Washed Anew

I have carried a weight that has brought my heart down to the depths of the blackest spots of my soul.  That weight has kept me there, blocking out the one light worth knowing.

I usually try to keep my posts rich with scripture, because I want everything I do to make Him greater.  But, this post, I want to be blunt and honest about my struggles and my ultimate revelation.

I have become so engulfed in my sin, that I’m suffocating myself.  I am ignoring God and His Word.  I am ignoring His love and His grace.  I am turning away from forgiveness, and instead, embracing my faults, crippling myself until I am unable to stand anymore.

I said the other day to a friend that “too much compromise can cause apathy.”  It wasn’t until this morning on the way to work that I realized how much I needed to hear my own words.

I am not perfect.  I never claim to be.  But the pressure to act better is very much a constant struggle in my life, especially when I’m pulling away from God.  I’ve never been shy about my beliefs, and I’ve always been more than happy to stand on a soap box and proclaim God’s love to everyone, except for myself.  It’s been a bitter battle to fight every morning, just to look in the mirror and know that God loves me exactly as I am, and that He knows I’m beautiful because He has wonderfully made me.

Can you possibly understand how hard it is to accept such a thing?
After growing up and being told by peers that I was
too loud
too messy
too frizzy
too fat
too smart
And the worst thing of all is that I believed them.  I held those opinions higher than anyone else’s.
I looked to the world for its opinion and its answers.
The world didn’t hold back any punches.
I was beaten and bruised until I was told my self-esteem was non-existent.

I have never held myself in much of any high regard.  I take pride in my knowledge and certain abilities, but as for myself as a whole: I never thought of anything but hatred.

I completely and unabashedly loathed myself, and no one seems to notice.

I know I’m not alone, and yet I push myself into solitude, letting my mind become a battleground to all my inner failures and weaknesses.  I mourn and grieve all the things I could have, would have, and should have, done.  But, in the end, it only hurts me more to mull over all the loss and shame and regret.

My struggles seem to be my secrets and burdens that I carry with me everywhere. I keep silent and let them fill the room until I can’t breathe and my body is numb. I create a toxic environment for my spirit simply by not accepting the grace that God has so lovingly lavished upon undeserving me.

That’s what I came to realize this morning as I got ready.  My routine was as usual: put on makeup while listening to the bible.  Today was Leviticus and Matthew.  It was Matthew that hit me the hardest.  Listening to Jesus being crucified and mocked and ultimately killed.  It made me cringe.

Here I was, putting on eyeliner, only half listening to the very thing Jesus died for.
Here I was, trying to cover up a face I hated; a face that God loves and so preciously made.
Here I was, just being.  Not living.  Not loving.  Not doing.  Just being.
Something had to change.

So I did.

I started listening to the story of Jesus.

Instantly, I felt new.
It was as if a bucket of the warmest and purest water had been doused over me, washing away all the dirt, all the shame, all the grit, all the regret, and most of all: all of the world.

I could breathe again.  I could see again.  I could finally open my eyes and accept reality as it always has been: God’s perfect will above my own.

Today, I urge you to listen.  I urge you to be still and to really focus on His Word today.  It’s more than just words on a page or a screen.  They are life giving.  They are the very fountain of water our parched spirits pant for.

Spring rain

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