Monday, June 17, 2013

On my humanity

an unfinished draft from the archives:

I am at war with myself... almost constantly. Actually, yes, I am for sure constantly at war with myself, but it's really just a matter of whether or not I choose to recognize it. My head and my heart are pretty much, one hundred percent of the time at war with each other. I know that my faith is based on fact and not on feelings. But I've learned it's significantly harder to change the way you feel about something. Which is why I need the Spirit so freaking desperately. Am I so foolish to think that having begun faith in the Sprit, that I could be perfected by my flesh? Am I so arrogant as to think that I could will myself into obedience and a pure heart?

This is all so vague.

The other day I was face to face with my humanity... and it was humbling... and it was uncomfortable... and it was difficult. I am human. I am aware of that, but I am most aware of that in my pain, in my suffering, and when I hurt. And I hate that. I hate all of it. Sometimes I think about how magnificent it would be to just do away with pain and suffering and hurt. But that day has yet to come, but oh, it will, and I long for it. I long for it so deeply. 

Surely that's not an arguable point. Surely, whether you believe in Christ or not, or in Heaven or not, surely you must desire at some level to do away with pain and suffering. Surely you've imagined a "perfect world" if even to cast down that thought immediately based on the only reality you know. Can you admit deep down you long for that place? 

I feel guilty when I feel pain, when I examine how I hurt or why, when I am brought down to my knees based on my circumstance, because it's then that I feel weakest... it's then that I feel most human.

Why is it when I hurt I feel the most guilt? I think it's because in my pain I find it's harder for me to exercise my faith, and when things are hard, I feel weak, and when I don't exercise my faith as easily as when I feel strong, well, that's when I feel guilt. "I should be stronger than this. I should be relying on Christ more. I should find my peace in the knowledge of God."

Unfortunately, in my pain, I'm not stronger than that, I'm not relying on Christ as easily, and I am not finding peace. This is why I am torn. I feel weak when I am hurting. I feel weak when I show that I'm hurting. It's humbling. If I had it all together, if I was confident that God works all things together for my good, then why would I ever need to show my weakness to anyone? If I really believed that God is sovereign and good, then wouldn't that mean that the things of this world wouldn't phase me? Wouldn't that mean that my eyes were so fixed on Jesus that I didn't have fear? Wouldn't that mean that I could be like Peter before he was to be executed, just sleeping, and not anxious about anything? But that isn't at all who I am. 

(necessity of holy spirit) 
(hard to stand on a rock when you don't think it's there)

It is my closest friends who have told me I don't deal with my grief or my pain well. And to an extent I agree. Maybe I bottle things up. Maybe I stuff things down. I definitely don't talk about it to others, but that doesn't mean that I don't process things on my own. I talk things out a lot, be it in my head or out loud when I'm alone. I definitely talk things out though. But here's my argument: Why would I need to talk it through, why would I need to "let it all out" to someone if I could find a way to counsel myself? Why would I bring it to someone else, showing my weakness, when I could preach to myself? (I didn't say I had a good argument, it's just the one I've got.) The thing is, I know where the answers lie, I know that my assurance is found in the cross. I know that my hope is found in Christ. If I can preach that to myself, why would I be vulnerable before another broken person? 

(insert proverb 18- no wisdom in isolation)

It is weak of me to show when I'm hurting. It's humbling. Shouldn't I be better than that? Shouldn't I be better than to struggle so much with my thoughts? Shouldn't I find peace as I am filled with the knowledge of God that surpasses all understanding? So why is it, if I knew that my thoughts, or my feelings or my pain were a result of immaturity in Christ, I would ever open myself up to someone else? People would see me as so weak, and as so failing, and as so dissatisfied, and so broken as... as what?... As a human? 

And then it hit me. 

I am such a human! I am such a broken, and hurting, and sinful, and failing human! Somehow I forgot that I thought I was so much better than that.

It is SO frustrating to come face to face with my humanity. I get so frustrated and so humiliated when I consider how weak and broken, and hurting I am. But then there's this: Since when was anything about me, or my pain, or my brokenness, or my fears? Everything is about Jesus, and somehow I try to come off to the whole world that I am as perfect as Jesus, which OBVIOUSLY couldn't be further from the truth. With that said, that's when I had to face up to it: I'm a human and I am broken, but somehow, in some magnificent, and glorious, and immensely gracious way, Jesus still loves me. 

I can't even manage to love myself half the time, much less take time to examine my own thoughts. How is it that God, who is perfect in every way and who is holy in all things, can manage to know every thought I have and still love me? It really doesn't make much sense to me, but I guess grace isn't something that naturally makes sense to anyone.

Here I am, terrified to show my weakness, paralyzed at the thought of ever being vulnerable, and the God of the universe has seen it all and still loves me.



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