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Living in Cyan...

So by nature I am a pretty black and white kinda person. For years I didn't really know this about myself, I just assumed everyone was the same way as me. Then one day I was having a hard time with something and a friend simply said, "You like black and white and this is a shade of gray and you just don't know what to do with it."

Years later I found myself taking a counseling class and the teacher asked us to pretend she had had 64 count box of Crayola crayons in her hand and to pretend she dumped them all out on the floor. Then she said she was removing the black and white crayons. From that point on, in that class we were allowed to think and express ourselves in 62 colors, but black and white were off the table. As you can imagine for someone who had lived so long without even imagining things could be cyan or aubergine, it was a shock to my system and I started to view life differently. It wasn't just life I was seeing differently, but my relationship with God opened up in a way I didn't even know I could dream about. You see, being so black and white minded, even though I knew God loved me and I knew I should talk to Him about everything, there was still as aspect of genuine relationship missing. Now I in no way begrudge the way I was brought up and am thankful for every teacher, pastor and volunteer who came alongside my journey and helped me know God more intimately, but there was a side effect of being brought up in the church. Being a person with a limited view on how things should be with no margin for failure and also being a person who is gifted in many areas, a jack of all trades if you will, I fell into the performance trap in every relationship I had. I figured as long as I had something to offer people and as long as I was helping them, they would want to keep me around. No one ever taught me to think this way, it was just the filter that developed as a result of a young mind trying to navigate the world. And my relationship with God was no different when it came to trying to earn love. I figured since He's given me gifts to help serve and teach and lead, as long as I was making the right choices, I was making Him happy. Never mind for years I was held captive by the lie of the enemy that I didn't pray enough or read the Bible enough or spend enough time in quiet contemplation. I had fallen for the great lie that there is some level of prayer and studying that God desired me to be at, and it always seemed out of reach. I never took into consideration that I have always known Jesus was with me and even as a kid instead of having an imaginary friend, I played with Him. Our conversation was always constant and I knew deep in my knower that He was as real as any kid in the neighborhood and developed a friendship with Him. No, I didn't consider this, but instead I focused on my perceived short comings. Then one day I was sitting in the office of a wise woman, the same one who threw the imaginary crayons on the floor, and I was beating myself up for not being more spiritual. I made the comment, "I talk at God, but I don't feel I'm talking to Him.", and she rocked my world by simply asking what the difference was. If He is in fact all powerful and all knowing, then why would the semantics of my heart have any bearing on the delight He has in my coming to Him with the details of my life. It has been years since God brought my attention to how I need to live in all the colors He created and how relationship was designed to be enjoyed and experienced, not controlled. The fact is that relationships get messy. They require awkward conversations and for true delight to be found, complete honesty and vulnerability. Our relationship with God is no different. Our day to day and moment to moment conversations with Him will never look the same way and they sure won't be free of mess, but isn't that where the adventure is? I ask God if I should do "A" or "B" and he responds, "puppies" or "sunsets". So much in me longs for Him to speak linearly to me, but He isn't a linear God. He sees the whole where as all we generally see is two feet in front of us. And once we relinquish control and our need for things to be just so, God opens up to us a world that, while it may not be as safe as we'd like, will never be boring. I'd like to say that after 15 years of seeking out God and learning what it means to live in all the colors of this life that I get it: that each day I approach Him and my journey with a reckless abandonment where I live free of the legalism that held me captive for so many years. But to be honest, this whole little babble was brought on by a question I asked God while talking to Him this morning. I was in the process of waking up, which for me includes some coffee, cashews and a bit of Facebook so I can see all I missed while I slumbered. And in my waking up and chatting to God about something, thinking through my day and all the great times to be had, and I asked the question... "Is this OK?" "Is it OK for me to be spending this time, our time, thinking and talking about this?" Once again I fell into the performance trap. Once again I started to think in the black and white and question the babble of my heart that I was presenting to The One Who Loves Me Most. Of course it's OK. He wants me. All of me. He wants to hear where I'm happy, what scares me, and what in my life gives me pause. And even though some of my actions, words and thoughts have not been fully redeemed, as of now, this is where I'm at. And this is the Danee that He loves and is crazy about so of course it's OK. When the time for maturing comes, He's the one who does it anyway, right? If there's one thing He has taught me on this journey is I am helpless to change anything about myself. He is the one who is changing me. It is His Spirit within me that has to power to sanctify my soul. So like the branch just chillin on the vine, all I gotta do is talk to and spend time with Him. He will give me the strength needed for today, and the wisdom and stamina to carry it out. After all He made so many more colors than just black and white, and even those two colors just add beauty to all the other ones and make them either more bold or give them a lighter feel...

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