I think we all have cringe-worthy memories when we look back to our teenage years. Mine include slashed jeans, massive amounts of blue eyeliner and a scary knowledge of Destiny’s Child lyrics. At the time it was all about declaring you could do it alone: “All the Honeys, who making money, throw your hands up at me” and “depend on no one else to give you what you want”. Well I was at the concerts throwing my hands up at Beyoncé like everyone else in the audience.
Fast forward a couple of years (okay, more like a decade!) and I now find myself in a “career break”, not quite knowing what I’m going to do next and depending on my husband financially. This hasn’t been easy for me; not only do I have a lot of pride but I have spoken the mantra of independence over myself for a long time.
I’m not saying that it’s a bad aim to provide for yourself or others. But being in a community is about giving and helping others. For that to work we have to be prepared to receive as well as do our bit.
A while ago I had a miscarriage and one of the things that hurt the most about going through this was a sense of being separated from my baby. I don’t think I will ever understand why it had to happen, but God has used it to say to me: “This is how I feel when you separate yourself from me. It’s how I felt when Jesus died and was cut off from me. I went through that so that you could come to me.”
Independence as an aim in itself is actually about seeking to stand separate from God; God who loves us and wants us to come to Him for the things we need most. I’m not afraid to say how much I need Him. Nowadays I’m throwing my hands up to Him instead.
[Originally published June 2012]