I am a failure.
I may look neat, put together, content, adventurous. I may not have done any “major” sin or seemingly ran away from God, like the prodigal son. I sit in the pew every Sunday, prayer meeting every Wednesday. I read my bible every day, try to pray daily too. I’ve been on missions trips, take road trips to help churches out, talk about discipleship and loving people. I talk about trusting God and His loving sovereignty. I seem to be “ok.”
But I’m not.
My heart is deceitfully wicked. Only I see the darkness I deal with daily.
Darkness such as fear, pride, jealousy, mistrust, worry, anger.
Then I see the depth of my sin and react: I fall into self despair, trying to work harder to be “worthy,” to hide from others how broken I am, and believe the lie that God can’t love me…or worse: won’t.
I can’t hide the ugliness from God, but maybe I can from others. If they see it, they will walk away. Instead, I keep distances. Close enough to try to impress with my “spirituality,” but far enough so they see don’t see the real dark parts. It’s a matter of control. But the times I’m not in control and seemingly get rejected, the self despair cycle begins.
“I’m not worth it.”
“I screwed it up.”
“No one wants to deal with my ugliness.”
“If others walk away from the darkness and not love me, then how can God love me when He sees the darkest?”
“WHY would He choose to love me when He can see the darkest.”
I see how I fail to live up to the scandalous love and grace shown to me. It scares me. I’m too weak.
I’m a failure. Maybe not outwardly, but my heart is barely holding together.
Here’s where I see myself as a world of walking contradictions.
As much as I feel like a failure, I know in the end God is renewing my heart. I know I can’t walk away.
And ultimately I know it isn’t up to me.
God calls me to walk in the Spirit. So I do, knowing full well I will fail in my own eyes. Knowing full well I will not be able to do it the way I want to. I can’t walk without mixed motives. I can’t love unconditionally. I can’t serve without wanting recognition, either from God or others. An aspect of fear is the fear of loss of a good thing so I run away from even the good.
I can’t keep walking forward without looking back.
But I know God’s grace is greater.
To fully live and walk in the Spirit and in the grace of God will bring the deepest joy and the deepest pain.
So I live in the tension. The tension of grace. The tension of walking and stopping, resting and wrestling, joy and pain. The tension between heart and head.
I’m starting to see that I do not walk alone. I’m not alone in feeling this way. There are others whose journeys resemble mine. We’re walking in the same way, but different. And we need to walk with each other.
But an even greater comfort is that God walks with me. He doesn’t walk ahead hoping I’ll catch up. He doesn’t walk behind watching me fall and throwing a trite verse at me to help me up. He walks beside and all around, picking me up when I fall and even carrying me when I can’t hold it together. He is my crutch because I am broken.
God walks with me. I am a failure, but He is faithful.