Written by Cindy Palin
When I was younger, I didn’t recognize my strong tendency to be driven. To be dedicated and determined are great qualities, but to be driven can lead to a narrow, selfish vision. I could have asked God for help with my driven nature, but I didn’t. Because of this, I missed out on how to be a friend, how to serve others, and how to honour my parents.
In part, I was in survival mode due to my dysfunctional home life, and there is grace for that. In part, I was consumed with myself and my future. There is grace for that too. There can be deep-seated reasons for our behaviours, which makes it all the more important to talk to God about them.
I encourage you to remember He will “restore the years the locust have eaten” (Joel 2:25). Just like a plague of locusts can lay waste to the land, my selfishness laid waste to the years of my youth. By identifying and acknowledging my selfishness before God, sincerely and honestly, I was restored. My future with God, moving forward, outweighs all that I lost.
As I continued to search for meaning and purpose in life, I became drawn to the honesty of prayer in the book of Psalms.
In Psalm 51 David tells the Lord, “…you are right in your verdict and justified when you judge. Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.” In the same chapter, he cries, “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”
These verses encouraged me to speak the same words and my own thoughts, concerns, and gratitude to God. Through David’s honesty I got a clear picture of God’s holiness and how I should approach Him in prayer. Through David’s failures and penitent heart, I learned I could continue to talk to God even with my terrible track record.
I dealt with a great deal of anxiety growing up. I was afraid because of what I saw happen in my home and afraid of who I might become. After I left home, I had trouble identifying my anxiety. I was no longer in the same volatile situations, but I wasn’t talking to God much anymore either.
After I made the decision to trust God, I began to mature in my faith relationship with Him. Only then could I see through the Holy Spirit’s guidance in our conversation together. I can relate to the old song, “I Need Thee Every Hour.” All I needed to do was open my lips and call on Him. I realized that much of the anxiety, restlessness, and uneasiness I felt was simply my soul longing for communion with Him.