Sometimes we have to face up to home-truths about ourselves that make us squirm and try to wriggle away with shame and embarrassment.
I’m having one of those times.
As I’ve gone through Advent my deepest desire has been to connect with God at heart level, sense the pulse of His love beating through me, waken to His presence and awaken that desire in others.
The reality? A bit grim actually.
Well.. to be fair, there have been moments when He spoke clearly and insightfully, gave me poetic words to share that have been a blessing to others, and…there have also been long stretches of days without end when I trip over myself continually, hot with shame and disappointment, barely able to lift my head at all.
And as for hearing His voice, resting and listening, feeling peaceful, joyful ~ no, none of those to any great measure at all, sad to say.
Or maybe I have but I failed to see or appreciate it. Because, don’t we just pull away whenever we fail our image of ourselves, never mind how we think God perceives us?
I’ve blushed hot and shivered cold with the way I’ve reacted to life recently.
Self control? Maturity? Not in this fallen woman’s heart. Against all intention and desire I cannot seem to stop speaking negatively about myself most of all ~ denying the truth of His word and what it says about who I am in Christ.
I rail out at my beloved, with my perfectionist tendencies insisting on the rightness of my stance or version of events blinding me to the pain he feels at being discounted, and the hurt on his dear face.
Yes, sorry to say, blaming things (and other people) has come all too easy.
I’m hormonal. I’m in need of a break. I’m overtired/unwell/stressed/pressured etc. etc..
All these reasons (excuses) from my inner voice fall into a meaningless void whenever I’ve allowed God to get a word in edgeways.
Missing those times of still attentivenes before Him (due to my inner restlessness) hasn’t helped much.
Now I am seeing that lies (even supposedly kind white ones), wrong attitudes and behaviour don’t stand a chance in the Light of Truth ~ pure, holy, fiery, searing, soul-cleansing truth.
And as I’ve sought answers in the secret place, I sense words of Truth hitting home with hammer and nail finality yet with an overriding gentleness and grace.
Truth is a Person. It is Christ Himself. The One who desires truth in our inner being, the bringer and revealer of all wisdom, insight and knowledge.
He longs for us to see the truth of His life and follow after Him.
Lately, I’ve been too wrapped up in bad behaviour ~ swiftly followed by self-condemnation ~ to even want to speak these things out loud.
Yet here I am making a public declaration of it all and risking the ruining of whatever good reputation I may have gained in the eyes of others.
Truth hurts ~ but knowing it sets us free. We remain enslaved without it.
Beyond anything else, I long and I need to be free.
Captive to the manipulations and abuse from others in my childhood, slave to my own emotions, perceived as damaged goods, left with broken dreams and a broken heart ~ all these things need healing and restoring.
Without God’s truth I am adrift on a sea of emotions, rudderless in every storm, powerless in the midst of problems, fearful instead of faithful, weak and weary instead of strong and capable.
For our capabilities rest in His ability alone. His keeping, holding, sustaining mercy, love and grace.
Real freedom means release from all that chains our souls to their earthly nature. It involves exchanging our self-driven lives for ones surrendered to God.
Where does this leave us?
When life throws us to our knees ~ it’s the best place to look up and find Him there.
When we sin we need a Saviour ~ more than ever.
When we become discouraged and disappointed ~ we can become reappointed in Him.
When we get tired of the everyday toil ~ we have hope for this life and life eternal.
When we want Christmas to be perfect ~ we can only find that in Christ as He is at the centre of it all.
So I turn once again to the One who brings beauty from ashes, collects my tears in a bottle, sees and understands all, who offers mercy and forgiveness rich and free ~ given at great cost and price to Him.
Because I NEED a Saviour. I need His love to wrap me round, His Light to reveal the way I should walk, His word to instruct and guide, His endless patience and kindness, His restoration and healing.
And I shrug my shoulders at the thought of doing Christmas (or anything else for that matter) perfectly ~ especially as I am so dependent on Him and on others for help.
I admit and confess my weaknesses, faults and failings, regret my bad behaviour, dry my tears, breathe deep, rest myself once more in His presence, feel His hand upon me offering Himself again, sense Holy Spirit’s anointing, and ~ move on changed ~ in heart if not in actions yet.
And, dear reader, that’s the honest truth.
The best gift we’ve ever been given is to be offered a relationship with Jesus as Lord and Saviour.
I want to appreciate it to the full and pass on to you my joy in knowing Him, the way He meets me at my point of deepest need, how He delivers and sets me free.
If you feel like you’ve done nothing else of worth this year, please do yourself a favour and seek The Truth Himself.
He is waiting. Christ is here. He has come.
The Truth has been told.