So, I just wanted to clear up any misunderstanding and confusion that may be “out there” in the world when it comes to others’ perception of me.
Somehow, somewhere along the way, some may have gotten the wrong impression that I am just a perfectly peaceful, serene, angelic, always-trusting-God kind of gal who…
and never struggles.
Ummmm…. WHAT THE BOINK?!
I mean, YES, God has been faithful and kind to me and has given me a supernatural grace to carry me through all the challenges of my life so far, and YES, my desire is to trust Him in all areas of my life and YES, my heart is to never turn aside from His path, and YES, I want to grow in peace and wholeness and angelic bliss…. but to think that I am in this continual state of dreamlike serenity?
Uh….. that is so far from the truth!
People, I’m human! Imperfect and flawed at that! I am a strong woman, but I’m weak too. My heart aches, life lets me down often and I get crushed by that. I feel things… quite strongly, actually! When life hits me hard, I reel. I fall down at times. When someone attacks my character or tries to badmouth me, it’s a battle to turn the other cheek, shut my mouth, smile back at them and not defend myself. Of course, my first reaction is to want to spew stuff at them, and give them my “2 cents worth” and make them feel really small. I mean, REALLY small.
I am human… and I can assure you, I FREAK OUT!
For the few hours it takes to publish and write one article or one blog post, or one ministry update, or one nice letter, there are probably a kazillion more hours spent running around like a freaky chicken with its head cut off, calling up friends or family or mentors and venting my face off, anxiously journaling all my questions and doubts to God, and throwing my fists up in the air to Heaven, and crying out, “Why? Why? Why?”
And of course, God is so good and generous, that He always gives me some manna from Heaven, some wisdom that hits the spot, some love and encouragement from a loved one which meets a need and SOME GIFT FOR MY HEART that brings me back to a state of peace and, yes, serenity. And of course, that is when I get in front of the computer and the inspiration for a new article or a new blog post or a new letter comes, and out of the overflow of this encouragement I’ve received on the inside of my heart, I write.
Why am I saying all of this?
Well, my aunt’s friend called the house the other day and my aunt wasn’t home, so she and I engaged in a wonderful conversation. She is such an encouraging woman, and so she commented on my blog and how much she loves reading it, and how much I love God, and how much I just PERFECTLY TRUST GOD and have such a peace in my life and NEVER FREAK OUT about things.
I stopped her.
And I told her that I do love God and I am LEARNING to trust God, but I am far from reaching a place of “perfectly trusting God.” I assured her that I freak out!
She then proceeded to let out the biggest sigh of relief and burst out with, “Oh thank God! I thought I was the only one that freaked out!” to which I was able to assure her, that I am just like her and everyone else. I freak out! We can love God, and sincerely desire to grow in trusting Him, but we will always have a propensity towards worry, anxiety, distrust and “freaking out”. WE ARE NOT PERFECT! We are being perfected, but we are not there yet.
She was so encouraged! So relieved! And somehow, this made her day. She kept going on and on about how encouraged she was by this revelation that I freak out too. Funny, how admitting my shortcomings and weaknesses empowered her to face the day with courage. Funny thing, isn’t it?
I told her that she only sees and reads the finished product… after all the freaky loose ends have been hemmed, so to speak. She reads the tidied up version of my updates and my blog posts. She hasn’t seen the hours and hours I’ve spent talking to loved ones these past few months having my freak-out doubt-fests. She hasn’t seen all the time spent praying to God (prayers that sometimes look more like desperate begging appeals for grace for the day). She hasn’t seen all the times where I just get lost in the confusion of all my unanswered questions and get overwhelmed by the unknowns and the uncertainties, and threaten to “quit” (whatever that means, haha). We humans can be so dramatic, sometimes, can’t we!
But this is the real Christian life. And you may not have the depths of extreme emotions that I tend to have, but you still have your own default reactions, weaknesses and human frailties. Maybe you don’t freak out, so much as you maybe SHUT DOWN, NUMB OUT and OPT OUT from feeling things.
But however we react to the challenges of life, this is the authentic reality of humanity. Jesus likes people being real. He prefers it. He seems to get annoyed and frustrated with the fake, high-and-mighty people who give the appearance of strength and perfection. Jesus is not threatened by our questions. He does not run away from us at the first sign of wavering doubts in our hearts. He is so much more solid and steady in His heart toward us than to be flippant in His affection and commitment toward us. As Allen Hood shared at a conference a couple years ago in New Zealand, the Holy Spirit is not some flittery little butterfly or dove that sits daintily on your shoulder, and at the first sign of you doing something questionable, He skittishly “flits away” off your shoulder with the faintest little breeze! No, the Holy Spirit is a strong, solid, and committed Presence in your life. He is not so shaken by our humanness. He doesn’t just “flit away”. His grip on us is firmer than we realize. He rather understands OUR skittish ways, and He remains constant. He is steady. He’s all in.
And it is because of the steadiness of God’s nature and His character, that I am not nervous to admit to the world that ALISON FREAKS OUT! God is not threatened by this. He rather likes and loves me. And He’s stickin’ around. He’s not going anywhere. So, even though I aim to “perfectly trust God”, I know I’ll still freak out from time to time… and that’s just fine.
So there, I’ve said it. I’ve cleared up any misunderstanding or confusion there may be “out there” as to my (choke, gag) perfect serenity! :)