Monday I did okay. I woke up, made some coffee, had some quiet time, and the rest of the day I held out against my addiction and even ended the day in good spirits. Yesterday, though, I woke up late and didn't have any time to "spare" for God to start out my day, and by five, I'd fallen into old habits. Today, I got up, made some coffee, had my quiet time, and while the temptation has nagged me all evening, I've been able to say no and find effective distractions.
If I had any doubts about whose willpower gives me the strength to face each day, they're gone now. Without my allowing God to be my strength, I have no willpower of my own.
II Corinthians 12:7b-10 (TNIV): Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9 But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Pet temptations remain present in my life. My migraines show no sign of fading. The same loneliness that plagued me at 12 years old still plagues me 12 years later. All my prayers have received the same answer:
Child, I know your pain better than you know it yourself. I cry harder than you do when your tears fall. You're my daughter; I take delight in you. You must trust me, though; this pain and trial remains for a reason. I love you too much to take away that which will shape you into the creation I mean you to be. A day will come when you will see My purpose; you will understand that your suffering has brought you nearer to Me. It is only when your strength fades and you allow Me to move in you that you can grow. Until then, if you will acknowledge your helplessness and give Me your will and desire to do everything for yourself, your life will become one that glorifies Me, and I will fight for you. I have not forgotten you; I'm right there with you, shielding you from the Enemy's deadliest darts. I love you, my child, and I want you to know that no one fights harder for you than I do... including you.
It's amazing how many times I can learn this same lesson for the first time, over and over again. I continually strive to regain that control I surrendered, and I continually fall flat on my face in self-loathing and sin; continually, I surrender, and suddenly, though the pain remains, somehow, I'm able to withstand the onslaught.
When will I ever learn?