I’m calling uncle.
Surrendering under the weight of everything.
Try as I might to engage “beast mode” and conquer all I face with strength and determination, I’m just not cutting it.
I’m not standing victorious on a heap of rubble at the end of the day, cheeks flushed with pride and accomplishment. I’m dragging my limp legs to the couch where I want to curl up to hibernate.
I like to think I can do it all and then some, but the truth is that I can’t.
I just can’t.
And I hate the sound of that. I hate seeing those words staring back at me in black and white. I hate acknowledging that I have any weakness whatsoever.
Weakness disgusts me.
When I try to get to the bottom of why that’s the case, I guess it’s ultimately fear.
Weakness says, “I can’t do it. I need help. I’m not enough.” Those sentiments scare me because they imply dependence.
I don’t want to be dependent. I don’t want to need anyone’s help.
Not even God’s help.
I’m a prideful wretch. Seeking to be my own savior. Seeking to protect myself from being hurt. You can’t hurt me if I don’t need you.
I can’t be hurt if I don’t depend on anyone for anything.
I can’t be loved either.
I can’t live in community or relationship if I’m not vulnerable.
If I don’t admit my failings and my humanity.
No hurt, but no joy either.
No risk, but no intimacy either.
We recently completed a church-wide Bible study about vulnerability and taking down the curtains we have between ourselves & God and ourselves & other people. As we wrapped up that study, I felt God calling me to humility.
I told Him I wanted whatever He had for me. Anything.
He called me to humble myself. To allow Him to strip me of my pride and usher me into a sacred space called humility.
I begged Him to humble me without destroying me. To humble me without taking all that I hold dear (namely my husband and children). To be gentle with me. To have mercy on my stubborn and prideful soul.
He has been so gentle with me. Brutally gentle, but gentle nonetheless.
He hasn’t deemed it necessary to yank the rug out from under me, but he’s been excruciatingly clipping off fruitless branches.
Holding a mirror to my face so that I can peer inside and see my own weakness and His glorious strength.
Like strands of sticky red licorice held tightly in my clenched fist, He has been pulling out the things I go to for my sense of value and worth and control.
I cry and squeeze the strands tighter, but He keeps pulling harder. He doesn’t yank. He doesn’t shame or condemn me. He just smiles at my red, tear-stained face as He keeps pulling.
My self-reliant approach to parenting.
My confidence in my own competence.
My frantic attempts at self-justification.
My tendency to martyr myself and pretend it’s loving service to others.
My inauthentic dance with my husband.
My attempts to rescue myself and alleviate my fears with logic.
Each one of them leaves a gooey mess behind as God graciously pries them out of my hand. He wants to wash the sticky shame of it all away. He wants to replace my twisted substitutes for worth with His truth of who I am.
Loved by Him.
AND THAT’S ENOUGH.
He’s a good father and I’m loved by Him.
End of story.
No amount of success or failure changes the way He loves me.
He loves me fully and completely and that’s who.I.am.
Take a couple of minutes to listen to this and let it soak into your heart. It’s been on repeat over here for months and I cannot hear it enough.