Celebration when your plan is working? Anyone can do that. But when you realize that the story of your life could be told a thousand different ways, that you could tell it over and over as a tragedy, but you choose to call it an epic, that’s when you start to learn what celebration is. When what you see in front of you is so far outside of what you dreamed, but you have the belief, the boldness, the courage to call it beautiful instead of calling it wrong, that’s celebration.
Shauna Niequist
This quote has sparked a lot of thought the past hour...it won't be a logical progression but here's my attempt to put mind-heart muddle into words:
Oh look, its that familiar place again... condemning thoughts lie so well, i make myself sick before i realize i've fought all these and i know all the answers: "i'm a waste of space" + "the timeline of my plans is past so why bother" + "why dream?" + "why didn't i do________" + "why did i waste time pursuing *insert door slammed shut of choice here*" + "so wait. i genuinely tried to follow God and it led me...here? or i screwed up, which is it?" + "maybe i am just not achieving material" 
shut up. 
seriously mind? we've been on this merry-go-ride so many times. God's yanked me off. i've jumped off myself even. i haven't destroyed my life. i'm not suffering consequences for sin. failures are covered by Christ. but i still.end.up. __making myself sick__. letting go of past decisions is a dragon with the genes of Medusa--so often i've thought it was slain, only for it to come roaring into my thought process. again. now with more flame-spitting heads! see i'm repeating myself with different words...case in point! & i think i'm starting to see the root. ultimately, it's a surrendering control issue. (yet another "i've got this defeated--just kidding!" dragon) but a facet i've never realized...
 i have all these standards in my head that i can't live up too, all these dreams & plans that i want to fulfill; (so i'm ok with myself). God loves me too much to let that happen. He set me free from the tyranny of getting what i {think} i want. His plan isn't actually about me. He's included me in the most epic story ever dreamed! but i'm not the focus. He wants to define me...but i want to define myself. i want earthly approval. maybe not even that so much; i want to live up to my own ideal of who i should be. i've swallowed this ridiculous american culture that says i need to be OBSESSED WITH SELF! i fight. i keep trying to cut out all the parts i despise in me & change what offends others. but its a miserable failure. constantly. i can't do it. in fact, some of the things others disdain about me are things God values. & that is not a new revelation, personal holiness is not sexy. self-control, discipline, loving fiercely with all of you, loyalty...those things ain't valued. my strengths are reflective of God. my flaws even glorify Him, cause they drive others toward God & keep me from being sufficient & keep me humble & show what a marvelous God who uses such broken messy vessels!! but His approval isn't enough. not right now. (says my life) i can't bear to think that but my actions yell it every day. 

there was a season when i was rock-solid in my identity. rooted in Christ. when i thought more on Him than on how others viewed me. when these battles of image were smaller, immediately engaged & victorious more often than not. but now...i can't even. i believed God saw me as beautiful? as His precious daughter? i walked in forgiveness & received His gracious love? & yet i was actually less in my head and more aware of others? say whaaaa? 

He hasn't changed. I have. It's as if God is holding out colors He wants to define me with, but i sit here afraid they won't look brilliant once on me. i'm like a slum child seeing silk fabric. i can't touch, or i'll spoil it. but how i want to wrap myself..in cheerful yellow of joy, the aqua of peace, classic gray of courage. rich crimson of redeemed, stronger & bolder than all else. clear green of purity, playful orange of humility sparkling blue of discipline, sky blue of self-control, the iridescence of being fiercely loved. rich purple of loyalty. mint green of trust. deep earthy hues of forgiveness, long-suffering, servant love. He holds these out & says look Daughter, look what Christ died to buy you! Can you not see how I see you? Will you not accept my gift? those best things you think you hold, baby they're trash. faded, dirty, used up." but i'm trapped. in tension. i cannot let go of my rags for fear.

spoiler alert: God's going to win. in the end. i am going to learn to accept all from His hand as beautiful. i'm actually going to let myself recieve the grace i so do not understand. i'm going to stop fighting so damn hard. i'm going to see the Jesus in me and marvel at how cool God is. I'm going to have the courage to say no, actually; i don't regret the choices i made trying to follow Him. i'm going to believe God's path for me is different, strange; but lovely and not wrong. no, i will not be bitter about the pain of disappointed dead-end hopes--they had a sweetness in making me desperate. "life abundantly" "goodness in the land of the living" "fruitful & abounding in good works" "full of joy"  will. happen. partial taste here, full realization in eternity. 


Abi said...

amen. He's bringing you to a beautiful place! Writer's side note: goodness, the silk colors imagery? I'd give my pinky to be able to write that.

damaris said...

you'd be strange looking without your pinnky ;)

also i can't write poetry. i just think in color haha

damaris said...

apparently i can't spell pinky either geez