Learning to live honest when you’ve lived most of your life in moralistic dishonesty is hard. Real me always fighting the me I “should be”. Marci Preheim
I confess I’m having one of those “I hate myself” weeks. If you say you don’t have those days/weeks, I’ll wonder if you’re human or will assume the prosperity gospel has you in it’s clutches (if neither of those are the case, I’m sorry for making those assumptions). The days between my birthday and Christmas have historically been hard. Every year I tell myself “this year will be different”, but every year – HARD!
I had a great birthday. I got to see some of my high school best friends – they spoiled me with pina coladas, a good lunch, dating advice (its been over 10 years..as if a date is on the horizon) and tons of laughs. The day after, though, like a ton of bricks, I felt my desperation. No, I didn’t have a hangover from the pina coladas…I have my doubts there was any alcohol in them.
My life is an absolute mess – a mess that I can’t clean up. You might say (because I’ve heard it before) “Well, at least you don’t have it as bad as so and so.” Truth be told, I’m tired of that comparison crap. Life is hard. You don’t live under my skin. You don’t know the thoughts and demons that I deal with on a daily basis…and I don’t know yours. As Tullian Tchividjian said in a sermon “You are not acting super-spiritual and demonstrating some heroic strength by pretending life is not hard.”
Often on these days those ugly thoughts return. I don’t want to kill myself, but I have thoughts that tell me I don’t deserve to be alive, to have breath in my lungs. Usually there are faces associated with those thoughts – faces of people who have hurt me, shut me down, minimized my pain, or rejected me. I know who the real accuser is, and I know those are lies, believe me I know, but that is how I experience the dark days.
But…despite how I feel, He loves me still…
“He knows me. He knows what satisfies my heart. He knows what gives me peace. He knows all my fears, my suppressed financial worries, the haunting sense that I may have missed what I was supposed to do with my life, that I’ve failed Him and DON’T KNOW WHO TO TELL. He knows I don’t believe fully what I claim to believe.” John Lynch
There are a handful of people I feel safe enough to share my brutal truth with. I shared this with a few of them yesterday:
“I’m struggling to believe it (that He loves me)…today. I know He does…but there are just days when it’s nearly impossible to believe.”
If you come from a legalistic, prosperity gospel frame of mind, I’m pretty sure I know what you’re thinking right now. You’re thinking of all the things I need “to-do” to get out of this funk. That was my frame of mind for years. Moralism was my drug of choice for too long and it really screwed me up.
Escaping legalism, seeking freedom and learning to trust in “Christ alone” is hard, but it is worth the pain, the dark days, the confusion, the lost friendships, etc. etc.
My friend Marci shared her family mantra with me yesterday, and I love it – #livehonest. That’s how I want to live, because…
But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 2 Corinthians 12:9