a little and a lot

Saturday, February 02, 2013

Who I Am

Last weekend, I went with some friends to Lake Lanier (just outside of Atlanta) to attend the Created for Care retreat for adoptive moms.  It was great to have multiple DAYS let me brain off-duty, to relax & laugh, and to intentionally think about what God has done and what He is doing in my life.

19 months ago, I became the primary caregiver of one of my favorite little people in the whole world.  She turns 3 at the end of this month, and there hasn't been much time or energy within my daily life to tell the Lord anything other than, "Help!" with an occasional, "Thanks!"

Last weekend, I pictured myself joyfully roadtripping with friends and ending up in this incredibly restful spot and being completely at peace.  The end result was the opposite for me...instead of being at peace, I felt incredibly self-conscious, restless, weary, and anxious.  REALLY anxious.  "Gosh, people must think I am SUCH a weirdo," I thought as I burst into tears constantly when interacting with friends (& strangers!) that first night.  "I should have gotten my hair cut, I wish I felt cuter in my clothes right now, I should have seen a dermatologist about this bump on my nose months ago..." were the petty, superficial thoughts of my mind & heart.

The longer I sat through worship, through keynote speakers, through sessions, I just kept finding more and more layers of anxiety in my heart.  "Am I a good mother?  Am I a good wife?  What can I do with these feelings of daily failure?  I don't even feel like I know who I am anymore!"

I heard and saw women living out deep, abiding faith in the Lord.  And I felt so puny & worried & faithless standing among them.  I am worried about what people think about me.  Even more, I am worried about what God thinks about me.  I sense God's unbelievable grace poured out for my undeserving self, but I think I just tend to stay there...the actions of my daily life still so legalistic--I work out of a desire to make God proud of me.  To make Him glad He loves me.  To make his sacrifice "worth it."

In her song "Be Loved," Christy Nockels sings:
"have you ever let yourself be loved by the One who made you?
have you ever told your soul to believe that His heart is on your side?"
I don't know that I have.  At least, I don't right now.  I have no problem with gratitude for a God who would save "a wretch like me."  I find myself pretty wretched.  I put pressure on myself and I think the worst about myself.  I know what I'm "really" like.

But do I believe God loves me BECAUSE of who he made me to be and not just in spite of it?  Do I believe He's proud of me?  I mostly think he beholds me with a roll of his eyes, thinking what a crazy mess I am.  I connect with verses like 2 Corinthians 12:9--His power is made perfect in my jacked-up-ness.  I imagine He gets jazzed about how awesome He is going to look through my super-messed-up self.  I just sit in that perspective and speak it over myself.

I've realized the Lord wants to speak a new truth over me.  A truth that could set me free from my fear...of what others think about me...of how I feel about success and failure...of how I approach my responsibility to His kingdom and the people around me.

Just like any other major life change, motherhood has messed with the deepest part of me.  I was worried that I was starting to lose joy in my day-to-day mothering, I was worried about my increasingly frumpy SAHM appearance, in my sense of being "less cool," in my inability to keep my life "together" for more than two days in a row...I didn't realize it went this deep...into the deepest part of my identity.  This is more than not making time to go running or getting up early so I start my day with make-up on.  This is about WHO I AM.  Who HE says I am.

I am afraid of what He thinks about me.  Of what others would think about me if they really knew me.  And fear is never from the Lord.


Kristy said...

Love your heart, friend. And I love who you are. And your transparency. And your mothering and wifing and friending. And your font on your blog. :)

Kristy said...

Love your heart, friend. And I love who you are. And your transparency. And your mothering and wifing and friending. And your font on your blog. :)

Jane said...

Well I know this isn't the point, but I think you rock. I love your spunk and your honesty and like Kristy said, I love your heart too. You are the first "blogger" I started reading and probably the inspiration to start my own because I take so much joy in reading what you have to say. I know you didn't write this to read that, but there it is anyway.

And don't knock the SAHM look...After working jobs where heals and dress pants were a regular requirement I am LOVING the SAHM dress code and you should too. At the very least, your runners feet will thank you. :)

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