A friend of mine told me “a word from the Lord” that she had for me. She doesn’t yet know about my unbelief, but she was at least minimally aware of some difficulties we’ve had in telling others our decision not to return to the overseas mission field.
“God is saying that your entire life, you’ve dictated your actions based on what other people would think of you, based on their expectations of you, and how you could best please them. Whether it be your parents or just people in your life, you did things and didn’t do other things because of these expectations. But now, you are free from that. You can finally do what you want for you, and God is saying that He is on your side, whatever you choose. He’s letting you choose, and He’ll back you up in that decision.”
Regardless of the fact that I don’t believe in God, I think she said a lot of truth. I’ve made mention of a past abusive relationship before. This isn’t something I talk about with many people, but I think it reveals a destructive pattern in my life: I sacrifice myself (in an unhealthy way) in order to make someone else happy. Whether it be succumbing to a burger joint rather than mention my preference for a salad, or allowing myself to be emotionally abused so that I can fill another’s insecurities, I have a terrible time really standing up for myself and evaluating what I want or what’s best, most authentic, most freeing for me. I’ve discussed this in this blog post. So really, what an incredible GIFT my unbelief has been for me, for this very reason!
If I were to believe in God, it would be one that would say something like this to someone like me. Why?
1. I think God’s number one concern would be for the freedom of people, NOT making sure people believed in him.
2. I think he may allow me to stop believing in him if it meant it would free me from being bound to others in an unhealthy way.
3. Despite what some have said to me, I think he is still pleased with me, because I am making incredibly difficult choices for the sake of authenticity.
Now, to truly decide what I want to do with my life, with today, with this moment, without the weight of any other opinion looming over me!