Your stuff stinks, too.

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.

 

2 thoughts on “Your stuff stinks, too.”

  1. Mmm so good, Rach… I also struggled (and still do) with people-pleasing and all sorts of stinky pride. I honestly have felt as if I am to be a heroine or a superwoman. Ridiculous, yet true. I have tried to mask my own insecurities by “being selfless” and trying to help others. It has been painful but necessary to stare at my own mess and then realize how much God longs to help me out of it. One of my friends continues to tell me how she just doesn’t want to me to get stuck in it. I am quick to become disgusted by my pride and selfishness, but have lacked the conviction or true heartache to actually hold closely to the Lord and allow Him to lift me up out of the miry clay. Slowly, my eyes are being opened. Slowly, I am letting Him do the work.

  2. Ohhh I resonate with this so well. And the funny thing is, I HAVE baggage. A lot of it. But I think as I started walking closer to Christ, I found comfort in that. “Look how much progress He’s made in my life! Look how I don’t struggle with the things I used to!” And even if I knew it was all Him and none me, it became my security blanket. I finally felt like the person I wanted to be, and it gave me a blanket knit with threads of hidden pride. And that’s about where I’m at. I’m still trying to put down that blanket, or un-knit it, or whatever it takes. Just praying day by day that He helps me to do so. Because He’s better than a security blanket any day.

    Thanks for sharing your heart and your story, Rachel!

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