Every time I doubt I need to go back and read Michael Spencer’s words on doubt, urgency and brokenness. These are probably three of my favorite articles by him and they pretty much wreck every ideal I was ever taught as a child in the best kind of way. They give me hope. Hope that this path I am on is not one of insanity, that it’s OK to feel like I feel sometimes, that it’s OK to struggle and doubt and fight and cry and feel lost and broken and alone.
And sometimes knowing that it’s OK to feel that way (and that smarter, wiser people feel this way sometimes too) is the best hope I can feel.
Because I am broken. And I do doubt. Sometimes I get so mad that I don’t understand how it all works. I get mad that I’m snappy at my husband sometimes, I get mad that I can’t control my sins, I get mad that my husband is bipolar. I get frustrated that my son screams when he doesn’t get fed fast enough. I get impatient that I hardly get any time alone with my husband, especially when I see it affect how we treat each other. Hey, I’m just being honest.
I’ve really been struggling with this lately, and it’s funny because I feel like God is teaching me more now than he has in a long time. I’ve went a long time between really getting yelled at by God. But for a long time I had this idea that I wasn’t really that bad of a person. I mean, I knew I was sinful and had my issues, but I don’t know that I really gave my depravity the attention it needed. And I knew that it was bad to feel that way because I knew the worst type of people are the ones who don’t think they’re that bad. So what do you do? So I started asking God to point out my problems to me since I couldn’t see them. I asked him to help me be a *real* better person instead of just thinking I was good.
So God started showing me how terrible I am. I’m not fully realized, I don’t know that I could handle a full reveal. He just gave me a little glimpse and I’m pretty devastated by what I see. Not only my judgement and manipulation, but more than that, how I am missing the forest for the trees. How I get so worried about organization and what people think and getting things checked off my to-do list that I miss out on simple pleasures like watching a sunset, watering my grass, playing with my son. And those are the things I want to pay attention to!
I want to fix myself. I can’t. Instead, I have to keep reminding myself that my goal is not to modify my behavior to suit the life I want to lead, but rather to be changed internally so that the outside behavior naturally falls into balance. I haven’t mastered how to do that yet. I think that’s part of a lifelong journey.
However, I find that while behavior modification isn’t the answer it does help in the interim. I am consciously reminding myself to stop with the lists and the chores and start with the relaxing and spending time doing nothing. If I’m able to remind myself of that once or twice a day, and actually apply the principle to my day, it helps me stay more sane.