This is about to get real.
It's extremely important that each of you reading know something about me - whether you know me personally or know of me or we've never even met. I am a flawed and fallen human being.
Choices lead to consequences. Pain leads to reaction. Decision leads to direction, and sometimes misdirection. But what I need you to know is that I do not write this blog or stand up and sing or share my heart for the purpose of portraying that I am something I'm not. On the contrary, I share out of my honest-to-goodness real life experiences and, something that I've learned is an even stronger driving force, my truest, rawest emotions.
(If you aren't convinced of my own admission, maybe you should re-read a previous blog: This is Me.)
At this point in my life, I can honestly say that I've lived and experienced every extreme from blessings beyond belief to the tangled up web of life. At 23 I thought I knew it all and nearly a decade later, I realize I still know next to nothing. There are people in my life from 23 to 53 who know exactly what I'm talking about. We are all on this journey of life lessons that never cease, no matter how many years we add to the calendar. What I realize is that if we aren't growing and learning, then we aren't living.
When I titled the November blog "This is Me" I had no idea what kind of self-discovery I'd be on. I wrote that admission with full intentions of knowing exactly who it was that I was sharing. Several months later, and even more lessons gone by, I am here to tell you that I'm still trying to figure it out.
Here's my honest confession. I'm a control freak. I have an incessant need to fix, manage, coordinate, execute and orchestrate every detail. The problem really spills over when I try to do this for more than just myself. I need to be needed, so if you don't need or want me then I feel like I've failed. If I can't "fix it" or help, then I feel like I'm not doing my job. I find value in how I can serve and help others. You can throw accusations at me that I am not living what I'm writing. The truth is some days I do, some days I don't.
You've heard me say this before. I keep having to lay it down on the altar. I continually have to surrender. Round after round, I wrestle and struggle. Whatever insecurity, battle, sin or area of weakness you struggle with may be the same thing. You may find yourself confessing again. Laying it down again. Relinquishing again. Again. Once more. Another time. Whether you're returning to the exact same situation or encountering another instance of a replicated circumstance, the process is on "repeat."
Some of you are going to read this and scratch your head and think "what is going on?" Others are going to read this and be offended that, once again, I am sharing what you consider "too much." Still some may read this and appreciate the honesty in which I've given you the chance to peer inside my vulnerabilities and insecurities. You know what? Your response isn't what I was looking for. Rather, one of the all-important lessons I'm learning is that when I am truly honest about how I feel and what I'm going through, then I am able to let God come into the secret places of my heart and truly start the healing and growing process. It is continual!
I sing stronger and sweeter because of the grace and mercy I've come to know first-hand. The notes don't just swell from my voice, they resonate from my soul that has experienced His praise and glory. When I share of His love, it is from a heart that feels it to the very depth of my brokeness. When I rely upon a friend, it is because I've experienced true Companionship. What I tell you of my mistakes and flaws are the reality of His redeeming work in my life. The unconditional love I am telling you is worth the wait is the loving kindness of a Savior who knows and calls me by name.
I don't always make the right decision, but I will say with dying breath, His love is better than life itself. And despite whatever character flaw may be inherent to my being, I will strive to bring Him glory.
"O God, You are my God,
earnestly I seek You;
my soul thirsts for You,
my body longs for You,
in a dry and weary land
where there is no water.
I have seen you in the sanctuary
and beheld Your power and Your glory.
Because Your love is better than life,
my lips will glorify You.
I will praise You as long as I live,
and in Your name I will lift up my hands."