This is personal.
This is rare. In fact, I’ve never before shared something like this… but today I thought, “Why not give it a go?”
I am about to share a segment from my personal journal – the journal in which all of my uncensored and most honest thoughts are recorded. I’m sharing the following excerpt (written several months ago) because I think someone might relate and hopefully find a bit of encouragement. Even if it is just one person – just you – then the sharing was worth it.
So here it is, from my journal entry on January 6, 2013:
“I’ve had new insights about self-rejection and self-hatred… Both are actually ploys of the enemy to get me to hide from the Presence of God, while tricking me into thinking I am feeling some sort of ‘religious piety’ by being so harshly angry and disappointed with myself for my shortcomings. You see that?! When I fume and mope and self-flagellate and give up and stay away from the Presence of God, I do so because I simply cannot accept that I am so flawed, that I am so inept at fixing myself, that I am so far from the “me” I think I should be… and so I alienate myself from God because I can’t stand to move forward with Him as this present version of me. I end up, in fact, alienating myself from reality, from peace. I choose instead to unleash graceless judgement, animosity, and pessimism upon myself, refusing and shoving aside the tenderness of Christ. I try to hide my shortcomings; I try to beat them out of myself; I try to talk myself out of them; I try to plan and organize and schedule myself away from them; I even try drowning in hopelessness over them. And all the while, I keep my distance from God until I either have my flaws “somewhat under control” or else am so exhausted and desperate in my attempts to control them that I feel on the verge of despair. It is a constant war with myself. And it is an endless closed loop to nowhere. I have spent a decade of my life waging war with myself, hoping desperately to erase the unseemly or “shameful” parts of myself. Consequently, I’ve lived too often in a state of self-rejection and distancing myself from God (because I couldn’t stand my failures and weaknesses, and I assumed He must feel the same way about me)… and round and round the carousel I went: firmly fixing my attention on overcoming some flaw or sin issue, wallowing in self-pity and anger when I felt I was failing at it, triumphantly pleased with myself when I’d seemed to finally “fix” myself, then crushed with fear and anxiety the moment an old issue (one I’d thought I’d fixed) seemed to crop up again… I’d then doubt and begin to think that I was about to spiral into an oblivion of all my former struggles, so I’d try to calm myself down again and set about firmly fixing my attention on overcoming some flaw or sin issue (and so the cycle would repeat). All these machinations, self-improvement efforts, and earnest attempts to fix myself are useless, and God wants none of them for me or from me! I don’t have to wage war with myself any longer! I don’t have to exhaust myself by my efforts to cover, hide, or fix myself! I don’t have to alienate and abuse the parts of me that I’m ashamed of! I don’t have to separated myself from reality! I don’t have to cower before and serve a delusion of what I “should be”! I don’t have to hide from God in my moments of disgust! NO. What God has always wanted and wants is simply for me to come home to Him, precisely as I now am – flaws and all, compulsions and all, insecurities and all. Just like the prodigal, He just wants me home. He wants me, honest and vulnerable and uncovered before Him. And coming to Him in that way means being at peace with myself, accepting the reality of what and who I am at this very moment. When I lay down my weapons of torture and punishment against myself and simply learn to be in vulnerability before Him, it is then that I hear Him call me His beloved daughter. It is then that I am pierced with the tender and costly and gracious love spilled all over the cross of Christ. It is then that I am me before God so that He may be Himself in me; and I no longer shrink back from Him, distracted from His Presence by the smoke and mirrors of my own efforts at self-improvement. I am filled with my truest sense of purpose and the fullest measure of God when I cease warring with myself, accept myself as I am, and offer myself as such to Him. He wants me, not my efforts.“
And there it is. My journal.
Further up and further in.