“That is NEVER going to be me” I say to myself while perusing some of my favorite blogs on Tuesday night. “I am NEVER going to write a book. I am NEVER going to speak at a conference. No, not me. I am going to sit on this couch and just peek through a crack in the window to occasionally catch a glimpse at what other women, real women, talented women are doing for Jesus while I remain here in my little, insignificant life in which I can’t even get my two children to behave”
Insert: 90’s Jennifer Knapp Christian-angst music and a bar of chocolate.
When Jon is working nights I love taking time to read the voices of other women who are passionate and gifted and funny and Godly but for some reason tonight I noticed a commonality amongst the several sites I visited that poked annoyingly at a painful place deep within. Not only are these women passionate and gifted and funny and Godly but they are also published. And on speaking schedules. And raising more kids than me. And apparently living in a world in which there are more than 24 hours in each day. (Oh, and gorgeous – because this really couldn’t be a legit female-comparison blog post without talking about body image, right?)
All of a sudden these writers, these women, with whom at one point I felt a sense of sisterhood, seemed far away and foreign and secluded in their own club that I wasn’t invited to. The Successful Christian Woman’s Club. Or something.
Me? I am a card carrying member of the “all-alone-in-my-pajamas-by-8:30-sitting-on-a-couch-surfing-the-internet-and-crying-while-listening-to-Jennifer Knapp-doing-nothing-of-value-with-my-life -club”. My club doesn’t even have a coherent name. Waaaahhhh.
For a lot of my adult years, when telling Jesus that he can have my life what I mean, at least partially, is Hey Lord take diligent notes while I give you my ideas on how this suits me best. Thanks.
In the past this has been holding on to sin with one hand while trying to hold on to Jesus with the other.
Then it was holding on to security blankets with one hand, and to Jesus with the other.
Lately it has been holding on to success with one hand, and to Jesus with the other.
But for all of my hand-holding, I just can’t see success in my life, at least not on this Tuesday night (alright, it’s entirely possible that a flooded bathroom, a surprise pimple and some good old fashioned hormones were at play here. It’s okay. Jesus meets me on the mountain top, and he pulls me out of the pit, amen?)
On this particular Tuesday night I just can’t see what I think I should see from my 32 years.
I can, however, see the many accomplishments and talents of other women.
I can feel my two year old hitting me all day.
I can see my three year old acting like an angry teenager.
I can remember that girl I didn’t disciple well.
I can read all the words I wish I had written, but in fact they belong to someone else.
I can inherit the legacy of women before me, but sometimes my choices look so different from theirs that I wonder what those that come after me will be left with.
I know what I see, and what I don’t see.
God what do you see?
As I turned down my music and exhaled all my pride and insecurity for the Lord to gather up and make new and make holy and make light I prayed for wisdom and vision.
God, what do you see?
What do you feel? What do you hear? What do you have for me to write? What do you have for me to inherit? What do you have for me to pass on?
He answered all my questions, and spoke to my need for success and affirmation, in this way: by tenderly taking my clenched fist and, one finger at a time, carefully unwrapping it from that heavy suitcase (full of book deals and perfectly groomed children) I have been lugging around.
Just as I couldn’t make it work holding on to sin with my left, and Jesus with my right – nor can I hold on to anything, success included, while fully following Jesus.
The Lord wants both of my hands clinging to his robe for healing. The Lord wants both my hands raised high in worship. King Jesus wants both of my hands open, palms up, so that I might receive the bread he has for me to feast on.