Monday, June 15, 2015

Painfully Transparent

Today, I had planned to post about our awesome adventure this weekend.  I was going to share a few pics of what we did and tell you about how our family had a great time bonding with each other and our good friends.

But that is not what this post is about.

This post is about being painfully transparent and letting you look into our lives without the filter we usually apply.

We are still struggling financially.  We still fail to choose joy many days.  We know love is everything, but we let anger and disappointment and fear rule our lives and our family too much. We are full of good intentions, but fail to follow through on so many of them.  We continue to repeat the mistakes of our past, seeming to never learn or grow.

There are some tough decisions we have to make over the next few days that will require us to achieve a level of honesty about who we are and the choices we've made that I am not sure we have experienced yet.

The lies of the enemy echo in my head: "you are not good enough", "you have disappointed people-again", "you are not where you should be by now", "you will never measure up". 

But it is here, in this gap-this in-between space, that God whispers "You are Mine and I love you."

The One Who Sees Me.  El Roi.

He sees all of me.  The rebellion of my heart against my husband when I fail to submit.  The anger and resentment my still-rebellious heart harbors and refuses to release to Him.  He sees my pride, bitterness, unhealthy habits, and all of the other failures I try to hide from the world.

I am ashamed.  I have failed to be obedient to my husband.  Oh, not overtly disobedient in the manner of a wayward child that defies a parent.  But I have harbored a rebellious heart.  I have made it difficult for him to lead me.  I have quietly, almost subconsciously (but not quite), rebelled against his leadership and his decisions.  I have embodied the saying of "happy wife, happy life" or more appropriately the flip side of "unhappy wife, unhappy life".  I have said I will follow his lead with my mouth, but refused to do so with my heart.  This man, this husband of mine, whose main desire is to obey God by serving me, wants so desperately to make me happy.  And I have used that desire as a tool to get my way (I was trying to think of a better way to word that which would not make me appear quite so manipulative, but this is titled "Painfully Transparent" so....).

This failure to submit to my husband, to listen and follow his guidance with grace and honor, is a symptom of a deeper issue.  Too often, my feeling of worth is defined by society deems valuable.  But my Father has a different definition of value and purpose.  His Word reminds me that all of my value is in who I am in Him and only by His grace and the sacrifice of His son, Jesus Christ, do I have any value at all.  My worldly value was lost on that day in Eden when Eve chose to disobey Adam and God and ate of that one forbidden tree.

 Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?”
And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’”
Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”  -Genesis 3:1-5

Not only was Eve's choice sinful because she ate from the one tree that was forbidden, she sinned by disobeying her husband.  And so have I.

My heart is grieved by this.  My heart is heavy with the burden of sin.

I know that nothing good lives in me, that is in my sinful nature.  For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.  
-Romans 7:18- 

But there is hope.

There is a way to relieve my heart of it's burden.  I am not destined to continue to sin.  I do not have to reside in this place of grief for one more day.

This does not mean I will never sin.  I will make mistakes.  I will make selfish choices.  I will make poor decisions based on my human heart's desires.  I will grieve.  My heart will break.  I will break others' hearts.  There will be sorrow and pain in my future.

But I am not doomed to remain in a place of grief and heartache forever.  I will not dwell in sorrow and pain forever.  My Jesus took that away from me on the cross, I have only to accept the gift.

"The heart of the human problem is the heart of the human.  And God's treatment is prescribed in John 3:16." -Max Lucado