Part 1 of DEFENSELESS, a collection of thoughts for 2015.
I got saved in preschool and galloped through years of Christian school on a high horse, writing papers with titles like “Statement of Faith” and skipping out on a semester of college to travel the world with a missions organization. Several years later I married a man who had also grown up with Jesus but carried some baggage. I passionately played the role of savior. I was determined to pull him out of his miry depths and give him hope. Looking back, I’m just grateful the Lord did those things in spite of me.
And it wasn’t just my husband. Now that I’m acutely, painfully aware of it, I can see this playing itself out in many relationships and environments growing up. Give me all of the problems! Come to me, all you weary! You make me feel so much better about myself! I guess deep down, I felt like God would be more pleased with me or something? I don’t know. I’ve always felt secure in my salvation but I’ve also always battled an obsession with approval. Maybe I craved that with the Lord. When I felt conviction about something, I’d give myself a pep talk about all of the things I’d done right in life. When I felt the burden of sin, I’d try to deflect it. I’d commiserate with friends to make myself feel less icky, or I’d downplay it or flat-out ignore it. Ignoring my own pride and focusing on others’ problems might have been a subconscious strategy to get that pat on the back I’ve been living for all of these years. God would be pleased with me, right?
Wrong. Not just wrong, but horribly wrong. Like, better off dead with a millstone around my neck in the depths of the ocean wrong. Not only had I been prideful for years in other areas of my life, I had brought it into my marriage and my life as a mother in such a destructive way. And instead of patting me on the back, God recently smacked me in the mouth.
Hey, Rach? Your stuff stinks, too. I died on the cross for you, too. You might’ve given your life to me at a young age and had a pretty easy life so far, but you don’t stand clean
without Me. In fact, you can’t do much of anything right without Me. You are pretty much a mess most days.
He asked me to sit down for awhile, on one of those uncomfortable chairs in my heart that makes me squirm and tempts me to people-please my way out of it. And God kept telling me nope. He told me that it was for my good, that I wouldn’t be able to please my way out of it anyway and I might actually die trying. He told me he wants to give me life abundantly, but that sort of freedom involves humility and confession and repentance.
Walls torn down, accolades cast aside. I stand defenseless.