Almost a year ago, on this blog, I asked myself why I wanted to find God. I said that my life wasn't perfect, but it was pretty great, and that I already knew how to lead a good life even without God. I've often thought that if I was more unhappy, that if I needed God more, I'd have much less trouble finding him. Last night, I finally realized that I've been looking at things all wrong.
For the last four months or so, I've been attending a new church and a growth group (basically a Bible study). It's been a completely new experience for me, but I can't express how much the new friends I've made there have helped me on this spiritual journey. On Sunday, the pastor spoke about running towards Jesus, not happiness or holiness. I didn't quite understand what he was talking about until it was explained at my growth group last night: when you run toward holiness, you get the false impression that you can accomplish holiness through your own work. It's a false belief because you can't accomplish that yourself. Through Jesus flows everything else that is good. Basically, you can do all the good deeds you want, but it's still meaningless if you're missing Jesus.
I realized that my pride is what has been getting in the way. I thought that I could figure out how to be holy on my own and that if I did that, I would find God when the opposite is true. Once I find Jesus, the rest will fall in place.
It's a difficult for me to grasp that pride is what I need to let go of. My concept of self-worth has always been shaky at best. As a geeky, gawky girl who was used to being bullied and publicly humiliated, I grew up always thinking I wasn't pretty enough or interesting enough or strong enough or smart enough. I've spent a lifetime trying to build up my self-esteem. It's hard to accept that no matter how many self-help books I read or how many plans I devise to make myself better, I will never be able to truly achieve happiness and holiness on my own. I need God.
But then again, I suppose I should feel relieved. Doesn't the Bible say that Jesus will bear the yoke for you (hey, I've only been reading it recently--I can't quote it yet, so I'm just going to have to make do with paraphrasing)? I won't have to constantly work on improving myself because Jesus will do that for me. I won't have to do it on my own any more. As the pastor said, "In Jesus alone, but not alone in Jesus."