“Sometimes I feel like I have to play relational tetris.” I said this the other night to a friend and immediately wanted to roll out of their moving car. Wow. I had finally found words to put to my feeling like I have to make all the right moves or my relationships will implode. If you read my last blog post (THANK YOU!) then you know I am in a season of letting people deeper into my life. This has brought up in me the fear of rejection and the fear of man but most deeply it has brought up this fear that if I make a wrong move, maybe people will leave me. Here’s the thing though, these thoughts and feelings have been so subtle that to me, well it seemed it had to have some truth to it (until I said it outloud and realized how sad it sounded). Isn’t it crazy that our biggest breakthrough moments also bring up our greatest fears? So here I am, minding my own business, trying to be brave and let people in to a greater level and BAM, I’m hit with the fear that if I don’t make the right moves, then it all comes crashing down.
I instantly felt like I had been holding my breath for an eternity and then I finally exhaled. My friend looked at me and asked me if I knew I didn’t actually have to live like this. In my head I know it, but my heart is on a journey to this truth. Like anyone, I have had my share of relationships that have been hard and some that have had to end-we just couldn’t make friendship work anymore. What none of those people know is that my narrative always ended with the entirety of the breakdown being my fault. Now, we all know that most likely isn’t the case-it takes two people in a relationship and no one is ever blameless. For a long time though, my heart has believed all of these things have been my fault so therefore, Lauren, you better make the right moves moving forward. It is exhausting, it is overwhelming, and it is not the freedom that Jesus died for me to live in. I have been living in less than abundance and I cannot afford to live in fear anymore.
I was talking to the Lord all of this the other day and in His gentle, yet very firm voice He asked me a simple question-”Lauren, will you live like you are loved?” You can imagine the tears that flowed in this moment. In that question came the realization that I have been living for love and not from love. Living for love means I live my life trying to gain the affection and attention of the people I love. It means I strive and I try in my own strength. It means I become possessive and jealous and afraid. But, living from love means I can rest. It means I can believe that I am who God says I am. It means that I believe God is enough. It means that I choose to believe that the people around me actually see me and embrace every part of me. Living from love means that even when something is my fault, it doesn’t mean that people leave. It means that being in process is actually enjoyable and not something I run from because I fear that people can’t handle the mess. It means that I can let go.
So, I’m throwing the tetris game out-it can all come crashing down. I am repenting of living in fear. I am living like I am loved. And when it isn’t easy, instead of trying to earn love, I will let people love me right in the middle. Most importantly, I am letting God love me, right now. Messy, complicated, unsure, afraid, and loud. I am loved, so I will live that way.