Religion Magazine

The Struggle With ‘Self’.

By Jenrene
The Struggle With ‘Self’.

By Darryl Fudge

Can I be transparent for a minute?

I was sitting silently today and thinking about the danger of being too complacent. Of depending on ”Self.”

I had a recent  struggle with Self. I became so wrapped up in a thought life, I began to allow the enemy to steal  my joy. I was able to see into a place deep within myself that required I be completely honest with myself, yet  I  honestly just didn’t want to be honest with myself.  I wanted what I wanted. I didn’t really feel like I had to feel  another way, or should even think differently than I was thinking.  I had a struggle with myself. I even held my ground, until I broke. Not really…  broken, but pretty close.  I  became so restless, I hardly had any peace. Of course, in  those moments, I turn to God.

Where else can I go? Psalm 139″12 says: “But even in darkness I cannot hide from you. To you the night shines as bright as day. Darkness and light are the same to you.”

I remember trying to hold on, til I could hold on no more. I have learned since then, to surrender. To give myself permission to release it. No matter how much it hurts. No matter how much it offers  me the safeness I need to feel –  holding onto those thoughts  and all wrapped up in my security blanket that says: “This is safer… don’t let go.” No matter how much I want to convince myself… I have to tell myself the ” Self – that person that believes in playing it safer, is a lie.

 I have found the more I depend upon Self, the more I need to die to Self. It just isn’t  a very dependable state of being.

When I hold onto Self – the part of me that depends so much on “myself”, I  manage to hide behind who I really am… the part of me that lies to myself – who robs me of  my purposed thoughts, my intuition, my hopes and dreams. The part of me that forgets to remember that true authenticity is not depending on what I know, but in retrospect, taking a risk to reach for the unknown.

Just recently, I met someone who tended to Self first –  and it destroyed her life. Literally cost her. There’s a rap song that says: ” Don’t push me, cause I’m close to the edge…It’s like a jungle sometimes it makes me wonder how I keep from going under.”  The song is so similar to  the challenge  of the struggle with SELF.    This woman I am talking about wanted what she wanted and she took  every effort to get it. As a result, it cost her to sacrifice what she really desired. It cost her about  seven years of her life and time spent away from her children.  Her life had been sacrificed and certain freedoms.  She lost it all… even the prized possession she had been holding onto. So … had it been worth it? Of course not.

Who in their right mind would give up everything to  have the ONE thing they wanted and lose it all?

Well.. no one would, quite honestly. Not if they knew they were going to lose it.

I remember once  when I was about twenty, I was in a relationship with someone I really wanted to be with very badly.  I thought if I  did all the right things – they wouldn’t leave me. They did, in fact leave me and every time I saw them again after we broke up, I  literally found my heart again fly from my chest into my mouth! I would cry when I saw them, thinking that God couldn’t be a fair God if He allowed this person and I to  keep running into one another and talking to one another ; only to feel the pain of their absence in my life! Eventually, the pain faded.  A new, more courageous ‘me’ emerged. One in whom I was proud and  not ashamed of because of the pain. I later recognized this was intended growth from my Maker. It was spiritually good for me. Looking back, I  named this place as one of : GOOD pain.

The interesting thing about this relationship - was that  the person didn’t just leave my life and  dissolve into the distance. He would call me and talk to me and  make sure I was okay,  talk to me and talk with me, through my pain. I thought, Wow… that’s what Jesus would do. Talk me through the pain. This person became a very memorable person in my life because  I  remembered their character. In fact, when I was ready to  look for a person, who was trusting and  with marital qualities, I thought I’d marry someone just like this person. Their personality  was so thoughtful  and appreciative.  I couldn’t understand why they wouldn’t leave me alone and just let me be.   I finally realized that the “Self” - I was dying to -  was  an idol. I was living an idyllic view of what  life and love might be like, not one that involved true healing, hope and unconditional love in a relationship I could reciprocate.

So don’t struggle with Self. Don’t make an idol to it. Don’t depend so much on it, you desperately attempt to make it last forever. Gove yourself permission to feel. Allow yourself to rest in true hope and courage.

I believe I will share Psalm 139 in its entirety so that you can see God that truly rests in you when you have trouble of letting go of what’s comfortable.

Don’t hold onto Self. Let Go.

Psalm 139

O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me.

You know when I sit down or stand up.

You know my thoughts even when I’m far away.

You see me when I travel and when I rest at home.

You know everything I do.

You know what I am going to say even before I say it, Lord.

You go before me and follow me.

You place your hand of blessing on my head.

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too great for me to understand!

I can never escape from your Spirit!

I can never get away from your presence!

If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the grave, you are there.

If I ride the wings of the morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans,

even there your hand will guide me, and your strength will support me.

I could ask the darkness to hide me and the light around me to become night—

but even in darkness I cannot hide from you.

To you the night shines as bright as day. Darkness and light are the same to you.

You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb.

Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!

Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.

You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.

You saw me before I was born.

Every day of my life was recorded in your book.

Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.

How precious are your thoughts about me,O God.

They cannot be numbered!

I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand!

And when I wake up, you are still with me!

O God, if only you would destroy the wicked!

Get out of my life, you murderers! They blaspheme
you; your enemies misuse your name.

O Lord, shouldn’t I hate those who hate you? Shouldn’t I despise those who oppose you?

Yes, I hate them with total hatred, for your enemies are my enemies.

Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.

Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.

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