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You see that confused baby???? That’s me, when I try to make sense of my faith.
The Golden Rule is to treat others how we want to be treated. One of the greatest commandments is to love your neighbor as you love yourself. Those two statements sound the same, but for me they are miles apart. I treat others how I would like to be treated, at least I try to most of the time, and I love them, truly. I don’t love them as I love myself though, because in truth, most days I don’t even like me, and can be quite mean. The saying that we’re our own worst critic is truth, and I get we’re supposed to somehow rise to a new level of consciousness where we learn to love ourselves….. I just can’t figure out how to get there.
Faith has brought me farther along the process than I ever managed to get on my own, but since my story is not over, I can’t see how it ends. I can’t see what plan God has in place for my extended family, that sees faith differently person by person, or why He would encourage this walk in some and not others realizing the strain it creates? I can’t see what purpose my overbearing personality serves in His Kingdom. I’m too loud, too irreverent, sometimes I like to swear, and shake my booty, and enjoy my wine, which in my mind says I’m not committed enough…. But I DO love Him with my whole heart, I see the incredible way He’s saved my life, my marriage, and the miracles that have happened in my life. I cannot deny His power, so why do I not have the strength to deny myself? I don’t understand a story that says His strength is in me, but doesn’t allow me to tap into it, I struggle to make sense of it, and end up believing it’s just me, and I like myself a little less.
Raising kids is one of the single scariest things in the entire world to me, because I measure every word, action, inaction knowing there are 1000 better ways to handle everything, and waiting for them to be old enough to realize that. I wonder if they’ll believe I tried my best…. I wonder if I believe that myself. I know I’m supposed to lay my life down, so that I can find it, but again either I don’t know how, or I’m lacking the strength to follow through. Is it just that I’m never supposed to stop and think of my own needs… sleep, rest, refreshment…Trusting those things will find me when ALL the laundry is done, the house is clean, children and husband are loved and fed, friends are called, family connected with, work completed, ministry served? Don’t get me wrong… I do think of those things, and do them plenty…. this is my struggle, I find joy in them in the moment and then beat myself up relentlessly for enjoying it. The entire concept of grace is the very air I breathe, yet my lungs gasp for more as I try to hold my breath, ashamed to be taking so much.
I see the sacrifice, all the more this Holy Week, and my mind cannot comprehend it. A love like THAT, a life laid down, for me…. ‘Why?’ Is the question I can’t get out of my head? This is the other great fear of my life, that I’m not doing it right; I’m not living a life worthy of someone sacrificing their life for mine. I imagine someone having all the answers, having all the self-discipline to be perfect, and I get that’s not realistic…. But it begs the first question…. Why not, if His strength is mine? Apparently His strength is made perfect in my weakness, which honestly just annoys me because I don’t WANT to be weak, or confused, or struggling, because then I freak out that how am I helping someone if I NEED HELP!?! Ay Chihuahua…. For reference, being annoyed at God doesn’t help the self-esteem when you know logically that you love God, for the whole aforementioned MASSIVE sacrifice…. You really aren’t supposed to get annoyed with people that give up their own children to save your life.
It’s all a mess…. Every single day. There is so much to do, and yet we’re equally called to just be…. To be still and know, yet how do we know? Is it possible to know? The only thing I DO know, is that my everyday mess…. The doubts, the frustrations, the fears, the failures…. All of it somehow comes together to make this beautiful life. Glennon’s right, you can’t separate the mess from the beautiful. I am a MESS, clearly…. But this mess, helped create this beautiful family, and there is incredible hope and a future for this family as long as I keep showing up. That’s the promise…. that it ALL will work for good, that even though I can’t see clearly now, some day I will. Some day all that seems like a muddled mess of confusion will be made clear, and I will get to understand. There is hope, and HOPE does NOT disappoint, so ‘they’ say…. And since ‘they’ created the World and everything in it… I think I’ll listen.