I've been trying to work up the nerve to post this. Transparency is not easy. Especially for the fragile. The insecure. But then I got an email from a reader that said, "Your honesty and vulnerability are an encouragement to just be real." And I'm reminded why I do this, let everyone see the junk in my life. Stuff we all spend so much time hiding, pretending isn't there. It's a forever uphill battle. This life thing. And I spend most of it falling down.
What will the world think if they know how broken I really am? Not was. Am. Can God really use this wreckage? Will I still have value? Worth?
I screwed up with my meds. At first it felt like the end of the world. Now it feels like a reminder of how small I am and how big God and my need for him is. And I want there to be a reason. Someone or something to blame. But that's just it. Sometimes there's not. It's just a mistake.
And where is the line between healthy accountability and overkill, self flagellation?
I was knocking everything else in life out of the park. And then this. A perfect storm. I forgot my Prozac for several days. Maybe a week. I'm not even sure. Then I had three teeth painfully extracted by an oral surgeon. And I lied to my husband about how much pain medication I had taken. And I don’t lie to him. Brutal and blatant honesty is part of how I cope with life now. It helps me, in all my social awkwardness, to not get confused by the moral grey that runs rampant in our culture. Where truth is relative. Not absolute.
Because I used to lie all the time. Big lies. Little white ones. Middle of the road lies. But now it feels like trying on clothes that don’t fit. It’s uncomfortable and awkward. Because it’s not who I am. In fact, it’s never been who I am.
And I can’t seem to forgive myself.
It felt like a test. And I failed. And now God is going to withhold something from me. Punish me. For my weakness. My disobedience. How could I deserve any of his goodness or expect to be used by him? When once again in life I've proven myself useless. Or at least that's how it feels.
This is why self care matters. Why being a certain kind of selfish is actually a critical part of healthy living. Because the devil is patient. He doesn't care how strong we are or how much progress we make. He will lay in wait for that one moment after years have passed when we are at a point of weakness. Vulnerable. Susceptible to suggestion and the lies of our past.
The devil will wait until all our progress and hard work become obscured by a momentary lapse in judgement.
And what then? How do we move forward? Forgive ourselves the way God does? When we fail. When we let ourselves and the ones we love most down. I don't seem to have that kind of grace for myself. And I don't think any one will ever be able to make me feel worse about my short comings than I do myself. I rule with an iron fist.
I would likely feel the same regardless of whether I used a curse word or clubbed a baby seal. I have no sense of balance or reason when it comes to sin in my life. "She called that driver a what? Off with her head!"
My inner third person monologue deserves a reality TV show. She's completely unpredictable.
But as C.S. Lewis once said, "I think that if God forgives us we must forgives ourselves. Otherwise, it is almost like setting up ourselves as a higher tribunal than Him." And I am most definitely not qualified for anything of the sort. I have trouble putting pants on in the morning.
So I am a work in progress. Because I may fall down. A thousand times I may fall, but I will not stay down. And though I don’t feel it at the moment, I know that all these questions are part of learning how to live in truth. That my emotions can't be trusted right now. God has proven time and time again of his unfailing love for me. His compassion. His goodness. His mercy. Even if I'm still carrying this shame. This weight. So, God, here I am today. In my moment of brokenness. Of pain. Weakness. Self doubt. Laid out. For the world to see. Father...
Here I am.
Here I am.
Here I am.
Please come be who you are.