Special California Edition - Page 68
Still September 30, 2006 - I finally prayed to Jehovah for humility. I've been afraid because I don't know what being truly humbled will entail, but it might be a trial by fire. Or it might be a lot of little changes. It could be one big humbling experience (humiliation?) or not, I don't know. I do know that I am proud and as far as I can remember I have always been proud. It shows up in many ways in my life. It is revealed when I am argumentative and a right-fighter. Over time I've tried to be less contentious but there are still a lot of things I don't let go, as my mother can attest. I still really don't let it go if I feel like I am right. Being humble for the sake of peace is something I really, really want but it's not in me...yet. My pride can also be ascertained by how concerned I can be over how others see me. Finally, one of the biggest harms caused by my pride is the fact that I don't go to Jehovah often enough. I don't go to the brothers, to the older sisters, to the publications and often not even the Bible. I try to figure out the solutions to problems for myself. I'm trying to make myself into a better person and while I know the scriptures reveal the impossibility of that...I still can't help myself. Huh, no, literally, I can't help myself.

But I did finally pray, in earnest, to be humbled. I have tried not to assume what form this will take or anticipate when it will happen, Jehovah knows what is best, and in this, I must have faith. The weakness of my faith is revealed in my independent spirit, but I really believe that Jehovah has the power to overcome and correct even that which seems so deeply entrenched in me. Looking at the mess I've made of my life, it is clear that the only good things in it have come from Jehovah. Recently, there was a Watchtower study article series on Job. Job really hadn't done anything wrong at all, in that sense, he was right, yet his life was overcome by Satan. Job was clearly upset and some pride got into him but he never denied Jehovah's sovereignty over him, throughout all of it. He was open when Jehovah humbled him, and through it all Jehovah loved him dearly. He loved Job enough to humble him, and when Job responded positively, Jehovah blessed even more than before. Some of my problems I have caused myself, and some of them, like the mental illness, are not my fault at all. I hope that I can respond as well as Job has.

A few days ago I had a big argument with my mother and hurtful things were said by both of us. It is hard for me to apologize to her because she rarely seems to compromise or meet me halfway, and she does not really admit her own wrongdoings. To apologize to such a person leaves you open to further castigation and upset. I have apologized to her a lot in an effort to keep peace, but this time I really, really didn't want to do it. I was angry at her and I'll admit I was even angry at Jehovah because I wondered how she could be allowed to say and do the things that she does and still be blessed and not have to suffer with guilt. Whereas I feel guilt all of the time when we have conflict. I wanted to just give up because no matter what I'm going to be the one who always ends up being hurt. And if not wanting to live with that meant I'd just have to be destroyed, I was prepared to say so be it. I even wished to be like worldly people, with a deadened conscience, so I wouldn't know that I was wrong. There was much crying and anger and I threw some stuff (she was no longer there by the way, she'd happily walked out the door). After I calmed down, it became clear that it would be very humbling to have to take responsibility and fully apologize to her, without expecting anything in return. I had been wrong, didn't matter what she said and did. There aren't degrees, Jehovah looks at me as an individual, not in comparison to someone else. My sin was against Him even more than against her. This was very, very, very hard to do, I had to keep praying and getting up my nerve. Eventually, I'm sure it was He who helped me to do it and I did it when she got back. I'm not going to say I felt all fine and dandy afterwards but that wasn't the point. Things were much more peaceful though and I felt better able to approach Jehovah in prayer.

Now I am trying to look for more opportunities to allow Jehovah to help me destroy my pride. It's really hard but it's also really good at the same time. I'm not usually one to associate effort with good things (I like things to come easy, okay?) but I'm going to have to write off the first 25 years of my life and try to do better for the next 25.

November 15, 2006 -
Oh how soft we are....

I miss California. More like, I miss being away. Since I got home, I haven't felt enthused and I haven't done much. I told myself that I'd just "rest" for a week or so but I killed a lot of my momentum by doing that. I wasn't even gone but a couple of months, but I had forgotten what life was like here at home. Well now I remember.

I've felt a bit better about my pride and need for humility. I think I definitely was put on the right path by Jehovah, in some fashion. I just haven't felt much like thinking since I've been home, I haven't done any real thinking at all. My mind feels a little mushy. I'm out of my medication and my appointment isn't for a few more weeks. I'm sure that has some effect. However, in the time since my last entry, I had definitely made some strides spiritually. I started studying more and making sure to read the Bible daily, and my mother and I stopped arguing which was great.

I'm feeling like I'm just stuck in mud again. When I was away I thought a lot about marriage and relationships, but it didn't make me sad at all. I think I had hope, but since I've been home I haven't really had any energy, purpose or hope, and I stopped thinking about love altogether. I've just been drifting for a week, and now I realize that I can't afford to drift, or "rest", not now, maybe not ever. It's a lot harder for me to recover than it is for other people. It is very easy for me to slip back into old habits, no matter how long it's been. Why, I'm writing this at 4am, and I never once stayed up that late in the past few months I've been away. But I have discovered that at least I'm not really an insomniac. I can fall asleep at night and stay asleep for a nice amount of time, provided I didn't nap during the day. And that means I need to have something to do with myself, that's all. Ah well.
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