Monday, June 16, 2014
I quit my job. But it doesn't stop there.
An eighty-year-old woman in the aisle of Fred Meyer told my 14-month daughter to "shut up" as she was repeatedly squealing because of the balloons overhead. An acquaintance accused me of trying to reap the spoils of her divorce by asking about buying a painting in her home. And I had someone tell me that they were hurt that I did not acknowledge them while they wore a t-shirt heralding my old band days. While these things are not the end of the world I am fighting the temptation to pull into my turtle shell and be done with it for awhile. A reformed introvert who still struggles with internalism, these little cuts are beginning to gape. I can feel the blood draining from my face.
I am far too sensitive. I take things too much to heart. I know this about myself. But Jesus knows that even more.
I will be the first to say I don't do life well all the time. Honestly, I think I only have peek-a-boo moments of goodness where something bursts forth from a place beyond my own humanity and I am able to harness it long enough to help someone. Or support someone. Or forgive someone. Then it's gone and I'm back to being obsessed with myself.
The only comfort I can find is that Jesus knows me. He knows this wasted heart, and that I desperately want to please. And unfortunately that desire to please gets me into trouble. I set myself up for failure.
Jesus knows I don't say the right things all the time. He knows that I walk wide-eyed into misunderstandings. He knows I sin. I covet. I gossip. I envy. I assume. The world can be cruel. And sometimes I wonder if I'm not wired to handle it all. The comments. The assumptions. The accusations.
It can simply be, overwhelming. I have always been easily broken. I have a thin skin and I've tried to make it thicker. But for those of us who God made this way; sensitive, big-hearted and trusting–it's okay to admit we can't do this on our own.
And in this hard season, where I feel isolated and clunky in my attempts to re-find my footing–I am tripping over my good intentions. But more so now than ever I am so thankful for my church and my closest friends. I am so thankful for other broken people who put their foot in their mouths and those that are familiar with the gift of grace and are much more willing to give it freely to those who don't deserve it.
I know I don't deserve grace. I know I say stupid things. I trust people blindly. I don't always think through the things I do. But I keep being reminded of God working all things together for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28). He knows we are unhinged and spastic. He knows we can't hold a train of thought and that we can't see ourselves crashing until we are among the blazes sometimes.
And that's the peace I have right now. Because I know I love Jesus like crazy. I know He's seen me at my worst and He still longs to know me. That is why I believe what I believe. Because I am imperfect and impolite and imposing and marred and stitched up and He still welcomes me with arms open wide. He still invites me to His throne to hear his gentle voice and to forgive me for the bazillionth time with no strings attached. Seriously, none.
And for a screw-up like myself that is more than good news, it's what this tired and beat-up heart needs.
Sometimes people think that religion is unforgiving. But for me, it's the opposite. My religion–Christianity– is nothing but forgiveness. Pure and potent, like the most intoxicating drink you'll ever taste. It's a reality that never goes away once you acknowledge you need it. As long as you keep His truth in front of you, what's behind you becomes glassy and highly apertured. Fading into the fog of forget-about-the-past.
I feel such joy knowing that I have a clean slate and a life washed white every single morning (Psalm 30:5). I will continue to hold fast to my firm belief in a Man who came as God to fulfill ancient prophecies and give us the gift we could never earn–a direct line to His goodness. He left us with the blueprint on how to live life in community with Him and those who love Him.
I am worn down. I am vulnerable. I am broken. I am sad. I am feeling attacked.
But by God, I am forgiven. And loved. And held. And kissed. And unconditionally accepted. No matter what I do wrong tomorrow or what I forget to do right the next day, Jesus has it covered. Dear friend, if you've ever been misunderstood, wrongly attacked, rightfully attacked or left to feel like you don't matter. You do.
You matter so much that you don't have to do anything right to be righted. Rest in that.
We're in this together,