Being challenged to write the truth about myself seemed easy at first. I think to myself all the time that transparency is one of the greatest gifts humanity can exchange among itself. Every time my fingers stretch towards these keys, I offer up a silent prayer that whatever syllables are formed, someone somewhere can find a bit of truth here. At least something they might be able to relate to. But the truth about me? Yikes. Three weeks ago, I included words from a year-old post in my Five Minute Friday. Initially, I thought the fit was perfect, and perhaps it really was every bit as good as I thought. But the next morning, I awoke with a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. Are those words, the ones that spoke of my struggle to surrender -- those words that found their way onto my screen a year ago -- still true? Have I been stranded on the same page, reenacting the same bitter scene for a year?
Then came the creeping shame, the voice seething that I am a fraud. All of the growth I had spoken of was a sham.
As much as I say I value transparency, I hide behind these words. They are my mask of good and fine, and the ever more important I've got this under control. Everything I do, all my energy is spent trying to communicate that to you.
After nearly twenty-three years, two decades spent in church, the concept of surrender is still rocking my world. I still live my life in a state of tension and fear. A walking advertisement that contradicts the absolute faithfulness and goodness of God.
And that book that dares us to count the ways He has blessed us... all the way to one thousand? It has been sitting on my shelf for a year now, and I have yet to finish it, because when those opening chapters breached my consciousness, there was pain. The wrecking ball of conviction hit hard against my heart, and I recoiled.
I know I need this -- every word you find here is a note to self, because I forget so quickly. I grab at this life like its mine to take.
I know that I want this. I want it more than anything. And I know that growth takes time. I breathe a sigh of relief, that it is okay to take my time. The mighty oak that began as a seed pressed into the ground did not rise up as a tower overnight. I am learning to persevere, and perseverance produces character, and character produces hope. And hope surely does not disappoint.
These things are birthed in a person, and like with any birth, sometimes there is tearing. Sometimes, the glory housed inside is so deep and so wide that to see it through to beating, breathing fruition requires pain. And we question if we really have the strength to endure the labor.
I suppose that's where I am today, in this moment: questioning whether or not I really possess the strength to birth this glory. But the Truth? He is there, in the midst of my weakness, in the midst of my questions. And He's holding out His hands.