Monday, June 30, 2014

Lean in.

Several months ago I was presented with an opportunity for a job transition.  I love my current job, and honestly, I wasn't all-in with the idea.  It would have allowed me to continue doing everything I love, but more.  It meant more time, more responsibility, more complications.  In the end we didn't make the transition. In fact, we decided nothing should change at all.  

That was a wise decision, absolutely the best choice.  And remember, I didn't pursue the change in the first place, and didn't even know that I wanted it.  But when the decision came, it crushed me.  I was hurt, confused, frustrated, angry.   

I spent days swimming in it.  I played conversations and scenarios around in my head over and over. The strength of my reaction surprised me.  I couldn't arrive at any logical explanation for how deeply I was hurt. It began to consume me.  My chest was constricted, my heart a knot in my throat.  I walked through my days in a fog; anxious, irritable, distracted.

One afternoon in the car, I found the words spilling out of my mouth, "It's because this hits me in my deepest wound- the one that says I'm not enough."  And right then it was like my heart split open, raw and aching.  This was exactly why.  It didn't matter that I thought we made the best decision, that I was thrilled with my job either way, that this had nothing to do with me.  

It didn't matter, because whatever logic I applied, there was a low and dirty voice inside me repeating the same lie over and over, When people see who you really are, they know you're not enough. 

It's a lie I've believed since I was a small child. God's got a book. He's keeping score and playing favorites. You'll never make it.

On that bitterly cold afternoon, God helped me name that lie and he showed me how it's shaped my life, how the knife gets twisted down deep every single time I agree with it and hide in shame, or overcompensate with performance. 

We named it together, then I let it go.  The weight of it gone, I could devour the truth that God does have a book, and it's a book of life.  My name is there and he treasures it.  He is love, and love keeps no record of wrongs.  I am loved completely, constantly, eternally, and when my Father looks at me he is completely happy.  Not only am I enough, but I am deeply known, deeply loved.  Wanted.  

If you are feeling hurt, lonely, overwhelmed, or angry, lean in.  When you feel out of control, don't react, but pause.  Talk it out with God or with a friend.  Articulate the facts- what's really happening here?  What's in my head? What is true? Who's involved, and what's my part in it?  And most importantly, why am I feeling this way?  What's the source?  It's almost never what's on the surface. 

It could be a wound from your past, a lie you've believed, or a sin issue.  If you don't know what the source could be, ask God.  He'll show you. And when you know it, name it.  Name it out loud and ask God to show you what it's been doing in your life, how it's stolen joy and broken down good things.  Ask him to show you how he feels about it, how he saw it, how he's stored every tear in a bottle and never, ever abandoned you.  

Agree that it's been a thief and a liar and choose to separate from it.  Confess the ways you've agreed with it and allowed it to affect your choices.  Forgive those who've wounded you; it doesn't make them right, it sets you free.  When you need forgiveness, ask for it.  Cut all the ties and hand it to Jesus. He'll be waiting. The work is already finished.  Taking our hurt, sin, and baggage makes him incredibly happy. 

Then ask him to give you something; to fill you up with real, true things.  With every good thing he thinks about you.  This is the best part.  

This simple practice has changed everything for me.


Ashley said...

Amazing. This was exactly what I needed to hear today.

B* said...

Uff da. I struggle with these thoughts too--that I am not good enough. Ever. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I so appreciate it.