I fight with myself.
Sometimes it involves a big stick, other times I just walk away mad hoping I’ll just leave myself alone. Rarely do I rationally try to work through a problem, then kiss and make up – figuratively speaking, of course. I’ve come to the conclusion that sometimes I just don’t like myself very much. Actually, it goes deeper than that. Or maybe wider? There’s a “thing behind the thing” there somewhere, and I think I got to some of it this weekend; quite by accident.
Never been good with regimens, don’t like when I have to do something, so its a little remarkable that I’m purposefully spending time each day with God. In fact, I find it interesting that I crave it. There are days where I haven’t had a chance to get alone by myself somewhere and focus on Him, and I feel it. Like I missed out on something. Weird, eh? No. Cool. I like it.
Using my imagination as I settle in by my window, I try to picture His face (I use Akiane‘s version – love it!), and say hi, and then usually break out in a huge grin. I get a kick out of saying hi to His face. Then I start singing.
Most people probably don’t get that, but I find it does so many things at once:
- 1st off is that I want Him know the things I’m singing.
- 2nd: I’m repeating to Him the things He’s said about Himself and about me, which is worship.
- 3rdly, I’m reminding myself of Who He is, what He says, who HE says I am… they’re all different, yet the same.
It re-calibrates my heart to start off with singing. I’m no David, but I imagine that He enjoys me sitting at His feet singing to Him just as much as I enjoy it when one of my kids says something nice to me. I sing for as long as the songs keep coming to mind. Sometimes my heart is heavy and I’ll sing about His goodness and faithfulness; sometimes I’m so thankful for how He has reconstructed my life; and sometimes I’m just happy to be there! This weekend though, I was feeling a bit of a disconnect.
I know that life is not to be lead simply by emotion, but I have also learned the hard way that our emotions are a pretty good indicator of where we are at. It’s lethal to stuff them. So when I plopped down to hang out with Jesus a couple days ago, my immediate thought to myself was, “Huh. I wonder if I’m PMS-ing?” (sorry if that’s TMI) – I just felt a distance between us that wasn’t shrinking no matter how much I sang.
Now, since I’ve learned that He makes Himself available to us when we look for Him, and He promises to be found when we seek Him with our whole heart, my next thought was, “whats going on?”. Yet I left it at that, and continued with my day.
Yesterday when I sat down, I felt the distance so acutely I started to cry. That’s how much I crave it. And as I continued to sing and not feel the connect I’ve felt for nearly 3 years of spending time with Him, I started to feel something very different. Like there was a part of me that couldn’t — no, wouldn’t respond. Like it was tough, or hard.
I can’t specifically remember what I said, but I know I plead with Him to help me. And I know I started to see there was a very real part of my heart that could not accept that I was anyone special to Him. I was still ‘one of many’.
Now thats not entirely true because I have felt uniquely loved and special to Him, but there was obviously something surfacing that was hindering that experience right now, and needed to be dealt with. Let me just say that I was at a loss and bawled so hard my eyes felt like they had been squeezed unmercifully, leaving me with a headache for the remainder of the day. Nice.
This morning I got my kids off to school, my husband out the door, made my way up the stairs to my room, opened the blinds to get a glimpse of the trees, and just started talking. The window was open too, but I don’t think anyone was around to eavesdrop. I said talking, but I should really say begging: “There’s something wrong with me! Take away the hardness. Fix my heart. Open my heart. Give me eyes to see you, ears to hear you. Make my heart receive your love. I KNOW You love me. Why can’t I believe it? Why do I want to be special? Why can’t I accept that I am special to you? I did before. Whats wrong with me? Help me!” That kind of thing.
Many tissues later, I started to sing, desperately trying to convince my heart that I was loved. But before I got the words out I heard something in my head about forgiving someone close to me for something very painful we had worked through together. I thought I had done it already, but at this point I wasn’t going to argue, so I told God that I forgave this person for what they did to me and released them. Then another thing came to mind, and another, and another…
Then there were things about myself I had to forgive. That wasn’t easy. But I asked for help, and this was the answer I got, so I did it — I released myself from things I regularly beat myself up for. Things I had asked for forgiveness for from God and/or others but not myself. I was amazed at the flood of things that came to mind. And equally blown away at how much lighter I felt afterward. Kind of bizarre actually.
I knew something about the power of forgiveness, particularly in the last 10 years or so, but had not experienced it to this degree before. I honestly didn’t realize how much I held myself and those close to me hostage. Boy, what an eye-opener. I remember a childhood friend of mine I recently reconnected with telling me she had to do the same thing a few years ago, and I’m gonna confess I’m grateful she shared that since its a pretty strange new awareness I’ve got going on.
So here I am, writing about it. That’s another thing I’ve beat myself up about, whether or not I qualify to share my ramblings. But I think I’ve laid the stick aside for alot of things today.
… and I am thrilled to sing of His great love for me.