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I really do not know that anything has ever been more exciting than diagramming sentences. Gertrude Stein

23 January 2008

...and that is the gospel truth.

I struggle so much with what nature of things I should post. Have I had too many serious ones in a row? Am I due for a funny one? Or is it all supposed to be funny and never "heavy"? The why is that I'm paranoid of what other people think of me. I have this great fear that my blog will be lame. I feel this undercurrent to make it always light and fluffy so that it'll be more acceptable and on everyone's "must read/great blogging goodness" list, but that just doesn't feel authentic. I don't want to misrepresent my life, which is certainly not light or fluffy just now, unless you count the back fat I've accumulated over the past 5 or 6 years. That's pretty fluffy. Or just fat. Whatever. I'm workin' on it.

So anyway, this fear has kept me from posting much of anything over the past few weeks because I've been so busy just dissecting my life. I've had my face in my hands a good bit lately, feel exacerbated, and at times, deserted.

Spiritually speaking, I realize that my greatest weakness, the thing that is most crippling to me, is my fear of disappointment. Hope, ironically, fills me with dread. I'm so afraid that more disappointment will drive me away from what I want the most, and that is to be a friend of God. And the worst part may be that continued disappointment probably wouldn't drive me out of church, it might just make me resistent to God. I never want to harden my heart to Jesus, but I have such immature faith. And I'm ashamed of that. I've been a Christian for almost 8 years. Eight years. And still I feel so insecure in my faith. And so unsafe talking about that. It's easier to tell the world though, than people you know. More fear. (Yeah. Try not to be jealous. I know my life is very glamorous. I wouldn't want to make anyone stumble with hearts full of covetousness.)

So, I'm learning things about myself that I would rather keep hidden. Specifically things that expose a weakness in me. See, I'd much prefer to talk about things I went through, than admit to things I'm going through. As in now. Today. I like the benefit of hindsight. It makes me look experienced, and educated. You know, whole. Then I can tell you with great wisdom what it was like coming out on the other side, instead of standing smack in the middle, feeling so broken, and without a clue how to truly find my way out... which is generally how I feel on my way through anything. Only I don't like to admit that.

I would so much rather not expect anything from God, to just expect to handle things by myself, than to hope for His help, His voice when I need help, and to receive nothing. It's crushing. And I wonder... is it me? Is it just my inability to hear? Well then, Lord, give me ears to hear! ... That's the cry of my heart, and still I feel like I'm met with mostly silence. And it makes me angry. No, angry isn't strong enough. It really makes me hate God. I know that's not a very "churchy" thing to say, but the Bible says that a man cannot serve two masters. He either loves the first and hates the second, or he loves the second and hates the first. There's no middle ground there. So either my heart is turned towards heaven, full of love for the things of God, and so completely drawn in by Him - or I spurn Him.

That's why I'm so afraid of my own disappointment. I cannot stand to think that God is not good, that He is not for me. And I'm not at a place spiritually where I am mature enough to handle disappointment without feeling like I've been kicked in the gut. I know it's shallow. I know it's immature. I understand that it's childish faith. So like my children, I don't have what I think I desparately need or at least sort of deserve because life should be fun, and I throw temper tantrums. And mine are no cuter and endearing than theirs.

But then, I go back to this: God loves mercy. God is so much more gracious than I am. And God knew what I was when He first won my heart almost 8 years ago. Nothing about me surprises Him. There will never be a moment of truth, an aha moment, when God finally realizes what He got when He got me. He'll never be disappointed with the deal He made for my soul. (Hopefully, and totally by the working of a miracle, I'll never shame Him.)

So there. I said it.

And the truth shall set me free. He said that too. :)

3 people love me:

Julie said...

I hear you. Sometimes it is really hard to let out what is going on inside. It's much easier to play along with everyone where they seem to be.

I have battled through my disappointments too. Don't be ashamed of your "immature faith" (to quote you).
Just be teachable. The more teachable and vulnerable you are the more you will learn.

I think we could all feel like we are immature in our faith. I can't tell you how many times I have thought, "shouldn't I be further along by now?"
God is not disappointed in you or your growth rate.
He knows right where you are.

Your desire to know Him and be His friend is His desire too. Don't fear the desires. Living in desire means we are living alive. To push them down means we are not living fully from our hearts.
He tells us that He will give us the desires of our hearts. That means He wants us to know them, acknowledge them, give them to Him, ask for them to be fulfilled.

I long to encourage women. It is what my heart beats for. But so many don't share what is on their hearts. It's hard to encourage someone when you don't know where they are.

The greatest thing you can do is invite others into your struggles and life. God will raise up those who will speak to you, and be givers of life and truth.

I am so delighted when He brings someone that needs an encouraging word into my life. Today a 30 year old woman from here emailed me, sharing her struggles with me. Though I am 20 years older than she is, what joy it brought to me to offer her life bearing words that God had given me.

I share this with you in hopes that you will see how much it blesses others to see the vulnerability of your heart.

If I can help you find your way out, I would love to.
You have a precious heart!

One more thing. God will never be ashamed of you.
He can't...because shame is not in His vocabulary.

Thanks for sharing.
Julie

Missy @ It's Almost Naptime said...

Oh, I have so much to say to you, I don't even know where to start.

I think the main thing is that God LOVES you. He absolutely adores you. He loves you a million times more than you love your babies. His heart dances when he sees you. He thinks you are the coolest.

And it has NOTHING to do with you. He is never disappointed in you, he is never looking at you with a naughty or nice list. He sees you, and he sees Christ.

For a long, long time I had a Janet Jackson relationship with God - remember that song, What Have you Done for Me Lately (ooo ooo ooo yeah)? I used to think God would look at me and say that. And if I hadn't led a bible study or spent enough time reading my bible or worked in a homeless shelter or written a letter to my grandma or whatever, that he was disappointed in me. And God sent a mentor into my life to tell me that is NOT the way it works. He wants me to do better, sure. He disciplines me, definitely. But he is not *disappointed* in me.

Because of the blood of Christ, my iniquities have been blotted out. In a way I cannot understand, I am perfect in his eyes. As perfect as our ugly, red, scrawny babies were when they first handed them to us and we thought they were the prettiest creatures ever made.

There is *nothing* you can do to make him see you as less than perfect. You simply don't have that power.

He really, really loves you Jodie.

I am going to pray that he shows you that in ways over the next month that outright freak you out.

xo
Mis

screamofcontinuousness said...

Jodie,
I can't say this profoundly, but please don't be ashamed to struggle. Even to struggle out loud.
I only just "met" you today, but I want to re-affirm for you that God loves you and is Thrilled with the progress you are making. Today. Right now. Even when you think you are standing still Screaming in the middle of a wrecked life, God is glad that you are screaming TO HIM.