Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Freedom from Self-Absorption

Before I spill my guts about a personal struggle, I'd like you to meet Circus Act Gumby:

Isn't he great? Such balance, such poise, such opportunity to avoid the real subject...

Anyways, I was headed somewhere significant with this post. What was that topic? Oh yeah. Self-absorption. Yuck.

So--here we go. A couple of weeks ago, back in Spokane, in the midst of my whirlwind, I had some crazy busy days. I was trying to get ready to leave my house for seven weeks, to farm out our pets, to make arrangements for our mail and for our lawn to get mowed. Details. Millions of details. Details on steroids. During that time, I did have a few brief encounters with friends who, needless to say, had stuff going on in their lives as well. As I was talking to one friend, I found myself struggling to really listen to her because the details of MY life were screaming for attention. Feeling slightly overwhelmed, I explained to her that I was "unavoidably self-absorbed" at the moment. She graciously accepted, even validated my admission.

But the Lord had something else to say. Even as the words were coming out of my mouth, I felt conviction in my heart. The still, small voice whispered, "You ARE self-absorbed, but it IS avoidable."

I am amazed at how loving the Lord is when He speaks truth into my life. He is so gentle, and His kindness truly does lead me to repentance. I spent the car ride home that day praying for anyone BUT David, Jenn, Graham, and Chandler. I realized that MY family, MY needs, and MY interests had been consuming my heart and my mind like a rabid disease. By praying for others, I found freedom from my self-absorption. And oh, how I love being set free.

I am now (by the leading and power of the Lord!) taking time each day to intentionally pray for others--not so much because THEY need my prayers, but because I need to be continuously set free from the tide that is constantly trying to pull me back into Me-Land. The old self feeds off of self-absorption, the new creation thrives when my focus is FIRST on Jesus, and then on the people and things that HE directs me to see and care for.

All of this to say, it would be my joy and honor if you would share your prayer requests with me. I do not have any great gift of intercession, nor do I claim to be a mighty prayer warrior. I am simply a person who believes in a God who calls us to community and asks us to bear one another burdens. He is a God whose culture is completely counter to our own. He is a God who promises that when we lose our life, we will find it. And even through the world cries, "ME FIRST!" I believe true freedom is found when we grasp that in the Kingdom economy, the last shall be first--and the one who becomes least is the greatest.

So please tell me how I can pray for you!


  1. Dear friend,
    First let me say that your Gumby creations are a huge hit with my granddaughter Emily. She's asking if there are more pictures. I love your creativity.
    There is a prayer request. We found out at the dentist today that Kelly might have to have a crown on one of her teeth. Please pray that she won't have to do that. She is so young and it might turn her off dentists for a while.
    Thanks, Carol

  2. Hi Friend,
    I'm still reading (and loving) your blogs. I had a crazy dream about you last night and it all came down to You Just Love to Have Fun!!! Please pray that John and I would have wisdom as to where Luke will go to school next year. It is weighing heavy on my heart. Also, did you get the email I sent regarding the prayer requests of our small group?
    Love, Karen

  3. Hey Jenn,

    First let me echo praise for the Gumby creations... they make me smile!

    Thanks for offering to pray (and please know you are being prayed for too).

    My request is for my brother (lives in San Diego) and he needs wisdom, truly, to make some major decisions in regards to a relationship--break off or marriage. Also if he should move up here with us in OR. He is a fairly new believer but very recently was baptized.

    Pray that he would being in the habit of submitting to the Lord so his walk doesn't get tripped up by his own self-will.

    Thank you and Lord bless you guys.

  4. Hi, Jenn!

    Thank you for sharing your heart once again. It is precious!
    A prayer request? Ok-- here goes: Perhaps it is the loss of our son (or general faithlessness...), but I would appreciate your prayers in my simply not worrying and feeling as though another tragedy is just around the corner. This is no way for a child of the King to live! I continually repent of this, but your prayers, sweet Jenn, would be lovely. Thank you!

  5. Such a privilege to pray for each of you, and for the many other requests that I received through e-mail. We serve a good and able God who can do immeasurable MORE than all we ask or imagine. It is an honor to intercede for you! I love you!