I have been struggling for a while now to come to terms with myself. I didn’t know it was with myself until I finally woke up this morning and realized that it was self that was fighting me. I Yearn for the things of God but have said it so often and for so long that I no longer know what that means.
I spent most of last night awake, trying to pray, mostly crying and asking God in my biggest little girl voice to show me what went wrong. You see, somewhere along the way, something changed. The joy I used to have, I don’t have so much any more. The things that used to come natural are now so hard to come by. It’s almost as though I sometimes have to crank myself up and build up momentum to do what must be done even though it should be seamless, effortless and natural.
I am living in a prison of obligation, responsibility and “Because I Said So” inflicted and implemented by Self.
You must understand this – for me to open up like this has taken a lot and for me to come to terms with it took even more. I am that person who does the right thing because the right thing must be done. I am the one who would snitch on my sisters because they had done wrong. They never asked me to join them in wrong doing (by this I mean watching a movie in the middle of the day during school holidays when my parents had said we shouldn’t). I am the one who would automatically step back from a fight or altercation because confrontation was wrong.
I’m the teenager who would walk away from a potential relationship because another girl was in the picture and more aggressive. I’m the twenty-something-woman who then stayed in the wrong relationship for six years because so much had already gone into it and I didn’t know who to give up, pack it in and walk away from something that in my mind still had the potential to come alive after it had died. I’m the Daddy’s girl who wouldn’t do what he didn’t permit or bless because it might hurt him. I grew into the woman who would say yes because if I didn’t, I might be rejected.
And then something broke and I rebelled. I went on the other extreme. I locked out love because love had hurt me. I partied “like a rock star”, drank, smoked, clubbed and allowed the good girl in me to become entangled with the bad boy in others. I argued with my family and said things to hurt them. I rejected God and turned my back on him. ALL THE WHILE, I WAS HURTING AND ALL THE WHILE I KNEW THAT THIS WAS NOT LOVE!
And then I met Jesus and my life was turned around. We started a relationship that grew into a courtship that became a commitment that happened into a marriage. It was oh so sweet. I had never been loved like that and I never wanted to leave His embrace. The sweet intimate moments of laughter and tears; the tender hugs of encouragement and circle of celebration. The whispers in the night, the messages in the day and the moments of alone were so beautiful. But once the honeymoon was over, it all turned into weight and responsibility.
Today I choose to take off my mask and say this. The weight and responsibility was always me. All He ever wanted to do was love me. All He will ever want to do is love me right. My preconceived ideas, my ideologies, my expectations, my plans, hopes, dreams, aspirations all became ME and I forgot that He I was supposed to be / created to be complete in HIM.
Today I lay down ME. I lay down SELF. I am going back to the place where we first met and I have only one expectation. That the pure and perfect love with which I first loved you, the intimate, simple, untouched, untainted, perfect love with which I loved you would return. Forget principles. Forget ideologies. Forget laws and rules and Must Dos and To Dos and Must Happens.
All I want is you.
I’ll finish with a scripture that says everything I am thinking and more. A scripture that I have long loved and find new and encouraging every single time I read it:
Romans 7: 13 – 25
13 I can already hear your next question: “Does that mean I can’t even trust what is good [that is, the law]? Is good just as dangerous as evil?” No again! Sin simply did what sin is so famous for doing: using the good as a cover to tempt me to do what would finally destroy me. By hiding within God’s good commandment, sin did far more mischief than it could ever have accomplished on its own.
14-16 I can anticipate the response that is coming: “I know that all God’s commands are spiritual, but I’m not. Isn’t this also your experience?” Yes. I’m full of myself—after all, I’ve spent a long time in sin’s prison. What I don’t understand about myself is that I decide one way, but then I act another, doing things I absolutely despise. So if I can’t be trusted to figure out what is best for myself and then do it, it becomes obvious that God’s command is necessary.
17-20 But I need something more! For if I know the law but still can’t keep it, and if the power of sin within me keeps sabotaging my best intentions, I obviously need help! I realize that I don’t have what it takes. I can will it, but I can’t do it. I decide to do good, but I don’t really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. My decisions, such as they are, don’t result in actions. Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time.
21-23 It happens so regularly that it’s predictable. The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up. I truly delight in God’s commands, but it’s pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight. Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge.
24 I’ve tried everything and nothing helps. I’m at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn’t that the real question?
25 The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does. He acted to set things right in this life of contradictions where I want to serve God with all my heart and mind, but am pulled by the influence of sin to do something totally different.
Today I chose to Remember that:
I am Beautiful – Empowered – Visionary
I am @BeautifulPetal_