It took about a half hour, but I wonder if I’m not done yet. Searching my heart. Writing down the things never confessed. Preparing to share them with a friend. There is more, I’m sure. So I will return to the list. Ask God to search my heart again. Show me what I hide from
It is time for me to admit I have no answers. To admit that I am not yet free. Confession: I hurt people around me. And I do this by idolizing myself. And success. And being right.
When the self is an idol, the whole world, the way I perceive it, is warped. Even now I struggle to trust my own words, my feelings, my voice–a deep-seeded wound I thought was uprooted years ago. I don’t know if I can trust myself.
I know I can’t. Not yet.
The uncomfortableness starts in my chest. A feeling unclear, but decided. I am lonely, in a room of women who for years, I call friends.
I am convinced there is opposition to connection–opposition to vulnerability, a digging in and asking God to lead, to show what He has.
But rather than do that–seek God, we get in our own way to freedom. We get in the way of a life that, while not immune to superficiality, insists on playing it safe.
A friend asks me a question that makes me consider my story. She knows it; I’ve told it to her, leaving nothing out. She worries that the sharing of my story might make a person more anxious, more worried about sinning themselves.
I am confused. Conflicted. No, actually . . . I am none of those things. . . I am resolved.
The story of God’s rescue of us is beautiful. It is what makes us beautiful.
“You are not the forgotten one.”
I hear it–a statement, simple enough, from a Father who pursues. He wants this truth to sink in deep this time. He wants me to believe it: Achievement does not make any person more worthy of love.
“You are not the forgotten one. You are the chosen one.”
Oh, Father. Take this heart that doubts your truth. Kill it in me. Give me a new heart. Help me deny the temptations of this world.
Yes, something in us has to die to make room for God’s truth.
Coffeeshop counters are filled with felted cupids and red glittered hearts. Men walk the streets of Palo Alto with bunches of flowers pressed into hands.
I lift my face to the sun as I walk. Justin is close, this partner of mine who pushes me toward love more than anyone else I know.
It’s been hard, for sure. I imagine it always is, when we’re taking a good hard look at ourselves, the parts previously hidden, the parts we wished we could hide. When do we ever feel in the mood to consider this truth: we each have an affinity for certain sins? Are we ever? In any case, the process, even the outcome, doesn’t sound fun at all.
We lean in closer. We need to hear it again. “You are loved. I will love you outrageously all the days of your life.”
Graham Cooke declares it. He declares it with the Voice of truth singing loud and strong: “You can only love Me as much as you love yourself. So my love comes to set you free from yourself, to set you free from how you see yourself, to set you free from the smallness of your own thinking about yourself.”
Our Father comes and frees us from the smallness of our own thinking because of the abuse, the self-contempt, the despair, the shame, the pride, the fear.
The six of us sit in a circle around the small portable speaker placed on the ottoman in the center of the room. We are hungry, searching. We are missing God. We are tired and want to lay ourselves down.
We gather, the six of us, because the lies have come again. Silently. Stealthily. They have crept in, and we didn’t even see them. But they are tangible. They are dark. We can feel them on our skin, our minds, our hearts. Read More . . .