometimes I’ve been given that well-meaning but just upsetting name of “peace-keeper“‘; my own feelings and hurts tend to be pushed aside and I suppose, massively undervalued, because I just want everyone to be alright.
In the last few months since my last blog post, I’ve not wanted to write anything or update you all on my ‘year’ with Jesus (ha, that is, assuming you’re even bothered, but oh well), because I’ve not had anything to say. If I’m really honest, I’ve just been so angry with God. I’ve been angry that I’ve poured my heart and soul into so many things, so many people and so many relationships and the fruit of my efforts has sometimes felt minimal, if not completely non-existent. I’ve been angry that some stuff has come to light that I couldn’t believe God would even allow to happen, and I’ve been angry that once again, trusty ol’ Annie has just come out to play and sort everything out. I mean, come on God, isn’t this YOUR job?
In the last few months, since my last blog post, I have also had a massive realisation: I have a hero complex.
(this is me as a cat. I guess if I was a super hero, I’d be a cat)
I seem to put myself into positions where I just want to fix everything, and for everything to be okay, and for the most part it is truly because I want to make sure that the people around me who are hurting or are struggling are okay – even at the expense of myself as I said earlier. But sometimes, just sometimes (okay, maybe sometimes more than sometimes), I want to be the hero, and I want to be the one who makes it all better.
The words thank you, Annie, thank you for all you’ve done, are just too much to resist. It gives me an ego-boost, it makes me feel special and valued and wanted. I did good, didn’t I? I guess I’d even go as far to say I did good when God didn’t.
Well, it turns out, all that was pretty much rubbish: I’m not God, am I?
It turns out that I get tired easy, and it turns out that when I don’t read my Bible and actively avoid God in my anger and resentment of having to step in as the hero, I dry up and wither a little. Well, in truth, I wither a lot. My cheeks sting with bitterness at having to smile at church again and my heart is sour with the absence of gladness. I get fed up with the people around me who are happy, I become judgemental and unnecessary.
I forget God’s grace to me.
Hebrews 4:11 says this: “…for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God rested from His. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter into that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience”.
Make every effort, huh? No one will perish, you say?
I think I just got told.
The initial reason I wanted to start writing this new series is so I can log my experiences and the lessons I think Jesus is teaching me through all of this – this year dedicated completely to Him (which if I’m honest has definitely not been as dedicated as I wanted it to be so far) – and I guess this lesson is all to do with ability, my strength, and my desperate need for Jesus. I haven’t entered into God’s rest for what seems like forever; I have taken refuge in other things and cast my worries and my burdens for those around me onto myself, in this long and what seemed like endless cycle of heaviness and drained-ness.
I can’t do anything without Jesus, and once again Jesus has truly taught me that. Recently, I opened up about some things that I’ve been holding on to – the things that people have passed onto me or laid on me and that I persisted in carrying on my own. I opened up to God and told him that I was angry, that I didn’t know where he was, that I couldn’t see his purposes working for good and I definitely didn’t want to trust him with any of it – yet, as soon as I passed the buck, the relief and the rest came.
And, if I’m honest, it keeps on coming – when I let it. The hero complex isn’t completely gone, I still have my cape and super-cool eye mask, and the theme tune to my saving escapades still plays from time to time. But my eyes have been opened once again to the fact that the real hero in all of this is Jesus. The real carrier of burdens, the foundation of my strength and my goodness – my identity as Annie and not Super Woman – is Jesus. Just Jesus.
King David, despite his flaws (and believe me, they were massive – I mean, do I even need to say that coveting another man’s wife and then having her husband killed is probably not the best thing to do?!), was still kinda wise I suppose. In Psalm 13:1 he says: “how long, Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?”
How long, Jesus, will you let me save the day on my own? How long, Lord, will you hide from me, when will you take over, when will you rescue me from rescuing?
I’ve also realised recently, that when we sing in church ‘Jesus Saves’ or we read about Jesus being the once and for all Saviour, for me, this doesn’t just mean on the Cross. Of course (don’t freak out fellow theologians or budding Bible-types, no heresy is coming at ya), what Jesus did by dying on the Cross for the sin of the world and coming back from the dead to give us eternal life is very much a once-done-always-done thing, but if you’re anything like me, I still need Jesus to help me back up. I still need Jesus to tell me I’m not a hero, and that Jesus is sufficient – Jesus is enough, and I don’t have to be anything other than me, other than regular old Annie, and that Jesus loves me for that.
David goes onto say, in verse 5 and 6: “but I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing the Lord’s praise, for he has been good to me”. And truth be told, Jesus has been good to me, and I do trust in His unfailing love. I hand over the cape again, Jesus – take the cheesy theme song and definitely take the eye mask. I wonder how many other heroes there are out there – how many heroes are reading this?
Lift the burden and drop it at the Cross. Sometimes, people are just rubbish. We all are, at some point. But Jesus? He’s bigger than all that, he’s bigger than all the hurts, and all of the stuff you and I push aside – so I guess it’s best we let Him do the saving from now on, eh?
Peace and blessings x
all photos taken from pinterest.com (except that one of cat-me)