Monday, March 18, 2013

Releasing Idols One Step at a Time

The following is an email I sent to one of my professors, I posted it here because I feel like it was a journal entry more than an actual letter.

It's 12:29 and I should be going to your class, but today I am not. I am not sure exactly why I feel the need to send you this email--maybe it is because you are my adviser. Maybe I am writing this email more for myself, and by the end of it neither of us will understand why I sent it to you. Whatever the case, I am going to continue...
I am sending this primarily to tell you that I will most likely not be attending your class anymore. I thank you for the opportunity to sit in on the class. I hope that you are not offended. Perhaps you are disappointed in me, but that is a consequence I will just have to sit with.
I feel like a completely different person than the girl you meet with before the semester break. That girl was determined to make a future for herself, no matter how much work it took. That girl was desperate for your approval of her (along with the approval of every other professor). That girl was willing to manipulate "God's plan" for her life just so that she could claim that she knew what it actually was.
I am not that girl anymore.
Something happened over the semester break. Something extremely personal. Something extremely healing. Something extremely freeing. Something that I never thought I would do.
Sounds great right?
It is. But it also caused an upheaval for me. The girl you once knew was busy making up her own identity (still! you would think I would have learned by then!).
This thing that happened over break uprooted some deep stuff--that, by all means, needed to come out--but it also uprooted all the identity work I have done to cover myself over the years.
So what am I trying to say?
I am trying to say that I have moved from girlhood to womanhood....but I am a very confused woman. I am trying to explain to you why I have backed off from all the plans that you and I had discussed prior to break. I am trying to tell you that I was really nervous to come set my schedule with you for next semester because everything seems so uncertain. And not necessarily uncertain in a bad way. It is just that I have been so used to molding myself, that now that God yanked this thing out of me.....I no longer need to engage in my past-time of rigidly molding myself. So, I am kind of lost. But not a bad lost. Just lost.
I'm in the precarious position of trying to wait to see what God does, but also not just sit idly.
I have not wiped away my options. In fact, I have added even more. But I am not trying to pursue them head-on without God. I don't want to be like Jacob (I am very good at being like Jacob).
Am I scared to make a decision? Yes and no. I think prior to being uprooted, I was scared that I would make a wrong decision. I was so tied up by the need to gain acceptance of others. I will admit that because this was such an ingrained thought process that I still am struggling with it a bit--but at least I can catch myself and say, NO! I think my fear in making a decision is more of an apprehension right now. That I see so many doors open. And they are all "right" doors. I just want to be sure that I have looked closely at them all and peeked in them all rather than making a rash decision out of a need to KNOW NOW.
I feel like the world is a little cloudy. I no longer feel like I can ascertain the absolute right answer and have that answer be my solid foundation. (I'm not sure I'm making sense even to myself....) I used to feel like I could do it on my own. I spent so much time covering myself with my fig leaf (acceptance of others, mask of perfection, academic wiz, etc). Then God tore away my fig leaf (hmmmm....I feel like He has done this other times in my life as well), and now I feel naked. And it is a bitter sweet naked. I feel more....pure....than I did before. But I also feel more uncertain and unstructured. It is as if I feel free to cling to God for once, but it feels awkward to do so.
So....maybe skipping your class is not a good thing to do after all. But see my problem is that my reason for signing up for the class originally was very different. I need to get my priorities straight. I've been going to the class to get smarter and to gain acceptance from you (you told me that you only let special students sit in on classes)--these are not good motives. These are aspects of the old identity that I was creating for myself. Part of that old identity idolized myself and idolized academics and idolized my professors (you the top among them!). So I am taking a break from the class to get my heart right. Plus, I have not been engaged the last few classes. I don't know if you have been watching me, but I have been sleepy and in my head. So I am not even gaining much from the class at this point--I am just filling a seat and every once in a while making my voice heard.
Alright. I have rambled enough...I don't even remember all that I have said. (So that means you can probably forget that I even sent this....) Bottom line, I respect you very much--but my respect has at times verged on idolatry. I know that may seem weird, and perhaps I shouldn't have told you, but I need to get it out there. I need to expel that from myself. And I need you to know. It is one thing to tell God in secret, but it is another to tell you.
So, I don't know when or if I will be back to class. I will obviously still be in your other class--I dealt with my motives for taking that class a while back--it is not an issue for me like this class is. 
I realize that I may seem like a mess. I feel like a mess. But I am not surprised. There is so much going on in my life other than school right now. And for once I can fully believe in my heart that school is not the most important thing in my life at the moment. And that is such a freeing thing to believe.
If you don't respond, I will not be offended. If you are interested in responding, feel free to.
Thank you for reading,

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