Friday, April 10, 2009
Good Friday: No More Waiting
I’ve been waiting, biding my time and hoping I won’t have to go alone. And I’ve been waiting until I am less flawed and more presentable. I mean, who would really want to give a wreck of themselves to the King of Kings? Imagine going to a Presidential Inauguration, dirty and dressed in rags. Who would even consider doing that?
I feel like that’s me – torn and tattered, with my act barely together. I thought I was on the right path, and have found that although I was moving forward, I wasn’t truly taking the right steps.
I am broken. I am a machine that doesn’t operate properly and needs rebooting. On. A. Daily. Basis. I yell at my kids. I lose my temper. I am greedy and selfish. I covet what others have. I am selfish, selfish, selfish. I put too much weight in others’ opinions of me. I let the past hound me and scratch at my heart over and over again. I am pompous. I am addicted to food, and let’s not even go into a discussion of my body image. I am stubborn and independent to a fault, and then desperately needy in the very next breath. I am timid and ferocious. Sometimes I am downright mean and, oh! So judgmental. I am inconsistent and contradictory. I am incomplete and look to others to complete me. I am dramatic and afraid.
Oh, yes. So very afraid. Afraid of being laughed at. Afraid of failing. Afraid of pledging something I know I cannot uphold. I am afraid to expose myself and leave my heart unprotected, which is what I would be doing by diving in and stepping out in faith. But mostly? I’m afraid of being alone. A-L-O-N-E.
I hear a voice whisper, “I was alone too. I hung there for you, praying for you. Begging our Father for YOU. He turned from me and the sins I took on, and left me alone. I know how it feels. I know how you feel, Elizabeth. You’ll never go anywhere that I haven’t already been. I promise you that! Believe me.”
And I realize that out of great sorrow comes great joy. The greatest sorrows in my life have reframed themselves by becoming the greatest joys too. How can that be? How can sorrow be joyful? Because it can be redeemed. “Jesus didn’t stay in the tomb and the linen which had once been a sign of tragedy is now a sign of triumph. God is still working in your life.” Oh, yes, He is. I am seeing it every single day now. In my life and in Dan’s. And in others’ lives too. It’s undeniable now. Un-believingly-un-deniable. I won’t invade their privacy by going into detail, but I will say it’s encouraging and uplifting. Lord, you have seen my deepest desires and you are bringing them to life.
Oh, but back to me. (I did mention I was selfish, didn’t I?) I know with eyes open and heart full that just because I step off into the unknown today doesn’t mean I won’t have to do it again. In fact, I’m going to have to do it over and over. Repetitively. Obsessively. Because that’s the only way that my machine will function and that’s the only way that my malfunctions will be fixed.
You hold the key, Lord. I’ll allow you entry into the places of my heart where no one goes. Please don’t be shocked by the upheaval and mess that you’ll see. I know, I know. I need to clean it up a bit, open the windows and air it out. And, yes, I fully realize that none of this is a shock to you. But it’s the first time I’m exposing it by choice.
No more waiting. The flaws I have are the best I can give. It is an unworthy, unpresentable gift. It’s shabby and tattered. I am shabby and tattered. But, dear Lord, will you have me anyway? Will you help fix me and make me usable? Will you keep me from talking myself out of it? Will you come into my heart and set up shop, and when the tears come (as I know they will), will you promise not to leave me? I am so afraid, but I can see your hand being held out to me. Yes, I will take it. I will hold on to you. I will follow you. You’ve called my name and I am yours. “Can I come home?”
I think about you all the time, Elizabeth, & will never stop doing good to you. Psalm 139, Jeremiah 32