Sunday, February 17, 2013

Live Oak Lenten Blog - Week 1

Hi - I'm Chesney Szaniszlo, pastor for Care and Hospitality at Live Oak Church. I have an incredible husband, Chris and awesome 8 year old son, Lee. I have an awesome life but can never quite find contentment because I can never please myself. Despite my determination to be the best at everything, God has been whispering, then talking, then yelling and then finally silent and waiting in His attempt to help me understand that I can't be perfect. He has been waiting for me to understand that I actually can't do anything without Him. This "God-renovation" has become pretty hard core over the last few years as I've finally run out of my own power. It has been a period of growth in my spiritual as well as personal life and, for the most part, it has not been pleasant or easy - on anyone.

Those of you who have followed my blog know I struggle with the idol of perfection. No matter what I do the lie that "I have to be best" whispers constantly in my ear and over the past 30 plus years has worn me down. I have been conscious of God's actions to rid me of this idol since my early 20's but I have spent over a decade just shifting it from one aspect of my life to another in a false attempt to get rid of it. If I let go of pursuing perfection of my physical body, I begin to pursue it in my mothering. When that doesn't work I pursue perfection in my child. When that doesn't work, I find another area in my life to pursue it or return to one of the others.

Over the years, God has let me wear myself down to my spirit and I have had to acknowledge, particularly, in the past few months, that I am nothing more than a broken person desperately in need of a Savior. Which I already knew and have KNOWN, but have now been brought back to that knowledge on a deeper level than ever before.

This Lent I have realized that I don't need to try harder, yell less, practice more patience, or promise myself to be better tomorrow. What I need is to open myself to God's grace and allow that grace to settle deep inside me and flow out to everyone else in my life. So for the next six weeks I am not trying to do anything or be anything: I am simply going to commit to being in the presence of God for a solid 30 minutes a day so that I am reminded who is the one who is really PERFECT and who is the one who needs all the help she can get.


Kristy Larson February 20, 2013 at 9:34 PM  

I can relate so well to this Chesney!! I have been on a similar journey, and I too have been worn down, mostly by my inabilities to reach the perfection of my mind's eye. The reminder of God's grace keeps coming to me in many different ways, and that is what I feel God is speaking to me too right now. Thank you for your honesty, and it's great to know I have a partner in crime! he he. Kristy Larson