I don't mean rough stuff as in circumstances around me- I enjoy my job so much, I have a group of amazing friends here in Cambodia and I'm part of a thriving, growing church community in the capital city! Circumstances around me are nothing to be called "rough". Especially when compared with the things that I actually do find myself calling "rough".
God has decided, and I have agreed, that this is a good time for me to do some of the really h-a-r-d work of uprooting lies, rearranging some sand-like foundations of beliefs in my personal life so that bricks of Truth can be put down in their place. It's work because I am the kind of person who likes to know what I'm getting into, I like to be sure of something before I fully agree with it.
I want you to know that this doesn't remove faith- it takes lots of faith for me to be sure that I trust who He is so I can also trust the reasons for what God will ask of me, the actions He and I will do together, where God will lead me... and then I can allow Him to take me by the hand as I declare with all of my heart that I do indeed trust Him even when I don't see the whole picture yet.
It's a bit of a chaotic place when bad foundations of lies built out of sand are being kicked up all around you. Especially when the liar who gave it to you is standing by watching, accusing you of betrayal, telling you that you're being a fool to let go of what has seemed to work for so long and doing all he can to show that the new foundation, bricks made of Truth, will eventually crack....
Yet, here I stand. Not alone, Jesus is with me and He's invited a few of my friends along who can help me identify sand from bricks. As we reach into the ground underneath my feet there is sand and brick together. There were moments and people in my past that lined up with the bricks God planned for me to have.
There's also lots of sand. Some of the sand I hate the most is when it actually has chunks of brick in it. There are bricks that God gave me for foundation and that enemy got in there when I was young and he broke apart some of those bricks and mixed them in with his sand!!! I've been so convinced for so long that the sand was solid that sometimes I don't want to get rid of it so fast because I'm actually afraid that as those lies are pulled up I won't find solid ground.
But, you know what? Bricks will certainly be more solid and more firm and in fact, as those Truths become the ground I stand firm on I won't have to worry about being shaky, uncertain or unstable anymore.
It will feel different for a little while though.... Kinda like when you get a new pair of shoes... It takes your feet a little while to get used to them. Sometimes, they even cause blisters if you don't take care of the shoes and your feet properly.... It will take some time to get used to standing on new ground, it might feel really uncomfortable as I begin to let go of phrases, thoughts and habits that have been so much a part of me.... I will have to spend time and energy to take care of my thoughts and actions so that when the liar comes back and wants to put sand in again I can tell him no. I might even have to be able to quickly admit to a friend that I need help...
I'm pretty sure though that as long as I keep looking at Who God is, Who He has been in my life, Who He has been for so many who I love.... I think I'll decide the bricks are better than the sand.
Friends have been standing with me as Jesus picks up handfuls of sand from my past and asks me to replace it with bricks. They are helping me recognize that pity and love are so very different, that hate and abandonment are not in God's character towards me, that fears I used to think were monsters are really only shadows trying to block God's light, that beliefs that don't line up with He word about me are actually hurting me...
Yeah, it's a work in progress. BUT, I'm no longer trying to decide if I want to do it, I'm in! Both feet in, surrounded by sand and bricks and God and people who love me. Satan's trying pretty hard to get me to keep some of that sand but I know he doesn't have any authority to make me keep what I decide I want to get rid of.
My words, my questions, my concerns.... God's not afraid of them. Sometimes it's just me and Him during prayer and journaling and other times He invites my friends, my community, to be part of the process with us and He lets me take a moment (or a few days sometimes!) to get all the effects of standing on sand for so long out of my mind, through my mouth, and then there's a reminder that the Truth hasn't changed just because I said a bunch of things that didn't agree with it.
A few years ago I would have said I never wanted other people to be this close to my sandy foundation, but it's so good for my heart to have such a real sign that I HAVE GROWN and AM BECOMING MORE LIKE JESUS! I am glad I don't have to do this alone, I'm glad I don't want to do this alone! As God has shown me how to allow people into this process and who to allow into which parts, I have been loved, I have been valued, I have seen that I'm worth fighting for, I have been heard, I have seen that my victories matter and not just to me! I wouldn't have had any of those experiences if I had decided to do this alone.
God is good. I trust Him. I love Him. I'm learning to recognize sand for the false ground it is. I'm willing to be uncomfortable as things change (that's the hardest part for me!). And, I'm glad I'm not alone in it. Those are some bricks of Truth I didn't have before :-)
I think that as we live life on this earth we all experience moments when some sand gets slipped into our foundation almost unnoticed. I'd encourage you though that if it seems like Holy Spirit might be trying to point out something like than.... Let Him. Ask Him to show you, ask Him to help you get rid of it, you don't have to figure it out alone.... God is Trinity because He LOVES community and relationship... Find a friend or pastor who can help. It'll be worth it. It may take some time, but then again we value things we invest in, don't we?