What to write, what to write… There are so many things swirling around in my head. My mom called me today – “so I’ve been reading your blog…” Yeah mom, there’s stuff in my life I haven’t told you about. There’s a lot of stuff in my life people don’t know about. I’m being challenged to be real – authentic. As Christians, we’re supposed to take off the mask of propriety and allow others to see who we really are. I’m all for it. But dang that’s hard. Do I really want people to see who I am inside? Do I really want people to know what I’m thinking and feeling? Do I really want people to know who I’ve been, what I’ve said and what I’ve done. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a “bad person.” I’ve never been in jail, I’ve never done drugs, I’ve never even been in a fist fight (although someday maybe, just to see if I could hold my own). But I am so not proud of some things.
So on this Not Me! Monday, here are my confessions…
I did not make fun of a girl when I was in high school who had a tumor on her spine.
I did not say ugly things to my husband and mean them.
I did not hear my friend sharing difficulties about a co-worker and think that she could’ve been talking about me.
I did not hear my Gorilla crying and think “Oh will you stop already!”
I did not go just a little over-board when getting after Blue for leaving an ENTIRE pack of gum in her pocket as I washed AND dried her clothes.
I did not have a pity-party on Sunday.
I did not bawl like a baby and hope no one would notice (yeah, I’ll bet they didn’t).
I did not lie to a teenager and say I was just tired.
I’m not writing this thinking I sound like a complete mess and should just be quiet now…
So slowly, more and more of my ugliness comes out. And this is tame. Sometimes when I feel like this, I look around and feel so selfish. That’s where I think the hard part comes in. I just feel so selfish. My life is sooooo much better than what others have. We have a home (that is now mice free I think). We have so many clothes that I can barely keep up with the laundry (and there’s the dryer buzzer). We have food that we throw out because it doesn’t get eaten. We love each other. And yet, sometimes it just doesn’t seem good enough.
Isn’t that what our culture is trying to tell us? That what we have isn’t good enough. That we need this prepackaged food to make our family dinner time a beautiful bonding experience. That we need this car to be respected by other drivers. That we need this pill to lose weight so we can be happy. That this one little product will make life better. What a load of crap. The box of pasta, the metal on wheels, the powder, the junk won’t do anything for us. We can get so entangled in the messages of the world that we lose track of the true message of life.
“Jesus answered, ‘I am the Way and the Truth and the Life'” (John 14:6) A different job won’t do it. More money won’t do it. A bigger house won’t do it. Being debt-free won’t do it. Understanding the chaos won’t do it. Only total and full dependence on Jesus Christ will do it.
And then, as we rely on Christ, we can learn as Paul did “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances” (Philippians 4:11). Isn’t it really a matter of contentment? As I take off the masks I wear and allow my vulnerability to show, I can realize that what I have does come from God. As I journey through this life, I will not be perfect. I don’t have to be. My life does not have to be neatly put together with everything and everyone in it’s place. I can also be content with what I have right now. As Paul said though, I have to LEARN to be content.
A close friend sent me an email today and reminded me that while sometimes life is hard, we are being refined and purified through a process. As I rely on Christ as my stability, my strength and my anchor, I can be content in knowing that who I am is only being made better. I can be content in knowing that I am being shaped and molded and formed into the likeness of Christ. Whatever I have in my life right now is temporary. I can be reasonably happy in this life and content knowing that I will be supremely happy in the next.