When I did the Truth Project with the seniors a few weeks ago, there was one tour (I forget which - 6 or 7 maybe? Tour 8?) that left me very troubled. I can't remember at the moment what was said that affected me so much, but I knew I had to go be alone and process a little.
I went to the Holtsville Ecology site to walk and I definitely sensed God the Father with me taking me on this walk to get to the bottom of this. The revelation came to me about the foundation of my faith. I realized, that, I have been the foundation of my own faith. Not His love, not His grace and redemption, but ME. How well I can do the Christian life. And, if I mess up - well, then...there goes the whole structure.
And, I realized that this mentality was sort of thrust upon me before I even knew that what I was doing. Not to get all psycho-babble, but let's just say that as a kid, I learned very early to make sure you obeyed and did right before you got in trouble for doing wrong. And, that definitely translated into my spirituality. So, I never even had a foundation of God's love for me from the inception of my faith. It was, more or less, motivated by a fear of getting punished. I knew intellectually God's love, but not really emotionally or experiencially. I've felt it at moments over the years, but never something that has been consistent. Or foundational. It just sort of floated in and floated out at different times.
So anyway, all that to say - I realized, 'Oh, crap - my foundation is ALL WRONG. So how do I rebuild this thing???"
Well, I felt the Lord say that the foundation needed to be dismantled and a new one built. I didn't even know what some of those messed up building blocks were and what they needed to be replaced with. Didn't even know where to start.
This morning, in my study, I think I came upon it. It isn't anything I haven't heard, but in my mind, it made sense - at least in the way of this whole foundation metaphor.
So, here they are - the 4 false beliefs and the 4 cornerstones (as I am going to call them) for my new foundation:
False Belief #1: I must meet certain standards to feel good about myself (Fear of failure).
Cornerstone #1: Because of justification [Christ's work, separate from my actions], I am completely forgiven and acceptable to God [Right now, as is. His righteousness applied to me].
False Belief #2: I must have the approval of certain others to feel good about myself (Fear of rejection).
Cornerstone #2: Because of reconciliation [Restored friendship through Christ], I am totally accepted by God [and His opinion is all that matters].
False Belief #3: Those who fail (including myself) are unworthy of love and deserve to be punished (Guilt).
Cornerstone #3: Because of propitiation [Christ took my punishment for me and covers my failings; He shows me grace and favor as a result], I am deeply loved by God. I no longer have to fear punishment or punish others.
False Belief #4: I am what I am. I cannot change. I am hopeless (Shame).
Cornerstone #4: Because of regeneration, I have been made brand-new, complete in Christ [I am being transformed into this new person little by little].
One of the best things I read in there, too, was "Patterns of behavior that reflect a false belief system take years to develop. Change will not occur overnight." For a Type A perfectionist, there is a bit of relief to that. I don't need to figure it all out today. God is in charge of the pace of this journey. He is the builder, the Author and Finisher. I am HIS workmanship, not my own.
"One step, one stone, one line at a time"
(Note: Taken from Conquering Co-Dependency workbook, Pat Springle. Items in brackets - ie [ ] - have been added by me)