I’m awake before the sun meets the cold and dew. The fog has rolled in thick across the yard and I pray. I pray words deep and sorrow mingles. Somewhere in the midst of the words I’ve been given, the words He speaks from the pages of His book in the midst of my day… somewhere in the midst of all of these words I have found more of the real me and more of the one true God. In the hiding and seeking I have found that I am no longer ashamed.
I’m no longer ashamed to be me.
I place my face down in the carpet and murmur quiet before the throne of Grace. This throne’s foundation established on righteousness and justice. His is an unfailing love I do not deserve. A love he gives anyways… that is the way of grace. In my past I have often been afraid to accept this love as mine. This foggy morning His grace settles on the floor beside me. Here we are together: grace and me. I am this messed up, ridiculous, ungrateful, sorrow-filled, and sinful mess. It is this peace like a river that floods over my soul. Somewhere with grace up to my neck and overflowing my head it dawns on me that I’m no longer afraid to be me. Because I know the truth of what my God says about me… and I know all those voices that speak filth are spreading lies.
God is the lifter of my head. (Psalm 3:3)
Honestly, I don’t know why I still write here. It’s not like these words change anything… not really. They remind me of where I have been and are a record for my children. In the present however all this place feels like sometimes is a space for people to use – food for fodder, a way to keep in the loop, and guess between the lines. The clicking through pages is not about reconciliation and relationship. I hear cries for peace, but there can be no peace for the hunted. It’s about the sharks standing back, watching, and waiting for folks to fall off cliffs. That is far from loving. It’s the circling of blocks and the cycling. You can’t reconcile with the unrepentant. You can’t reconcile with those who haven’t done anything wrong. Bullies and manipulators are rarely sorry… unless they’ve been caught and called on it. There can be no peace when nothing changes.
So I wonder what is the point of finding a voice and being unashamed? I have learned that if you allow it there will always be someone willing to show you how less than you really are. Sometimes that person is someone else; sometimes that person is me. There is always going to be someone reading these words with an intent to dig up dirt, to harm my heart, or to add another bullet point to a legal pad. I’m not frightened by bullies – I refuse to allow these few to silence this voice.
However, sometimes I am really hard on myself and the hunting party does not help. Not that I expect perfection from myself, but I do. Not that I want life to be neat and orderly, but there is this part of me that does. I don’t like chaos. I don’t give myself slack or room to grow or learn. I don’t like it when I feel like I’ve flubbed a conversation, an interaction, and more… I hate that I loved and trusted with my heart and the real me… and now I feel duped. I can see their words of flattery and manipulation for what they are and I feel taken in and lied to.
I know that Perfectionism is a Grace-Killer.
“I am not one of those who treats the grace of God as meaningless.” Galatians 2:21 NLT
I’m learning to give myself a little slack, moments to stumble while leaving perfectionism in the hands of the One who is perfection. I’m learning to not take myself too seriously. I’m allowing myself to be me even if that means I am rejected, misunderstood, used and disliked. I’m letting what is lie still and striving to allow God to reshape what has gotten out of shape.
I am made up of recycled materials and I know God can handle that – I am not too much for Him no matter what lies the world or the enemy speaks saying otherwise.
I‘m learning to play and laugh and enjoy this (the current state of my life)… so that my heart doesn’t wander down the road of all that is not.
I’m learning to love what I see in me and allow God to prune the parts of me that do not reflect Him or bear fruit.
I’m resting in what it means to be a new creation…
“I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection! But I keep working toward that day when I will finally be all that Christ Jesus saved me for and wants me to be. No, dear brothers and sisters, I am still not all I should be, but I am focusing all my energies on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us up to heaven.” Philippians 3:12-14 NLT