8.5.12

billowing breakers

I can handle the stress and pain of headaches, insomnia and boredom. But what I can't handle, is fear, confusion, and uncertainty. I don't do well with knowing I'm wrong and that I need to change. And I hate convincing myself that I'm the real deal, when in reality I'm tricking myself to accept that I'm not a faker.

I fall and fail, and I get confused and frustrated when I try to share my blaring problems. They say I'm trying too hard, and that I'm on the right path. Ditching that, I pulled into panic mode, and frantically tried everything in my power to "become a better person".

I'm not here to share the secret of becoming a better person, because I found no peace and definitely no contentment. Instead, I seemed to be drowning and slowly sucked into the quicksand. The result was lack of excitement for looking in the Bible for answers. The Bible was my last resort, while I tried to smooth it out with going the extra mile and doing everything the "correct" way. I mean, God was happy with that too! After all, love your neighbor as yourself - that sort of thing.

It wasn't until today, as I desperately dragged out the ibuprofen and my falling-apart bible, that I finally realized my dreadful mistake. Maybe my motives were pure, but I got the facts all wrong. I shoved the grace of God to this works based program with faith at the bottom. Because you can't just believe. You gotta do something. -- in my train of thought. 

Unfortunately (but fortunately for me), my arrogance began to deflate as I read through the Philippians and found that all my "tactics" were utterly useless. My reliance on myself was more than evident, and I had a face-palm moment on the bottom bunk bed. I couldn't believe I had been so stupid and blind in what I thought I was doing right. I was humbled as I read, and re-read the portion of scripture which I had twisted into an unrecognizable, miserable life that apparently did not work. 

I like what Paul saysBut one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead {Philippians 3:13}

6 comments

  1. Bethany --

    One. You're my favorite blogger ever.

    Two. Your writing becomes more vivid and sensitive with every post. Lately your posts have been both extremely powerful and extremely well-written. That's God working through you.

    Three. It's funny...even though we haven't had one of our God talks for awhile (too many friendship and personality problems, eh?), just by stopping by your corner of the web from time to time, I knew you were struggling with the balance of faith and actions. There was one post a couple down where I was tempted to say something like, "NO! DON'T GO THERE! DON'T FORGET GRACE!!!" But since I'm old and still struggle with the same problem from time to time, I knew that this faith thing, this Christian walk, had to be worked out between you and God alone. So I said nothing -- nothing to you, anyway, though I asked God to work it out.

    And He did.

    That's so encouraging to see just how sensitive you are to His Spirit, how receptive you are to His change, how awesome it is to pray prayers for you and know that you'll listen to God and you'll change and you'll grow and I'll get to see Him take an ordinary girl and change her into a woman after His heart.

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  2. Oh my, I was planning on posting on about the same subject as you...and you wrote it perfectly. love the verse at the end.

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  3. @ Bailey - thanks so much for your prayers! If you did tell me, I probably wouldn't have listened. ;)

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  4. Yes, but only because you wouldn't have known it was true...not because you like to stick your fingers in your ears and sing "La la la la...." It's so hard to figure out the things that don't make immediate sense...like faith.

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  5. I'll be praying for you!

    We're always going to make mistakes, but that's what God's grace is for. --but then we can't take "grace" too far and say we can do anything we want.

    I love reading those "little books" in the NT, they're full of insightful chapters and verses.

    Love you!

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  6. I know exactly how you feel. This is something we all struggle with. Trying to equate being "good" on the outside to being a good Christian on the inside.

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Maira Gall