About one week ago, I got angry at the world, at the people in the world, and the way everything and everyone seemed team together to build things up, just to tear them all down again.
If being a Christian meant I needed to reach some abnormal high standard in which I never messed up; if it meant I had to seem cutesy or hipster-y or some version of a “Jesus Freak”; if it meant I had to control everything about me perfectly; if it meant that I had to look like I was the best Jesus loving woman out there who was always perfect at everything she did… I wanted nothing to do with the God of that religion anymore.
Everywhere I looked, I felt that it was never about what Jesus had actually done for you, or them, or even me. It was always “follow these steps,” “take these precautions,” “watch yourself so you do not stumble,” and you’ll have a better Christian lifestyle, look better and choose to never mess up again.
You can’t feel God?
You still don’t feel him?
Your Christian life must be wrong, or dead, or something.
That’s what I thought I heard. Those were the messages blaring into my heart, and cutting wounds so deep into my flesh.
If I was doing something wrong, then I was going to rearrange everything I was and loved and believed in to make myself look just like all of the “perfect” Christians out there who seem to feel God every second of the day.
That’s what I did. I built walls that consisted of other people’s views of God rather than leaving them open to accept and give to God in whatever way needed. I nailed them down with the insecurities that the world and everything around me kept throwing at me nonstop. I thatched a roof on so strongly, knowing that was the part people would see the most. It had to look beautiful, put together, and perfect so that the rest of the world would know that I had my Christian life together.
But my loves, I will let you in on a little secret.
After all that time constructing such a “beautiful” little home for my heart… I have come to discover that it’s a lie.
We hear it told to us all the time, yet somehow it doesn’t really stick.
Nobody’s perfect. I repeat, no one.
If the outside of their little house looks as perfect as I thought mine looked, then the inside is probably just a big cluttered mess. A mess of hurt, and pain, and sorrow, and mourning, and loneliness. A mess of jealousy, or rage. A mess of not feeling worthy, good enough, or beautiful enough.
And then we look at other people, all we see is the outside of their little constructed home… but do we really see the inside?
After I realized what I had constructed, I felt suffocated and felt like I could no longer stay inside this perfect little house. Besides, no matter how hard I tried I still couldn’t get closer to God just because I looked better on the outside.
That’s when I realized:
I don’t have to work harder to find God, because he is already here. So when I turn my shoulder from him, he won’t have it.
I couldn’t stay away from him.
It started out as a little whisper, “I’m not done with you yet.”
Everywhere I looked, I could not ignore him. A friend prayed that God would reveal himself to me, and an elderly woman at church stuffed twenty dollars in my hand because “the Lord told her to do it” so that I would know God loves me, and I saw God in that woman.
“I’m not done with you yet,” the voice said louder.
I saw God in one of my very best friends the moment she sent me a sweet text to tell me how much she was praying for me without even knowing what was going on. I saw God in the face of a four month old baby girl. I saw God in my mother, when she said the words “I love you.”
“I’m not done with you yet my little bug.”
The voice did not have to repeat itself anymore, because I finally understood.
He was already there; in the moments I wanted to construct my little home and make it look like the perfect Christian, and even in the moments I wanted nothing to dow with God, he wanted everything to do with me.