Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Trying

"My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am following Your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe the desire to please You does in fact please You." -Thomas Merton

My friend, Cabell, sent this to me today after a conversation we had yesterday. It truly summarizes the unsettled feeling within me these days. The semi-structured, hot days of Summer and the additional time with my children are a recipe for some un-pretty revelations about myself. I like "me" time. I am bossy. I like things to go my way. I am impatient. Whining makes me batty.

I believe in and accept the grace that has been offered to me through faith in Jesus Christ. I do not think my salvation is based on works. I am not trying to earn God's love, I just want Him to be proud of me. This is an issue I have struggled with since childhood. I can vividly remember saying to my Mom, "Are you proud of me?"

I know that God does not expect me to be perfect and don't really expect myself to be perfect either...I know it is FAR from possible. I just wish I could feel like I was getting better. It is so hard to be constantly confronted with my weaknesses and feeling powerless to do anything about them.

I do pray about them. I ask God for the fruit of the Spirit to be more evident in my life...yet I continue to blow it over and over.

As I was thinking about this today I was reminded that this knowledge of my sin is what keeps me at the feet of the cross--but it is so humbling. Some days it just makes me grumpy and frustrated with myself.

I am searching for how to live a life that reflects the glory of God's grace, but not use that as a cop-out. Anybody have that figured out?

9 comments:

Chelsey said...

Sounds like we're the same person.

Sunday I heard a sermon about justification, and the preacher said that part of justification is that it's just like we'd never sinned - but the other side of the coin is that it's just like we'd always obeyed.

Basically, if I'm harsh with my boyfriend, I can repent and then live in freedom because one time, Christ was NOT harsh with someone He loved - He obeyed.

This though has comforted me so much this week. It doesn't give me the liberty to sin, because in a moment of temptation I think, "Jesus obeyed in this situation. I need to trust the Lord."

I really, really feel you. I haven't figured it out yet, either.

http://chelsey.wordpress.com

Sun said...

Seriously - did you read my journal last week? I read a blog post from I Take Joy - Sally Clarkson that really ministered to me where I was I highly recommend it - I think it was called Ode to a tired Mama) I felt and feel the SAME things you are saying here. The freedom of summer has brought me face to face with my impatience, my weaknesses - which are SO evident in me that I wonder am I making ANY progress at all in my walk with Him. I like what you pointed out about this keeping you at the foot of His Cross. One time I heard another Mommy that I look up to (her kids are graduating high school now) - but she would always say these weeks (in which we see first hand our weakenesses) are gifts - I thought she had lost her marbles. I see her wisdom now though. It keeps me from being even more rooted in myself and my abilities. I will be praying for you - I am right there with you in facing all of these things! Thank you for sharing your heart! Sunshine

Amy said...

I hope it helps to know that you are not alone in these struggles. I can completely identify with this post and I can feel your frustration. I'm reading "Grace Based Parenting" and I'm so in tune with the author's position and praying over how I can change my approach to parenting. I close the book and feel renewed to put it into action. Then, I find myself snapping at the kids when they are just being kids. When will I get it? When will I learn? What in the world will it take for me to consistently demonstrate the fruits of the Spirit? We are works in progress...
Thank you for always being so honest and insightful. Reading your blog is something I look forward to each day!

Dawn said...

I am struggling with these same issues too - I seem to go through seasons where the weight of my sinfullness almost crushes my spirit, my need for approval and encouragement is more than any person can give, and I berate myself that I am dealing with the SAME STUFF again and again - but your blog has encouraged me today, so thank you. It is helpful to know that I am not the only one! I homeschool my children - I have four girls and the oldest is 8 - but we have just had a major transition in our lives and things aren't as easy as they used to be and I find myself having a pity party about the sacrifices required of me rather than looking to God to fill my cup. I am inadequate and I always will be, but God wants me right there relying on Him to do what I can't, there is peace in that! Thank you for sharing, I too look forward to reading your blog.

Brandon & April said...

Thanks so much for sharing.I hope you don't mind that I did reference the quote and link to your blog. That quote sums up my feelings with the recent events in our adoption journey! We don't have any little ones yet but sometimes we feel like we're running in place trying to get "there." Sometimes it makes us wonder if we are in God's will or we just think we are!

Kerin said...

If we "had it all together" we wouldn't NEED GOD - WE would be enough. We would be perfect and no one is perfect except for GOD. He wants us to need HIM, HIS forgivness, HIS grace - it brings us closer to HIM> where HE wants us to be.

Kerin said...

I don't want you to think that I think that you think you are trying to be perfect (make any sense to you?) When I read my comment back, it didn't sound like I want I actually was trying to say. We all have flaws, I am chronically early to everything, a clutter in the worst way and snap way too much at my girls. Should I work on those things - YES! But, HE loves us no matter what!!

Marta Jeremy and Emily said...

When Jesus said in Matt. 5:48 "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." I believe He meant it. Not only did he mean it, but He provides the means to achieve it. The Holy Spirit is the one who perfects our life, that was Christ's gift to us when ascending to heaven.

Sanctification IS NOT instantaneous, but it is POSSIBLE. That's what makes the Christian life WORTH living. Why should I struggle to live up to a Holy standard if there is no way I won't continue to fail? We have to have hope that Christ will complete the good work He's started in our lives or else we've all been deceived.

As we pray for our lives to be changed, continue to surrender daily (MOMENT BY MOMENT) the Holy Spirit does sanctify us. When we look backwards we can see the change that takes place. I've noticed that personally the more Bible study I do, the easier it is to hear the still small voice saying..."You really don't need that thing in your life, I know every other Christian does it, its a "gray area", but you don' t need it. I want you to just spend time with things you Spiritually NEED." Boy does that get your attention, suddenly you don't argue and you give it up and then you hear Him again.

I have not arrived yet, but I truly believe that Christ will FINISH that work in me before He comes again in the clouds to redeem His people from this sin sick world. Keep up the faith in this promise. He will be faithful to you. I know (because of the sincere honesty you daily give us through your blogging) that honoring God is a top priority in your life. He will be faithful, keep at it girl! And He LOVES you throughout this sanctification journey, even when there's a detour. :)

Room for Grace said...

I so get what you are saying! I've had this undertone to my last few weeks that have felt just like that.
Then yesterday I read the June 20 & 21 entries in My Utmost for His Highest, because I am behind - of course!
You can find them here:
http://www.rbc.org/devotionals/my-utmost-for-his-highest/06/21/devotion.aspx?year=2008

I am really mulling this over, feeling really convicted, but can't get over this sentence:

"The continual inner searching we do in an effort to see if what we are we ought to be generates a self centered, sickly type of Christianity, not the vigorous and simple life of a child of God."

These 2 entries by Oswald Chambers have rocked my little inner world, and when I read your entry, God used it too.

Thank you!