at yourself. Harder than it sounds. At least for me. But I have been doing a lot of it lately.
I realize the danger in blogging here with you all. Putting only what I determine out to the world. Only the shiny, cleaned up, pretty stuff. But that would be a lie. There are so many ways I fall short and we women are just too good at pretending we have “it together.” Whatever “it” is. Full disclosure: I don’t have “it” together. I actually am not sure what “it” actually is either. I hardly have anything together but I know this One Thing that changes everything. And my relationship with Jesus allows me to admit defeat while in the same breath claiming victory. Growing, failing, discovering, and being stretched has allowed me in new ways to see my inadequacies but in amazing ways see that He is always adequate.
“When the spirit of God comes to live within, you strangely become aware of your inadequacy and your extraordinary potential”- The Barbarian Way
I am broken and wounded but as I continually search and cry out to Him I hear His response speak my name and offer love and grace and mercy. Scripture comes to mind as if it was written just for me.
Even if we feel guilty, God is greater than our feelings, and he knows everything 1 John 3:20
You keep track of all my sorrows.
You have collected all my tears in your bottle.
You have recorded each one in your book. Psalm 56:8
Our hearts ache, but we always have joy. We are poor, but we give spiritual riches to others. We own nothing, and yet we have everything. 2 Corinthians 6:10
Come, my children, and listen to me,
and I will teach you to fear the Lord Psalm 34:11
I am learning about how I see myself and just how that lens affects those around me.
Everyone wants to feel love. Genuine, real, accepting, binding love. And the problem is we are left to flounder around as damaged people in a fallen world bumping into one another and desperately trying to meet needs only the One who created us can meet. For a long time in my life I believed I was not good enough. Ugly. Fat. Unlovely. Unlovable. Now I see those for what they are. Lies from the pit of hell. I tried to earn my way into people’s hearts and into God’s grace but I always fall flat because He allows failure for refining. He loves me and in teaching me. In my failures I am being taught to lean into His awesome grace. My normal M.O. is that I seek love and approval from others to fill me up but it is and will never be enough. Then I can also believe the more insidious prideful lies that I am pretty great at everything. That I “make stuff happen.” All lies. I can never earn it but through radical grace I am adopted as a daughter of the King. I can recognize those lies for what they are but I struggle to not listen to it’s nagging whisper. But if I don’t allow God to deal with my junk I try and fail myself. And as is often true in my life my view of God is too small and my view of myself is too big. He loves us too much to allow us to continue to live a lie.
But if we do not allow the beauty of ourselves as created in His image for fellowship with Him take root we cannot respect ourselves or our world fully. We cannot realize the full potential of who God created us to be. We sell ourselves and God short. The more I see myself as God sees me, the more I can see others as He sees them. Without seeing myself as He sees me my gaze will never focus on the most important thing, my vision will always be blurry. If I can see myself and others how God sees us the more able I am to love, forgive, bless, and serve them. This place is teaching me that you cannot love others out of deficit but only out of overflow. I am free from a life of self absorption. That is freeing. Not living for me. For what I can get, or be, or do. Freedom is not just the absence of bars but the presence of Christ. I am free to live not for myself but for the Glory of God. I am so used to looking at what seems to be true that I overlook what is always true. I am free to love recklessly leaving the outcome to Him. I no longer love to earn favor or try really hard to impress but I do it because my heart is being remade, changed, cleansed. He has left us in this broken world to prove His truth amidst the suffering. Sometimes I want so much for others to know love, peace, and healing that I forget that I am in daily need of it too. I’ll say it again; it is a journey this sanctification thing. Only when I dwell in Him can I see the world through a new lens. I am not beaten down with more He has for me to do but I can delight in all the work He has prepared
. Because I am a new creation. God’s masterpiece.
As adopted children of the Father I have everything I need right now to love, serve, obey, and live for God. Because of His spirit within me. And God uses simple people radically changed through His grace to accomplish amazing things. The power of prayer; this simple act that is profound. It’s power that escapes exact definition but cannot be denied is what I want more of. It is the true place where my reflection is not clouded by my day, my circumstances, others opinions, my experiences, or the current. It is the place I can rest more in the eternal. Receive healing, forgiveness, become filled, and see my reflection in the True light of the cross. And I want to take a closer look.