“Do we really want to give up our illusions about life, our deceits about the kind of people we are, all those false images about the past and fantasies concerning the future? They may be our sins, in that they have kept us from living our lives fully, but they are comfortable and familiar, and in our internal establishment, they hold together our concept of who we are.
Take out even one little piece and there is a trembling in the whole structure; such is the interconnectedness of all our inward workings. We cannot change in one little corner of our lives without feeling the reverberations in other corners. The question – “Do you want to recover?” (John 5:1-9) – might even go to the root of things where the foundations would shake and the whole of us would be in danger of collapse.”
Elizabeth O’Conner/”Search For Silence”
Oh, how I’ve missed writing! Life has been hectic and full as of late. I’m glad to have the time to be here today.
It happened shortly after I gave my life back to Christ – this shattering of long-held illusions. I still cannot believe how many lies I believed, nor the density of the mask I was pretending to live behind.
I am still a work in progress, as we all are. I am still on this journey of illusions being shattered, where layers of the real and true me are revealed. Sometimes I act like a spoiled rotten brat who can’t believe she doesn’t get her own way anymore. The other day I heard of an old co-worker who always had things work out for her and whom I carried (and still carry) a lot of envy, had quit her job and got another. Like I tried to do to no avail and have asked God a few times since hearing of her, “Why not me, Lord?” Okay, maybe not asking, more like whining. On Friday I drove passed a house in my old and weathered neighborhood who was getting their yard completely re-done, with a sprinkler system no doubt. And I literally – LITERALLY – stuck my tongue out and made that ppphhhttt sound. You know, like a real grown up would do. Time and time again I am faced with the reality that I am unable to live out of an illusion. Please, do not misunderstand me. I am not saying quitting one job and getting another is an illusion. Nor am I saying re-doing your yard or house is an illusion. But, for me, I was capable for many years to pretend that those things were where my identity was held; where others could find me to be something I was not. And I felt comfortable in those illusions until……
And let me be frank here – I felt my foundations shake and the whole of me was not only in danger of collapsing, but it DID. There were times I thought I would die. Being stripped of all that you once held up to hide what you thought was the real and true you is painful with a capital P.
But there’s a flip side to all this. And that’s my experience last week of not only my embodying the Christ-like peace down to my bones, but also feeling alive and unchained; like a lightning bolt of life, love and freedom were pulsing through my veins.
I’ll take shattered illusions any time for this Great Exchange.