Build It and It Will Fall Apart

Think you have led a pretty good life? Meaning, you’ve been a pretty good person? You have a nice place to live, maybe children, a good job, some savings, friends, etc.

I thought I had done a pretty good job. I had an accounting career, a daughter with a beautiful soul, a place to call my own, a family who loved me, a husband who loved me and provided for me, and friends to share with.

Then I realized that my husband was actually a narcissist who got a kick out of being cruel to me. He never loved me. So I left him. My family, who supposedly loved me so much, sided with him over me. My boss sold his firm and retired. My daughter saw the opportunity to voice long-held grievances and asked for a break from our relationship. Several of my friends abandoned me when I needed them most. All I had left was my home, a commitment to school, and four friends who were true believers.

It was then that I realized: everything that I had built on my own power had turned to dust. I was the one who had chosen my second husband, who was even worse than my first. I had chosen him defiantly, against God’s express command not to. I had spent 46 years trying to please and win the approval of my parents. I had spent 22 years sacrificing time, energy, and money I order to give all I could to my daughter. I had spent 29 years suffering the results of my boss’s mushy boundaries and taking every one of his mistakes as my own to protect his reputation.

And yet, here I was, bereft of everything to which I had given my heart and soul. It had all turned to dust, and in quite synchronized and dramatic fashion.

The lesson was clear: build it on my own power and it will eventually turn to dust. All of my energy and effort will have been for naught. But … obey God and the consequences will be good and will always last forever.

My pride crumbled. Clearly I was not as capable as I thought. Clearly God was so much better at running my life than I was. It took loss after loss after loss to drive this home to me. God knew how much it would take to humble me and to open my eyes to knowing what life could look like if only I leaned on him to make the decisions for my life.

Fame, fortune, even relationships … these are all fleeting. The world is a fickle place. Achievements can be taken away suddenly and irrevocably. Don’t build your life on these things! Build it on obeying and pleasing your Lord; his blessings will overflow and will last forever.

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It took me three years to realize that I am a fallen creature. I have been struggling and groping my way back to the Light. Here are a few things that I have learned along the way....

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