I'm a mess. I fail in the very places I most want to succeed. I'm a big, huge, sticky, hot mess.
"Faithful are the wounds of a friend".... I was wounded - I needed it; I deserved it. I couldn't, however, seem to get out of the pit I visited. I've been struggling. Sleepless nights, crying, restless...quoting the truth to myself, yet not living it, feeling it.
Along comes a birthday. I don't have the energy to put on a smiling face and open gifts. I had planned to be perfect by 50. I wanted to be like Mildred, a dear saint I met in my 20's. I had planned to have conquered these areas by now. Certainly, 1/2 a century would be long enough for me to get it right. I'm a mess. I fail - often and spectacularly - recently, continually (you know - like the Greek present verb tense). I'm grieving and I don't want to celebrate. I don't have the energy to celebrate.
The family wants to celebrate.
"Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted." I have mourned deeply. Forgiveness was asked for and granted; yet I mourned.
I began grudgingly reading birthday wishes. Each one reminding me I'm not where I want to be at 50. As tears stream down my face, I want to scream, "Stop! I've told you I'm a mess! I'm a failure! Don't say these things! I TOLD YOU NOT TO PUT ME ON A PEDESTAL."
But then I realize - you must see Jesus. The only way this mess could be anything like what you see is Jesus. I learn anew to throw myself on grace. I experience the sin of unbelief which would say they can forgive, God can forgive - but *I* will not forgive myself. *I* will hold myself to a standard higher than God's. Foolishness.
Your words were a healing balm today on Facebook (and then I wonder if I'm still such a pathetic people pleaser that it takes wishes from over 160 friends to get me out of my funk). ::snort:: God has used your kind words to begin to comfort....to remind me that it's ALWAYS about His redemption, His transforming work in my life....and never about a magical age when I'll be perfect! That was, afterall, the lesson Mildred taught us...to press on to know Jesus more every day of our lives.
Our resident theologian has told me this is an example of progressive revelation. I couldn't handle it if I saw my real self all at once. God gives me glimpses and I am undone. But I grow. I am transformed. He said Isaiah experienced this. I suppose this is true...progressive revelations of His holiness and my humanness.....
Living all of life before the face of God...