Freedom to Lose Myself

Emotional FreedomNoelle Schwantes, LPC-MHSP, NCC

I’ve just had an epiphany.  I’ve been reading this morning in Luke and as always happens I got stuck on Luke 9:23-24.

“If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.  For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it.”

I spent all my young life losing myself.  I lost myself in serving others and working myself to the point of illness.  I lost myself in religion and would argue anyone into a theological lather if they disagreed with my perspective on scripture.  Later, I lost myself in other things equally painfully and harmful.  So believe me when I tell you that I KNEW that losing myself was not a good thing.  The fruit of it was bad.  So every time I read this scripture I got irritated, bumping up against a rock I couldn’t debate.

So here is my epiphany.  It is ALL about WHO you lose yourself to!  I spent a lifetime “losing” myself to people pleasing.  I thought I was serving but I was self-serving because the hole in my soul demanded to be filled and I went with the things that soothed it for a moment.  I lost myself to saying yes to yet another demand at church when my body screamed for rest, to doing anything that a “good Christian should do.” Later when that crashed around me I started losing myself to other things, the heat of passion, alcohol, television, spending (well that one was present all along.)  These were the things that seemed to fill me and were slowly killing me.  (And don’t kid yourself, the service at church that God didn’t direct me to do was EQUALLY as harmful as all the worldly things I got into later.)

Somewhere along the line, without me even understanding what was happening, I came to the end of myself and got tired of the effects of losing myself.  I began to tell God, “I can’t do this, help.” I began to lose myself to Him.  And here is what happened; everything that I’ve lost to God has come back to me as gold.  I’m frustrated with the inability of words  to express the difference this has made and continues to make in my life.  Let’s just say the tears are flowing.

Imagine the things in your life that are harming you.  The worries that keep you up at night.  The shame and fear that keeps you bound.  What are the specifics? Name them before you read further.

Now imagine having perfect peace about them.  Imagine the opposite of whatever is hurting you right now.

This is what has happened to me as I have lost myself to God.  And it keeps getting better.  Even a few months ago I was crying because I felt like God was asking me to give up yet another thing that I enjoy.  I told him through tears, “You’re taking everything away!” But I have learned that surrendering is in my best interest.  It’s not that I’m “holy,” it’s just that I like what He does in my life.  So I did, and He gave it back, except I’m not compulsive with that activity anymore.  I have freedom there.  The enjoyment has increased.

It’s funny, I want to scream this from the rooftops.  (So please feel free to share this on your timelines, etc!) When you lose yourself in Christ He will fill the dark places in ways you can’t fathom right now.  I want this for you and as I continue to lose myself to Him that urgency grows in me.  To share the gospel (which means in original language, “too good to be true.”) with the world so we can all have the freedom I’m finding.  He is SO GOOD girls.  He will guard your heart like the treasure it is.

What would losing yourself to God look like for you today?

 

2 thoughts on “Freedom to Lose Myself

  1. What would losing yourself to God look like for you today?
    — that is the question to be answered … I don’t feel like I understand how to lose myself to God or to even be on the winning side anymore.

    • Hi BG. Thanks for your vulnerability. Your comment elicits a lot of questions in my mind. What has happened for you? What feels like you’re on the losing side? When I am in doubt I have found it helpful to find promises that I really need to be true and sometimes I’ve been known to get a little demanding with God. He is good to His word. My prayers are going up for your pain and questions.

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