Monday, October 3, 2011

All this JuNk of Mine

We were on our way to church and I asked my husband, "Do you like my new shirt?" He hesitated as usual and said, "Yes, I do. You look very nice, and I love your hair. It's like the thing they did with their hair in the 90s."

Of course, most women will agree that they would've been offended too if their man said something so much as insinuating that part of her is outdated. I suppose on one hand, I had every right to get upset. But my Lord would have been most glorified if I had offered my husband some mercy, grace and love. Doing so in this instance meant focusing on not tearing him down instead of focusing on the wrong I felt was done to me.

Of course, I didn't say anything for a while. I tried to brush it off and focus on the compliments he had given me. But I wasn't very successfully because all I thought about was the comment about my hairstyle being from the 90s. I knew it was best to let it go, and I kept telling myself that once we got to church I could more easily move on. Part of me was just unwilling to let it go. But he asked me if something was wrong as we were pulling up at church and I said no, in a frustrated tone. Then I turned to him and said, "You want to know what's wrong with me?" and I told him how he had hurt my feelings using an angry tone of voice while holding back the tears.

I discouraged him and I could tell immediately. For the past few days, I'd been complaining off and on that he didn't notice me and now here I go shooting down his compliments, and picking them apart. Guys don't think like we girls do. They don't talk like us either, and that's okay. And it seems to me that they're generally better at accepting us than we are them most of the time.

As worship service began and I began singing along, I immediately went to tears. All the walls I had going up were immediately torn down and I felt God surround me. I felt exposed, which drew tears and then I felt covered in grace almost immediately. I couldn't hide my junk and it was like He was saying, "You can't hide the stuff in your heart from me." There are times when I go to church, put on a happy face and pretend that everything is okay to those around me. But I can't hide my heart from the Lord.

He surrounded me with His presence for several minutes, something I've never felt to this extent before. I even thought about slipping out to the bathroom so that I could hide my tears from those around me, but it was clear that he wasn't finished yet. I felt His touch on my heart in those moments, as He left me softened, with no walls to hide behind. And once I stopped fighting the removal of my walls, I was left with a peace I can't explain. I honestly can't tell you when His presence left me, Although the feeling I had isn't the same anymore, I still feel Him with me.

I couldn't be upset anymore. I couldn't even be hurt. Chris and I had been sitting side by side without touching for several minutes. It's unusual for us to sit next to each other, and not hold hands and the longer it went on, the more I wanted it to end. I heard my Lord say, "Grab His hand", so I did. And he clenched mine in return.

I thought about this today, as I've been quite sensitive to things lately. The hair comment is just a sample of the issues I face. I have been easily offended and hurt. I have been wrestling with feeling acceptable for several weeks. My insecurities have peaked to an all time high. Lately, I've wondered why I'm seeing so much junk in me. Just when I feel I've learned something, another gap is exposed in me. I have been secretly questioning whether there is a purpose, and wondering whether it's my God or Satan at work showing me these things (although I should have more faith than to question it).

I started reading Joyce Meyer's "Living Beyond Your Feelings". Joyce said something very early in her book that I needed to hear. She quoted 1 Timothy 3:3-4.
Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.
She explained that this verse isn't saying that we shouldn't wear makeup and jewelry. It means that we must also pay a lot of attention to our souls, otherwise we'll live miserable lives. It's important that we get to know who we are on the inside so that our changeable flaws will be exposed. In exposing these flaws, we are offered a choice---to change or to go on like we are. It's one of His ways of saving us over and over, everyday. We're not made perfect when we're saved. Our minds need retraining, our souls need  aligning with the Holy Spirit, and unless we're willing to make some hard choices, we'll stay the same miserable, presumably helpless person we've always been.

We're responsible for our own junk, the stuff we think and the stuff we allow ourselves to dwell on. Many of us are guilty of blaming others for our junk, for the issues we face and the ugly things we feel or think. I realize I do this quite a bit.

We can't expect other people to invest in us if we aren't willing to invest in changing the things set before us. And it's not as if we're helpless. The Lord offers us help. He waits for us to ask. Once believers, we no longer live in the dark shadows of knowing only the way of the world. We, my dear brothers and sisters, have His way in our hearts. It's a question of whether we'll follow him, or the lies of our flesh telling us we're entitled, alone, unworthy or unloved.

No comments:

Post a Comment