Independent and self-sufficient—those are two words that you could use to define me. I've always liked jumping right into new situations and I like to be able to do things myself. I'm not very good at asking for help, even with small things that don’t matter like opening a jar. When I start things I'm determined to figure them out and finish them, but on my own mind you, I hate it when people tell me the answers to things before I am able to solve it.
I don't mind doing things for myself like cooking my own meals, shopping, laundry and working; in fact, I quite enjoy it. And being single just means I can be even more independent in my decisions. I've been told that being independent and self-sufficient is a good thing. Every time people tell me I possess these traits I've always taken it as a compliment. I've been told those are the characteristics that help you to succeed and they are right, but only in some ways.
When I bring those character traits into my walk with God, then I end up neglecting important truths. I try to use God as a safety net just in case I need a little help on my climb up. Instead of realizing that he is the one pulling me up. I think I can handle the Christian walk on my own. I try to "be good," to serve others, love God, share Christ's love with others, trust, be a good leader, read my Bible and pray, all while trying to juggle the rest of my life, like being a good student, working my jobs with excellence, being a good friend and caring for those who are hurting and in need.
Sometimes I fool myself and I think, "Hey I've got this! Life is going really well." I think that I've done a good job and that I've been able to overcome a struggle. I sit back and think that life is going great. I must be doing a really good job with my life. But then what happens when all of the sudden a trial or a struggle comes? When situations in my life happen that I can't control. Someone dies, my friend is sick, school is overwhelming, conflicts arise, people hurt me, or work isn't going well?
Then what happens? What do I do?
Well when wave after wave hits me, when I come to the end of my rope, when I feel like I can't go on anymore, when I just want to sit and cry—that is when I realize that I don't have to do it on my own. I don't have to try and pretend to be self-sufficient.
Life wasn't meant to be lived on our own. As humans, we were made for community, created to live life together and allow other people to come along side of us and help us through the hard parts of life. For example, imagine life as a heavy wall that you're trying to hold up. It is going to become really weighty and difficult, but if a friend comes up next to you and begins to assist you in holding up the wall, and then your sister comes and helps and your roommate joins, it's going to get easier and easier with each additional person and pretty soon it won't even be a struggle anymore. This is why it's freeing to let go of my independence and be OK with allowing people into my life and allowing them to support me.
And lets face it—I wasn't really ever self-sufficient. I'm not meant to try and live life alone by my own strength and power. Instead, all I have to do is rely solely on God to rest in his grace, love, mercy and strength to realize that He is the only one who is self-sufficient. When the feelings of being alone and overwhelmed come, as much as I hate them and as much as I fight them, I want to try to embrace them.
These feelings are for a good reason, because I'm trying to do something I was never meant to do I'm trying to live my life alone and by my own power and wisdom. As much as I hate admitting it, It's something that I can't do on my own.
So instead of trying to do things on my own, like I always do, I want to try something different. I want to let go of the burden of trying to have it all together and putting the pressure of life on myself. I want to seek God's strength daily, to ask for his grace and wisdom to deal with this crazy journey of life, to realize that it's okay to be weak and inadequate and that once I truly realize that I can't do anything. I can't even wake up in the morning without God sustaining my life (Psalm 3:5). Then I can finally live a life full of power and grace. One where I don't have to strive to muster up my own might to succeed, but instead one where I seek the power of Christ in my life and live in the good of his grace!
I am going to lay down my pride, independence and self-sufficiency and realize that life is so much easier when I stop trying to be the superhero and simply humbly come before Christ acknowledging that I cannot do it on my own. But you know what? It's okay, because I don't have to. I have Christ's grace and power in my life! I will trade in my self-sufficiency for Christ-sufficiency.
"Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God." 2 Corinthians 3:5