We see the hope and potential in every young person

It’s Not Easy Being A Terrible Person: Can I PLEASE Just Be Normal? – 30 Days With Jesus (day 19)

It’s Not Easy Being A Terrible Person:  Can I PLEASE Just Be Normal?
DAY NINETEEN – Sunday, July 5, 2015

You know that moment when you realize you actually suck at everything?
When every part of your life feels like a failure?

And you wonder if you will ever be pulled together like everyone else?
And all you want is to be normal for a day?

Ya, today was one of those days. 

I was bombarded from the beginning of the day until the end.
With all the things that I was doing wrong.  Or wasn’t doing that I should have been doing.
Character flaws – one after the other.
Circumstances and situations that were just NOT at ALL in my favour.

First on the list: 

I was supposed to be going to South Sudan for two weeks, then returning to Uganda for two weeks before I head to Kenya to get my visa for Madagascar then fly out from Nairobi.

Key word – was supposed to.

Turns out that Uganda has changed it’s visitor’s visa fee to $100.  Yeah, that’s right.  They doubled it.  And this news completely turned all of my plans upside down – and suddenly everything – including going to teach in South Sudan was up in the air.

Great.  But you know, maybe God can still do something.  Maybe there are other options.

I reasoned this as I sat on top of my mountain as I have been doing every morning after my run, and I left that in the hands of God.

Then this song began to play on my phone:

Will you let me hold you in my arms tonight?
I have come so far to find you, so far to find you.
Will you take my love and give up the fight?
I have come so far to find you, so far to find you. 

Now this theme of love has been coming up for a long time now – but today it was different.
Today I was completely engulfed in tears.

He whispered, “You don’t know how to RECEIVE love.” 

And that realization blindsided me.
That is NOT what I saw coming.

And I wanted to argue.  I wanted to insist that He was indeed wrong.
But I could not.  He was not.

I have never known how to receive love.
I would rather be the giver than the receiver – it is much more comfortable.
I have a very hard time accepting love from others – I would rather pass it off as illegitimate, fake or my personal favourite – I run away.
I simply won’t accept it.
I simply don’t even know how.

And He whispered again; “Will you take my love and give up the fight?”

Not only am I not accepting love, I am actually FIGHTING against it!
What?!

So I returned home with that song on repeat – feeling like that was enough for one day – and the day had just begun.

And there certainly was more.
And He leaned in a whispered, “You actually resent me.” 

I what?!
Wait, now.  Hold up!  That is ridiculous!  I don’t….

“You resent me.  You are harbouring resentment in your heart towards me.  Go ahead.  Look.”

Sure enough, there it was.
The list of resentments.

Another failure.

“You run away from conflict.  Stop it.” 

Well, at least this one was not news to me.

“The tunnel of conflict is the passageway to intimacy in ANY relationship.  Until you care enough to confront and resolve the underlying barriers, you will never grow close to each other.  When conflict is handled correctly, we grow closer to each other by facing and resolving our differences.”
The Purpose Driven Life

Fantastic.  So, my avoidance of conflict actually means that I don’t care, and I don’t have the most REAL and CLOSE of relationships …

Ugh.

This was closely followed by a reminder that I should have more faith and doubt less.
That I need to learn to trust the process that I am in – quit trying to rush out of it.  You have lost your focus.  You lack self-control.

And the icing on the cake – my fasting my motives were not always correct, and then even when they were I would eat the wrong thing or in a sense break part of my fast.   Yeah, that was today too!

And that struggle brought up so many old struggles that I used to have with food.
And by the end of the day I just slumped on my bed and thought, “Seriously?  SERIOUSLY?!”
And I just wanted to ask, “Is there anything I DON’T suck at?  Is there anything in my life that has the potential for success?  Is there anything in this day that will work in my favour?”

It’s a slippery slope that one.
Because the thoughts keep coming, and it’s so difficult to stop them.

Maybe everything that I’m doing should be called into question?
Maybe I really do suck at everything?  In which case, again, what am I even doing?
Maybe I am not normal?
And I begin to feel as thought I am crazy.  That I have completely lost all my marbles – and even if I haven’t lost ALL of them there is definitely a hole in the bag!

And I find myself PLEADING to be normal.
I just want to know that I am not crazy.

Then He whispers again.  Something gentle.  Something new.
And He sends someone to talk to who is going through the same things as me.

“You’re not crazy.”  He assures.  “You really are not, and I sent her to show you that – even before you knew what you needed I planned that skype call.  You’re really not crazy, I promise you that.  

And the things I have whispered are to bend you not break you.  To build you not ruin you.  To shine light into the dark places.  To show you need ME. 

And those feelings of worthlessness.  Of never enough.
Did you notice those did not come through the gentle whisper?
Did you recognize my voice in the midst of those thoughts?
Never.  Of course not.  That wasn’t from me.  

Your flaws and your weaknesses, yes, I pointed them out.
But this thing of a failure?  No, never.  It is called being human.  It is part of being that “normal” you so badly wanted.   

To mould you and shape you and love you – that is my heart.
But to believe you’re a failure?  Coming from me?
Never.  Of course not.  That is never from me.

And the rest of the song says:

“You were fighting, and fearful,
and hiding your heart away.
And I was trying, so hard to show you,
but there were no words that I could say
If you could see my heart,
You would know that all I wanna do is care for you.
You were broken, abandoned, crying, all alone.
Will you let me hold you in my arms tonight.
I have come so far to find you, so far to find you.
Will you take my love and give up the fight.
I have come so far to find you, so far to find you.”

And so it turns out I’m more normal than I thought.
Well, normal might be a bit generous but I am not crazy.

And most importantly I am not a failure.

The thoughts can merge and the lines can become fuzzy so fast to where we begin to put the feelings inflicted from the enemy directly onto the speaker of the words.
But the truth is that the power of the words is in the reception of them.

And it is us, it is me, who decides that those words spoken in love should make me feel like a failure.

It is me who chooses to believe those lies from the enemy.
It is me who chooses to confuse my insecurities with His loving admonition. 

So can I PLEASE be normal?  It’s not easy being a terrible person!
Sure.
But being normal means that I will inevitably suck at things – most of the time.

“Consider it pure joy my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because ou know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.  And perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything!”
James 1:2-4

IMG_2796

Speak Your Mind

*