16 But I will sing of Your power;
Yes, I will sing aloud of Your mercy in the morning;
For You have been my defense
And refuge in the day of my trouble.
17 To You, O my Strength, I will sing praises;
For God is my defense,
My God of mercy.
I finally had my eyes opened to why I have so much trouble deciding what to do when I am on my own: It’s because it’s ME that I do not want to be with.
When God revealed this to me this morning, I realised the same reason I struggle with what to do when I’m on my own, is the same reason I’ve felt the need to step back from MySpace and other such things of late. And it’s the same reason I haven’t been seeking anyone’s company, too: I have grown weary of ME.
When I started writing online – back in 07 – I did so with the sole purpose of taking all that God had taught me, that He had said and used in order to bring healing to my heart and to give me hope again, and share it with others so they may find some sort of hope and healing through my experiences and lessons. And, through it all, reveal and reflect God’s love for the world, and the beauty that is Him.
Somewhere during the past three years, I came to feel that I had stopped reflecting God and offered ME instead. I didn’t realise that was what was troubling me, until this morning. But on realising it, a weight has been lifted from my soul. I thought I was hardening to the world, but my spirit was reacting to the fact that my writing and my photos seemed to bring me more praise than they were bringing God, and I was so uncomfortable with it... This is another reason why writing and photography do not thrill me as they used to; why I lost my joy over them.
When I open my door, when I step out into the world, when I meet someone for coffee, when I attend some sort of gathering, when I write, when I take photos, when I post my “hobbies” (writing and photography) online, I do so NOT to draw attention to me, but to point the hearts of man to God and His beauty. That’s my greatest desire in life. That is what my heart cries out for. But lately, when eyes have focused on me, all I’ve wanted to do is hide. I’d try to write, I’d take photos, but I knew my heart wasn’t in it as it used to be...and when someone would come along and look at ‘me’ through what I did, I felt myself retreating even further, without fully understanding why...
...I ‘fell in love’ with Jesus when I was about 7 years old. I prayed a simple prayer virtually every night of my childhood, which was “Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep, and if I die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take”...and I did so not out of fear or a sense of religion or duty, but because that’s what my heart yearned for.
When my mum left home and our family fell apart – when I was around 13 years of age – I blamed God and turned my back on Him... but I still believed in Him. I still believed in Jesus... I just didn’t walk with them. I did life my way...
In the quiet hours of my life – through my teens and young adult years – I would think about God and His kingdom, but never read a Bible or attended church, or anything like that. And I remember my heart responding to the presence of Jesus with an image of the two of us standing beneath a tree, just outside the gates of Heaven, and, side by side, we would watch hundreds of thousands of people enter through the gates. And, to this, my heart would longingly confess, “I would be happy with this, Jesus. I would love to help bring as many people as possible into God’s Kingdom...” and with ALL my heart, I would find contentment in ending that image with me receiving nothing for it – not even life eternal. THAT was my heart’s desire, long before I first started attending church.
18 years after joining a church, I find that desire is still in my heart: To unite ‘man’ with God, and to receive nothing for it. Just to see people enter God’s Kingdom and live with peace, joy and love for all eternity, and to see God happy because He can walk with His children again, is reward enough...
18 years after joining a church, and here I am feeling that I am getting more attention than God for what I do. I feel like I’ve failed, actually... I feel as though people are connecting with me, but I am failing to reveal God to them. And I don’t like it. I don’t want to give the world ME. “ME” will disappoint. “ME” is flawed. “ME” is far from the beauty I try to reflect through writing and photography. I am but a camera in God’s hand. I am but a pen. I am not the beauty of the photograph. I am not the beauty of the emotion and truths and love that I write about. I am not worthy of great praise or attention, and I desire neither. I am grateful to friends for the love and beauty of their hearts, which they use to bless me with – I truly am – but I’m just saying that’s not why I do what I do... I don’t do what I do for accolades. But, that aside, I just feel I’ve ripped man and God off by standing between them, you know...? And that thought just rips at my heart...
...On meditating upon these things this morning, I realised that’s why I can’t find peace in being alone at the beach, alone in a cafe, alone in my home, or meeting with friends, or being still in the company of someone else: Because it feels like it’s about ME... and I can no longer stand the attention.
As a child, I was extremely shy. One would be forgiven for thinking I was retarded in some way because of it. J Over the years I hid behind fear, intimidation, make-up, partners, family, weight, alcohol, and so on. And that desire [to hide] has never left me. I don’t need to be seen. I don’t need the fame. I don’t desire it. (Well, from my husband, I do, lol, but he’s the only one I ‘need’ it from now...) I write, and take photos, and do what I do online, because of my heart desire: To reflect God and His love to the world; To reunite God with His dearly loved children; To offer hope to the hurting; To help bring healing to someone’s heart; To help ‘set the captives free’...
Somewhere along the line, I stopped reflecting Him. At least, I felt as though I did – as though I have. If it wasn’t for comments such as “I see God through your writing and photos” I think I would’ve checked out of the internet world some time ago... (And for those of you who have said that to me, THANK YOU! You have helped keep me sane, and helped strengthen my heart when it ached to give up.)
...Some may wonder why I use my name and face when writing and posting things online, rather than do it anonymously – and God knows I’ve questioned that myself – but, for that, I give ‘blame’ to the part of my heart that insists I remain transparent, open and honest. Hiding my name and face seems deceptive somehow. And as I write from experience, I feel a ‘real’ person needs to present what I write, in order to show those who read it that ‘the writer’ is real, and God really does help His children – when they want Him to.
Now that God has unravelled this part of my mind, and has shown me what it is I’ve been reacting to lately, I can once again see straight and am now more at peace with being with me. I feel freer. Free to write what’s on my heart, free to take the photos of what I like, free to come and go as I please, because, through this revelation, I have somehow been freed to make it all about God again. I see now I took hold of a thought that convinced me that all that I do online and in person, was drawing the attention of others to me – and that I cannot live with. That I will not live with. And now that I know that was what I was running from, I can be still and focus more on ensuring God is reflected through what I do, and not Donna.
I can’t give you ‘me’...because I love you and God too much. J There’s just something in my heart that doesn’t want to give Donna Driver to the world. I don’t want fame. I don’t want glory. I just want peace, love, joy, healing and hope to be given to the world, and I know that can and DOES come from being in union with God; and I want my God’s heart to be filled with joy – which occurs when He’s reunited with His children.
I can give you Him, and His love through what I do. At least, that’s what I seek to do... But when I stop doing that I stop writing, I stop taking photos, I stop meeting people for coffee, and I stop being a friend... because, on my own, without God, I am who I was before I started walking with Him: Shy to the point of appearing mentally challenged J; a loner; a recluse; and so insecure that I become tongue-tied and fearful, and lack the confidence to interact with others... Me without God is not a pretty sight... Oh, but with Him - well, that's a different story... J
My flesh and my heart fail;
But God is the strength of my heart
and my portion