Saturday, September 29, 2007

Loving the Skin I’m in?

I start this tonight sitting on the couch on a Friday night at 11:24 watching ‘Praise the Lord’ on TBN. Funny, I never imagined that this would be my Friday night. Ever. My thought tonight is how many Friday nights have I wasted NOT watching PTL on TBN. How many Friday nights have I spent pursuing anything even close to relationship with you. Too many to count…so many that my stomach turns.

Starting next month, Alex and I and the girls will have been in Florida for a year. It is hard to imagine that this has been 12 months…when sometimes it feels like 12 years and sometimes it feels like 12 days. We are so grateful for what we have here, loving family, friends and amazing weather. But I would be less than honest if I said that we’ve been ‘loving every minute of it’.

Tonight I realize the depth of pain and separation I am feeling. I have known from the beginning of my walk with Him that I have never been more comfortable in my own skin than when I am holding His hand and walking closer to His sacrifice for me.

So after twelve months of trying to do what I think will make me more comfortable, I have come to the realization that my everyday life is so messed up and so very uncomfortable. Counting on friends and family to fill a void only inhabitable by my holy, perfect Father leaves me empty and sad. Trying to be perfect, trying to look perfect, trying to sound perfect is getting me nowhere but spiritually and physically bankrupt. I am tired.

I remember the days of spending hours in your Word. I remember looking to your word for strength, serenity and assurance. I remember spending time with my brothers and sisters in prayer daily. I remember purity being a priority when now it is an afterthought. I remember being broken before your broken body, and thinking that the Eucharist was the most profound and amazing experience….how could I ever not be moved. Well here I am.

I am lost in myself. I am lost in busyness and distraction. I am lost in my family and our issues. I am lost in my marriage and my children. I find myself carrying anger and resentments around like badges. I have forgotten the Julie that you have created for a specific purpose and plan. I have forgotten that you are about forgiveness and that you require the same from me. This veil of me has clouded the light that is supposed to shine through.

I am not here to seek and save the lost. That is why Jesus was here. The weight of the responsibility for salvation does not lie on my shoulders, but his. Those nine inch nails were his choice, not mine. I cannot be you, Jesus.

But I cannot be me without Him. I cannot be me without the revelation of him, without the substance of his presence. I cannot be me without His truth that has become my personal truth. I cannot be me without what He is. I cannot be whole without the one piece of the puzzle that stays the same, unchanging and stable.

So tonight I am realizing that there are too many ‘Julies’. That I have tried too hard to be too many different people, that I have done so much disservice to His name because of my wavering commitment to His name. Tonight I am realizing that I must spend more of my time and energy on getting to know Him and His Word better. I am realizing that my life depends on it. My relationships depend on it. My kids and my marriage depend on it.

My prayer is that I would be free from the obsessive thinking, the storm that can drown out the smiles of my children and the joy that you have gifted me with. My prayer is that I would be free of the fear that entangles me and plants me in a place of isolation. My prayer is that I would know Him as I have in the past, when I was walking on the smooth, stable rock that is Christ.

Twelve months has changed me, just as twelve minutes could. I have had breakthroughs and break downs. I have become a first time home buyer, moved my family, changed jobs, experienced the loss of a sweet grandfather, had a(nother) sweet baby girl, walked through my mother’s cancer diagnosis and treatment, and too many other insanities to mention here… and I am still learning what it means to be His.

I am still thankful that He has not given up on me…I am still praying that I would give up on seeking the approval of others over Him, that I would learn that I will never know true satisfaction on this planet outside of His will for me and that I would embrace truth without fear.

Here is to another twelve months at Vespasian, where I can watch TBN on Friday nights, choose joy, rest in His love, embrace my adopted family, pursue truth and transparency, and live for His word…all at a balmy 82 degrees. ;)


Emily said...

Okay, so why did I just discover this blog yesterday?? I've been missing out. You bless me. :)

Kate said...

I think we all struggle with this, to a certain extent. I mean, not in the same way, of course, but we all have these types of feelings! I know exactly how you feel, Jewel, and I am praying for you! Call me anytime, day or night, if you need to talk. I'm always here!