Thursday, September 16, 2010

ugliness...

It's been one of those days where I felt the devil whispering over my shoulder the ugly words "you're not good enough." Like a jab to the heart, desperate to bleed out my failures and insecurities, leaving me feeling raw, vulnerable and uncomfortable. Am I the only one who ever feels this way?

It's so easy to live life peacefully in our comfort zones and be filled with feelings of security. Even if at times these are false securities, it still feels comfortable.

At Bible study this morning there came a moment when I was overcome with emotion- to the point where I felt a little nauseous and found it physically hard to breathe and had to get up to leave for a moment. It came over me with such sudden harshness...this fear, this discomfort, leaving me feeling confused, troubled and a bit ashamed.

See, we were discussing God becoming our DELIGHT....how when He becomes our delight, our obsession, than that delight will penetrate into every situation of our lives, and we will see Him in every little detail. Oh, how I love moments like this...where we embrace it, embrace Him, and sweetly enjoy His immense presence. Where He is all and we live our lives like He is all.

So I know these piled up feelings of not measuring up only disappoint Him. They keep my eyes on myself, off of Him, off of the abundant joy and delight He so longingly wants to provide. Which in turn, makes me feel like I am failing again, because I know so much of this is choice. I can choose to hate, feel overwhelmed, and do nothing about the extra pounds I've put on, the messy house and piles of laundry all around me, the critical spirit that can be all too consuming--nagging feelings that I'm not beautiful enough on the inside or out, smart enough, wise enough, kind enough...too selfish....too negative...too prideful...too concerned with things that don't matter...that I just don't have it all together and never will. That I could be a much better wife, mother, friend and fall short in all of the above.
Ugliness.

I know and believe that my beauty and worth is rooted in Christ. But I must admit that I have days like today that creep in and force me to fight for joy. Where I just feel all around plain ugly. Where my marred heart looks nothing like His...and wrestles within me. Does it really have to be such a struggle? Is it just me? Lord, I just want to completely and utterly delight in You, bathe in You, be found in Your love. I've tasted and experienced it. I know what I am missing.

I don't know, perhaps it is just a short-lived "desert" season. A season of waiting. Waiting. Waiting on Him. It's not if He will...it's when He will. I know in the depths of my heart that He will. And I am longing for that day to arrive. I had such a rich summer with the Lord...a spiritual high, drawing on His daily presence and guidance...feeling so loved and known and heard. Pleasantly and humbly obedient and soaking in the joy that comes along when following His will. And when you follow His will into the unknown, layers of comfort and security are stripped away leaving one to feel raw, vulnerable, uncomfortable.

So, I guess I am having a day where the enemy is pouncing on that vulnerability. Eager to keep my mind filled with doubt, insecurity, fear, failure...basking in his own twisted delight when I begin to believe his taunting cry "you're just not good enough."

Oh the disappointment. The choices and actions and thoughts that don't bring Him glory. When I question my worth and my feelings of not measuring up...even though His nail-pierced hands cry out otherwise. I'm so sorry to disappoint.
Forgive me.

Make me beautiful LORD God. Be my all consuming obsession.
Fill my wounded insecure heart with utter delight
in You,
in Your Word,
in Your ways.

In so many ways, like never before,
I'm desperately waiting on You.

6 comments:

  1. I've had those days, Amanda. I almost had one tonight while walking downtown. You won't believe how beautiful the people are here in Italy. They get dressed up to go grocery shopping. Seriously. So many beautiful people and I can't wait to learn Italian to see if their inner beauty matches their outward appearance. But then I have to remember what truly pleases God: do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God (Micah 6.8). Sometimes the walking HUMBLY isn't as fun as the rest of it... but we're walking WITH GOD, which is better than walking WITHOUT HIM!

    Be encouraged -- we all have days like that... thanks for being real and sharing with us about yours.

    Btw, you should go buy Wild Goose Chase by Mark Batterson. I think I recommended it to you (I've recommended it to so many people I forget who I've told...). Anyway, it's about following the Spirit's leading completely.

    *HUGS*

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  2. Oh, friend. I am oh too familiar with all that you so beautifully articulated (such poetry even in pain). The enemy is so patient, attacking just when we are in no shape to defend ourselves. I wish you could see what I see when I look at you...and what He sees. A radiant daughter - full of His spirit, glowing with grace, abounding in beauty. A gorgeous smile that welcomes the lonely, creativity that infuses life, humility that permeates. You overflow with inner beauty & exude outer beauty without even trying.

    But when your heart is under attack...this is impossible to believe. This is my prayer for you...I wrote it a while back when I was also feeling so not myself.

    Father,
    Fight for my heart; because I don't know how to defend it just now.
    Jesus, you were "rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering".
    I don't even begin to understand the devastation you walked through on my behalf.
    And yet you call me friend.

    Like a war-torn child who knows nothing of the battles of his people -
    But only that he hurts, he hungers, he grieves.
    So it seems my heart is in this place.
    I don't understand it, I can't articulate it.
    I know only that I bleed.
    I can tell you of the symptom, please take me to the source.

    I know you see my tears,
    Even as my soul claws at the dirt, searching for an explanation.
    Be my Answer.
    My resounding, "Yes!"
    Father, may my heart find its home in You tonight.
    More than that. Every moment.

    And even as I have uttered these words,
    I sense You draw near.
    Your spirit comforting mine
    in a language angels long to know.

    Protect me from the evil one,
    From his utterances of deception
    which my heart is so inclined to embrace.
    Protect me from myself.
    My pride, my instincts to 'self-protect'-
    a suicide potion for the living soul.

    Tonight I chose to trust,
    when my heart screams 'Withdrawl!'
    I chose to rest in you,
    As you go to battle for me.
    A beautiful injustice, indeed.



    Amanda, Praying your heart rests in him as He fights for you. And know, He is fighting for your heart. So am I.

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  3. You are not alone!! (Check out my blog entry from yesterday!)

    Press on dear friend, you are equipped with mighty power!

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  4. Amanda,
    I'm a friend of Emily and Sarah and I've been following your blog and what an inspiration you are to me, and obviously so many others! You write so beautifully and I was drawn to this post, because I've been there myself. When you said "I've tasted and experienced it. I know what I am missing."--My goodness, yes, I've been feeling that way lately. I know what it's like to be in total surrender to Him, trying to abandon all the "earthly" thoughts and insecurities, but I also know what it's like to be in complete surrender to Him. It's beautiful, and I too, want to get back to that place. If anyone struggles with insecurities, it's me. Thank you for sharing your deepest thoughts!

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  5. I love you ... my heart aches and cries out on your behalf. I know you know he's a liar - that stinkin enemy. I don't have to tell you how the story ends. I don't have to remind you that the victor - the ULTIMATE Victor - is on your side. You know these things - they are abiding in your heart, just as HE is.

    Sometimes the Truth is hiding behind the lies of this world, but the Truth is there. Always. Without fail. And, in those moments when we cannot see the Truth with our eyes, we must look for it within our hearts, in His words and deeds and in our very own testimony. We are HIS, we are SAVED and we are LOVED.

    And that, my oh so very beautiful friend, is all we REALLY need to know.

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  6. Amanda, I too share those feelings at times. And I agree with everyone who has posted their comments. I do not know you other than a brief meeting and from your blog but your heart is beautiful and so are you. We must NEVER forget our place in the kingdom and also never forget that we are at war. Do not be afraid to renounce satan in Jesus name and to fight with the sword of the spirit. For we are more than conquerers and we are dearly loved. I don't know if you have read "Captivating" but even if you have it may be worth your time to re-read some parts that discuss how He feels about you. Love and Prayers tonight. Alyssa

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