The Relationship between Stillness and Abandonment
July 31, 2019
Do you have people in your life that are like Jesus to you? They are the ones who walk with you through the hills and valleys. They are channels through which God works. Their presence alone is enough. They don’t need to say anything, but when they do, their words often pierce like an arrow and go straight to your heart. You can really hear from these kinds of people. Does anyone like this come to mind for you? I have people like this in my life, and I like to say that they are “God with skin on.”
Just this morning, I had a spiritual experience with one of my “God with skin on” friends. He and I were talking about a book he is reading called The Impersonal Life by Joseph Benner. He discovered the book through a YouTube channel called Giving Voice to the Wisdom of the Ages.
Anyway, the book is about spirituality and self-discovery. One of the ideas from it that he mentioned is: Be still. Another idea that came up in our discussion was fear of abandonment. After our chat, I started to wonder about these two words. They kept repeating in my mind. Be still. Abandonment. Be still. Abandonment. Without being aware, I was meditating on these two ideas. As the ideas rang throughout my consciousness, I asked “What is their relationship? What do I believe about these two words?
Suddenly, the loop broke and I heard “I am not enough.” This is a belief I have about myself that I have been working to recover from for several years. I have seen counselors, read books, gone to retreats, prayed, journaled, meditated, and more. Some growth has occurred, but I still get stuck in it at times. How did this belief connect to the other two ideas of stillness and abandonment? The following is where the “I am not enough” belief leads me.
I am not enough. I should be better than this. This is bad. No one will love me if I can’t be enough. I will be alone. I don’t want to be alone. How can I fix this? What am I going to do? I can try harder to be enough. I can _______. (eat less, achieve more, learn more, give more, sleep less) If I do those things, then I will be lovable and I won’t be alone.
The result of this belief system is never stillness. To be still in this belief system is to be abandoned.
What would happen if I decided to avoid judgment for a second? What if nothing was bad or good. What would happen if I brought my belief of “I am not enough” to God?
Well, I did just that. In prayer, I said, “God, I am not enough.”
Do you know what I heard back in response? “I know my child. I made you that way, and it is good.” I said, “It is?” The Spirit responded, “Yes, my child, as long as you are not enough you will remain in me and I in you. You ARE enough IN me.
Then I remembered the verses from John 15:5:
I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
Trying harder is not the answer. Being still and inviting the Holy Spirit to come and fill me in my moments of self-doubt is the answer. Once I am filled up with the confidence that comes from the unconditional love that the Spirit provides, I have the power to do great things.