Tuesday, September 23, 2008
**Vertical & Horizontal**
This past month has been a really tough month for me emotionally. I have had so much conflict to work through. Conflict with myself and within myself. Conflict with those I am in fellowship with. Conflict with friends. Conflict has just been a type of theme in my life lately. It's a strange season for me to walk in and try to make peace in. I don't like conflict. Conflict for me is a super stretching of the center of who I am. It hurts. I usually run from it. Fast.
But walking through this place of discord I have come to the realization that God has done so much for me in the VERTICAL relationship between me and Him. Looking back at the vertical relationship I had with God....it was one of conflict. I blamed Him for my incest. I blamed Him for my messy marriage. I blamed Him for not making my husband a good man. I blamed Him for all my unhappiness. From childhood to adulthood.
My relationship with God was one of me
standing shaking my fist at HIM
When I started my recovery years ago, one of the very first things that HE had to do was strip away all the blame. It took a few years for this to happen. Then HE had to establish trust in a very broken heart. This also took time. Over the years I have cried out to Him. He has heard. I reached and He met my seeking hands. I fell and He picked me up. And looking back at this vertical relationship and the condition it was in and where it is now only serves to astound me as how much work and restoration HE has done in my life and with me. On a father loving daughter level. I am restored with Him.
The painful places that I have been taken lately all have to do with the HORIZONTAL relationships in my life. The sideways stuff. This is some hard work. The relationships include my kids. My mom. My Church family. My friends. All horizontal relationships. Some merit more time than others. Some cost me more energy. Some make me cry out of frustration. Some just make me curl up in a ball and weep. Some just piss me off. But the true thing about this horizontal relationship stuff that it is all a reflection of where I am in my recovery and where HE is in my life.
Working on the Horizontal stuff brings me into a season where I have to take an inventory daily of what my part is in each conflict. Own it. Sometimes that means that I have to rip off scabs and the guts go back on the table for all to see. It is brass tacks vulnerability. And it hurts. It is terrifying at times. But I must walk here. If I am to be complete in my recovery. If I am to be whole and able to function in season and out of season....then I must go forward. No matter how painful the process. Because I know that HE knows what I need. HE knows where my weak spots are and HE knows how they must be restored. HE knows the end result. It requires that VERTICAL trust that has already established to be firmly in place for me to keep walking through this difficult season.
It reminds me of the steps. The steps are all about this VERTICAL and HORIZONTAL thing called life and relationships. THIS is a pretty cool thing for me to discover about the steps. And it kind of gives me a benchmark as to where my step work has returned. HORIZONTALLY.
I don't like it. I usually don't like the painful seasons He brings me through. But I know that He promised that I will not be here alone and that just like summer turning into fall... this season will pass and change into the next. It is what I have learned and what He has restored that matters.
My life verse has always been Phillippians 1:6....being confident that HE that began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it until the day of Christ Jesus. I will never be done until HE sees fit. I am a work in progress. Now it is my season of horizontal healing and work to be done.