A few months ago, I read a Christian book about God’s love for women. Instead of being fraught with antidotes that trigger intense amounts of guilt for not being ENOUGH, it’s full of encouragement for individuality.
It honors the athletes, the musicians, the creative, the analytical… it gave me some insight and inspiration.
It reminded me that I’m a daughter of God, that He loves me and each numbered hair upon my head, and that I can grow and develop as the woman He made me to be, regardless of my neighbors, Pinterest, and magazine covers.
An invaluable truth I cling to in my life right now is simply that GOD LIVES, and He knows so much more than I do.
Not unlike Gru’s minions do I wander, getting in fights over insipid crap that doesn’t matter, feeling like I have a lot of know-how when all I really, truly have is a great deal of capability only magnified when God is at the helm.
When I leave that helm, I’ll only wind up in a serene and beautifully brief paradise where the living is temporarily easy and eventually leads to me turning into a wild purple monster that holds little resemblance to the minion I once was.
God knows my name.
He knows my needs.
God hears my prayers when I’m lying in bed in the dark of night.
He knows who I need.
He knows WHAT I need.
He knows when I need.
And I think I do, but I don’t. I may have SOME IDEA but never the full picture.
All my life, I’ve FOUGHT to be capable and in control. I’ve fought to handle my life.
I’ve worked to save myself -to earn every ounce of love and appreciation. I’ve been judgmental of others who didn’t somehow live up to my standards.
Oh, how my stomach churns to write about that…
I acknowledged God. Sure I did. I gave Him a nightly nod of recognition and then drifted off to sleep to thoughts of how I would manage the next day.
This past year, God has brought me to circumstances which have humbled me outright. He has taken me by the hand and heart and asked, “Are you ready for Me now?”
I didn’t need God…
I had Google.
I didn’t need God…
I didn’t want to bother Him with my smallness, my cluelessness, my habits and challenges. After all, He has a great, wide world to tend to. Surely, Alicia can handle her own bumps and bruises.
But you guys. I CAN’T.
I mean, I literally can. I literally can go forth and try to manage MY ENTIRE LIFE from the tops of the cupboards to the bottoms of the floorboards and everybody in between, but at the end of the day all I had was gold star stickers and sore feet.
What was missing?
Peace, grace, serenity, soulful rest.
As the last year has wound it’s challenging little noose around me, I’ve found myself at another rock bottom, looking up to God and desperately croaking out in the middle of the night, “Help. Please, God. Please, dear GOD. HELP.”
I find myself looking up and saying, “God, I can’t do this. I can’t try and fix my reaction to this or that. I can’t manage their reaction to my this or that. I can’t fix other people. I can’t manage or rescue them either. They are yours. I am yours. But I. I AM FULLY BROKEN.”
Instead of trying to put on a show for God that I was sure was going to earn me His shining Celestial approval, I began speaking in a tongue completely foreign to me… HONESTY.
I told Him every soul-rending truth about my days. I poured out my broken on a platter and served it to Him with a soaking, snotty wet tissue garnish, “sorry…”
I started calling people I knew were safe. I called and told them I was broken. I was so afraid they’d think less of me, tell me to put my big girl panties on and consult Google, for crying out loud. But they didn’t! They didn’t. You know what DID happen? A sort of, “Me too” kind of moment.
I’ve been writing -OH! How I’ve been writing. I’m finding the more I write, the more I see and feel like myself. The less I write, the less I like myself.
I’m finding that I need help. Humble Pie has been my dish of late, and it tastes remarkably like FOOD OTHER PEOPLE ARE GIVING ME because I can’t muster it up for myself. Bags of fresh fruit delivered to my table, pizza boxes full of warm, fragrant pepperoni to tempt and fill my children…
At one point, God sent me -literally -fish and a loaf of bread through the arms of one of his dear daughters.
I’ve had my house cleaned, my children taken and cared for.
I’ve broken down in tears that I CAN’T DO THIS ALL MYSELF. I hate bothering people, but I’m learning -I’m talking to you, God -that it’s okay, and that people actually don’t feel bothered. That people are good, and that people love giving.
That I am people.
And that someday, when I’m managed to get it through my THICK SKULL that it’s okay to be helped, I’ll be the one helping.
And in that day, I’ll be able to fully help and serve without judging those I serve -wondering why they can’t Google themselves out of it.
Because I’ve been there. I am there.
And I’m so sorry -so full for sorrow -for judging those who were crying out from their own beds in the middle of the night, “God, HELP.”
Because in almost 98% of those around us -even the ones in bright houses with good jobs -there is help needed.
Yesterday, I went to the city with all three of my children and a tank full of gas. As I went over my food budget (again) and wrangled the children OFF the motorized carts and picked up thrown slushies (Alice…) I couldn’t help but feel incredibly and thoroughly blessed.
Despite being sick with a bad gall bladder (surgery pending) and nearly giving up on myself and the world at least 6 times during that trip, I had food in my car.
I had three healthy kids.
I have God.
My mind continually turned to the fruit in my fridge, the empty pizza boxes at home -the gifts that had come the morning after a bleak and dark night from whence I felt as if my soul might bleed to death.
I testify here and now that He knows the hairs on my head, He knows my tears, my prayers, my truth, my life.
He knows MORE than I do.
I can surrender my life to His and in so doing ACTUALLY FIND THE LIFE WAITING FOR ME -the one He’s had in store all along.
Humble pie is hell to eat, but how blessed am I that it comes from hands lovingly moving in place of the Savior’s.
My tears today are for those who serve endlessly with love and without judgment to those who don’t deserve it but desperately need it. Today I’ll take my three healthy children and dunk them in a creek with my family and look heavenward and say my millionth prayer of gratitude.
In order to give me true life, God has taken some things from me. And this exchange has been the most rewarding of my life. I can give nothing back right now except WORDS.
And these are my words:
And THANK YOU. THANK YOU to whoever has been serving me as the Savior would have you. I pray for you each day.