I wrote this entry about a month ago and meant to come back and finish and post it. Yeah, that didn’t happen. ha! So I just logged on today and saw it and figured that even though I never “finished” it, maybe it was still worth sharing. Mostly because the head/heart space I was in when i wrote it feels so long ago. The feelings of sadness and regret I had are now just memories in my journal. Not to say the situation has been fixed or everything is perfect, but rather that God has been faithful and has not let go of me, and that His presence has changed everything. It always does. But anyways. Here’s what I was going through (and sometimes still am). And here’s to a New Year with the same, unchanging, ever-present, faithful God!
These last couple of weeks have been a little rough for me. 15 days ago we moved into a new house, a house that I have been building some dreams on. Tired of moving every couple of years, I dreamed this house would be one we could settle into for the long haul. And by long haul, I mean a good 5-10 years……that’s long for us! And to say my expectations were high is a huge understatement. In my head I had visions and ideas and plans for what this house would be. And they all involved words like “perfect” and “beautiful” and “cozy”.
And then we moved in.
And no, it’s not like the roof caved in or the basement flooded. But instead my expectations collided with reality and the dreams turned out not to be as prettily crafted as they were in my head and a deep sense of sadness and disappointment set in. One I couldn’t shake. One I couldn’t seem to pray away. One I couldn’t forget about or talk it out with a friend about. One that just buried itself deep in my heart and took root. And let me tell you – that disappointment, that feeling of regret…….it’s very ugly. And in all honesty I am so ashamed of it. Of myself for allowing my JOY to be stolen by something as silly and temporary and materialistic as a house. Because in my soul I know where my home lies, and it is no where near this spinning blue and white planet. But my attitude and my actions were not lining up with that knowledge.
And this all caused a new wave of shame to roll in – shame for feeling the way I was feeling……my disappointment, my ungratefulness, my materialism. Now shame is not something to mess with because, at least for me, it puts up a wall, a barrier between me and God. I allow my sin, my embarrassment, my shame to cause me to run and hide from God. Feelings of unworthiness creep in and I know all too well that I don’t deserve God’s love and forgiveness and grace…….not me- the girl who is complaining about a beautiful new home, which keeps my family warm and safe, but is just “not perfect”.
But thankfully, even in the midst all these negative feelings, my heart has been able to mumble out a cry or two to God – a weak little cry – but a cry He hears nonetheless. And over the past two days He has reminded me of HIS glory, of WHO He really is, and WHO I really am in HIS presence. And in God’s presence, at the throne of the Creator of this universe, the Holiest of the Holies, the only One who is sinless and pure……in His eyes He sees no sin. In front of my God, shame has NO place. Sure, I am still a sinful person who will continue to mess up and be ungrateful and bratty and selfish at times, but since I have claimed the blood of Christ as a gift of grace, God does not see my sin. He only sees the REDEMPTION of the cross and I have no reason to feel anything other than freedom. Freedom to mess up, freedom to just be myself – not who I think I should be – , freedom to go to God even when I fail.
And this makes me fall in love all over again with the beautiful Gospel of Christianity. I know it’s a faith that often raises lots of questions for people, and believe me, I’ve been there too. But the deeper I get into it and the longer I walk this path, the harder I fall for the story of Christ. One of my absolute favorite things about Christianity is the fact that God does not expect us to be perfect – just the opposite – He expects us to be a mess (which of course we always live up to that expectation- ha ha!), and He happily walks right into that mess with nothing but open arms, love, and forgiveness.
I often still get caught up in this world and I think I have to get myself together before I come to God……think my mistakes are too dirty for His presence. And of course they are without Christ. But with what Christ has done for me, I need to never fear. I can come to God in all my mess, in all my sin, in all my shame and He will love me, remind me of who I am, and redeem me. So thankful for a Creator who walks in the midst of our mess and sees only love.