I really want to write. You know, complain, vent, cry, and just let it all get ugly and out. I am a strong-willed, hard-headed person. And, those are my good qualities. I am also a wannabe perfectionist, and a do-gooder by instinct. And tonight, there are a few things that pretty much slapped me upside the head.
First revelation of the night: I want life to go according to my plans. While I want to be in God's will, and do what He wants me to do, I really just want Him to go alongside of my plans, and agree that I want what He wants and he wants what I want and that we are both on the same page and its all gonna be just perfect. Except, I am not God. Nor do I want to be God. So, yeah, this whole according to my plans thing isn't really working well for me, because while I seriously want His will for my life, I struggle letting go of my plans for my life so I can let His plans take over. He ordained these days, but am I walking them the way He first planned? And, if I am not walking in the ways He planned, do I really want to? Talk about scary. Freeing, yes, but scary too.
Second revelation: I have a hard time accepting defeat. I have a hard time allowing failure to even be an option. My motto has always been failure (or imperfections or a slight change in plans or ... and the list sadly keeps going) is not ever an option. It isn't something I like to think about, it isn't something I do well. Failure is weakness. Weakness is not something I like to think about, because I like to feel strong, with a nothing-can-stop-me sort of attitude. On top of that, if there is the risk of failing, I just don't start. Failure is just not an option.
And, oh yeah, revelation three: God's sense of humor is just not funny sometimes. I see His hand over me, showing my insanely multiplying flaws. The last three days, I have done nothing but beat the crap out of myself. I failed with this, I failed with that. I don't even want to try that, because, honestly, I will fail it too. I have never wanted to just quit everything so bad as how I feel right now. And yet, I sat in the midst of frustration and despair and had women tell me I was good. That I was doing things right. And, the only thought that kept going through my mind was, "Are you serious? Do you see who you are talking to???" I mean, thank God they don't read some of the prayers in my book lately. Talk about doubt and fear and insecurity. It is all written out on those pages. But for some crazy reason, I keep going. Because, deep down, I really want to believe them. I want to quiet that voice that keeps telling me I am a failure that isn't worthy of anyone's love. I want to believe that God really has a purpose and a plan for all of the craziness I am walking through right now.
To be totally transparent, I have really been struggling spiritually over the last few weeks. I pray. But do I really hear Him? I seek, but only for what I want to find. And, my Bible study, I can't seem to get into it. I feel like crap. I am miserable. I am failing at every single thing I am doing. And I hate it. I stood in church, and was pretty much spanked. I prayed, and crazy enough, heard from God almost immediately. I simply prayed that I would wait as long as it took. That I was waiting, in the middle of praise and worship. His reply was painful. Cause, you know, He let me know He is waiting for me, too. He is waiting for me to desperately need Him, above anything else. He is waiting for me to seek Him first, instead of under my breath muttering or calling anyone who will listen. He is waiting for me to just sit back and talk to Him, about the good, the bad, this nasty ugly cry thing that keeps happening, to communicate about my silly doubts and fears and worries and exhaustion. He wants me to fully pursue Him. And, then clears my schedule so I have plenty of time to do so. No excuses, right? Except, that one...
Reality hit me square in the face tonight. I don't fully seek God because I am terrified of what His plans might lead me into. That failure is possible, and that my course might go the complete opposite direction from what I want. I step out, and the challenges seem so incredibly huge. He gives me strength for this challenge, or those kind words, but when will He decide I am not worth the effort anymore? My Bible study hit home tonight. What if I fail God? What do I do then? What if I screw up so bad that He decides I am not worth it, just like almost every other man in my life has? What happens then?
I could not get out of that building with all those smiling happy faces fast enough tonight. And, if you are reading this and you were there, sorry. This big ugly cry thing was getting ready to go down, and well, I don't let most people see me break down. So, I am sorry. Anyway, Beth Moore hit it. I may fail. I may screw up. I mean, I could really, totally, completely fail God. Big time. Or worse, do something that makes someone else fail God. But does that change the way He feels for me? And, if it does, what do I do, then?
My head and mind say, "Of course not, Cil! His love for you is NOT performance based." But, my heart is a little shattered. My ego is a little bruised and battered. I am not where I was. And no man or woman can take me back there. But, my heart still wonders whether or not I am fully capable of being truly loved by a man, including God. I know I will put this out there tonight, the sun will come out tomorrow, and I will regret it. I will feel embarrassed that I am allowing thoughts of doubt and negativity to creep in. I will feel shame. But, at some point, I am going to have to choose and stand behind one of a few things.
Option A: I can choose to believe that I am a worthless woman, who will never deserve love, will never be worth loving, and will fail at every relationship she will ever have. This cycle could go on forever and ever, with this woman sinking deeper and deeper into negativity. And, truly, who wants to be around this girl?
Option B: I can choose to believe that I am worth something , but only when I am succeeding, not failing, when I am everything to everyone, and everyone loves me because of what I can do for them. This cycle will cause this girl to be used and abused time and time again, because she will never realize how unconditional God's love is.
or, Option C: This girl can embrace the promise she received tonight. The one that said God will not fail me, regardless of how often I fail Him. And, oh, that is a hard one to believe. I see my faults. I see my hurts, my longings, my doubts. I look at myself and do not feel worth it. I don't see what He or anyone else sees. But when He looks at my face, He sees a different creation, washed clean by the blood of Christ. One that struggles often, but refuses to quit. One that puts forth her best effort, and sometimes just goes about it the wrong way. And, when I choose to not believe all of that, I am choosing to believe Christ's sacrifice for me just wasn't quite good enough.
You see, I have heard it all before. I sang, "Jesus Loves Me," more than once (or a hundred times, probably) as a child. I tell myself all the time that He loves me just the same as He always has, and that it will never run out. I remind myself that no actions of my own are going to make Him love me more. Even when I fail. Even when I cry. Even when I bolt because the thought of losing it in front of a room full of women feels like the worst predicament of my life.
Honestly, I know that I am not alone in my battles. I know that in order for me to fully believe, I need help. I need God's Word moving through my heart all day long. And I know that when it is, I don't doubt for a second how much He loves or cares for me, or that His promise is made good in His time, and He knows when it will be perfect for me. I have to stop trying to fulfill this God-given promise in my ways and remember He doesn't need my help. He just needs me to seek Him. I am going to challenge myself this week to speak life-giving words over myself. Praying this hits someone else, as it did me. Really, for two reasons: 1) Because I don't want to be alone; and 2) Because if you are struggling, too, you probably need to know you are just as loved as I am.