In 2003, I hit a boiling point. So much of my life was going well and the resume I presented to the world looked really good. But I hit a point that I could no longer contain the chaos that had been simmering internally for so long. I didn’t have it as together as I attempted to appear. I was in financial debt and came to the reality that although it was my fault I ended up there, I could not carry the burden alone. I could not within my own means figure out a way to turn around. I was drowning in interest.
I began to ask for prayer. Not raising any alarm to give people an indication that I was in trouble. Asking people to pray for my finances is not so uncommon. God knew that I needed to break off the pride and recognize I was in deep trouble and be able to admit it. My effort was not enough to get me out of it. I needed to humble myself and ask for help. Through a series of events I finally came clean about the reality of my situation. Well, at least some of it.
In my attempt to keep things hidden, I stopped paying for my car insurance because I couldn’t afford. I was a good driver and soon as I could get my head about water, I was going to pick it up again. No need to let people know. They might think I had an issue with money. Well I did. That was the truth. I had to shed these masks and stop living in fear of what people thought of me. God in His gentleness knew exactly what was needed.
So to make a long story short, that fall through the help of others I had a financial plan to get out of debt. After a car accident, I lost my license for many many months and didn’t have to pay insurance right away. AND I blew out my knee needing major surgery and help rehabbing. I needed to be stripped of my independent, self-sufficient, pride. Living in community is not about what I can do for others. It is also receiving from them. I didn’t need to be better than other people. We all have strengths and weaknesses and can help each other. God knew how to peel off my masks and show me how to live in the freedom of being authentic.
As I have been reading through 1 & 2 Kings, I have been watching the kings of Israel and Judah rise and fall. The Bible talks about their motivations and decisions in leading the country forward. It becomes very clear where the lines are in trusting God or trusting in ourselves. Pleasing God from our perspective or humbling ourselves before Him and walking in faith. These ideas reminded me of a book I read a few years ago, TrueFaced by Bill Thrall, Bruce McNicol and John Lynch. A great illustration breaking down the motivations of our heart and the traps we can default to with good intentions, but that limit our spiritual growth.
Leadership impacts those that follow. The value system a leader has impacts not only the current community of people, but the next generation as well. The prideful choices made have consequences that everyone feels. Giving the Holy Spirit permission to reveal your heart’s intentions is very humbling. I can be so quick to defend myself and paint a picture that I am the right place and got everything handled well. The reality is, it is more freeing to pull off the masks and admit that I have needs. I need help and am thankful for the communities of grace God has given me to grow!