Wednesday, May 20, 2015

He Is For Me

Goodness.  Have you ever just woken up one morning to feel like you are on the front lines of a battle... and that battle is against your own self?  Because that's been me today. I rolled out of bed and I've just been struggling to love myself. 

Honestly-- to even really like myself. 

And I think it's on tough days like this that my first response is to shrink back into my shell and to hide from the world.  I really just want to retreat to the protection of my covers, binge watch Gilmore Girls and shovel chocolate chips into my mouth. But it's on these days that I know God has called me to really just write and speak truth. 

So here I am. Hi. It's me again. My hope is that some woman out there can relate to this struggle and will find solace in the fact that -- A. You are not alone and B. I'm doing the messy heart work of learning for the both of us today.

I've been on a journey this year and I can't say it's been the easiest one. With that said, I really do believe it's proving to be an incredibly rewarding journey.  It's been a journey of realizing that there is a God who is pursuing me.  All of me.  Yes, even the parts of me that I wake up hating.  Even the parts of me that other people don't like. 

My sweet husband has been praying this for me for years -- that I would see God as the father who loves me unconditionally.  A God who is relentlessly after my heart.   And, slowly but surely, I've been getting there.  You see, I've struggled with this view of God as all powerful, judgmental, and just waiting to rain down punishment and shame on me for the person that I should be and am not.  For my past and for the struggles I'm still fighting to overcome.

It's taken me pouring over scripture and really writing and recording the character of God, for me to start to believe that He really is for me and not against me.   

This same God who delivered the Israelites from the abuse and harsh hands of the Egyptians and then parted the Red Sea. 

He loves me. 

This same God who met the runaway slave girl Hagar by a well in the wilderness and called out her shame.  On that day, Hagar named God, "El Roi" which means "The God who sees me". 

He sees me too.  He sees me when I'm wiping peanut butter from sticky hands and faces.  When I'm playing referee to little fights and rocking my sick, feverish baby in the middle of the night. 

This God who commanded Joshua to cross the Jordan River into the Promised Land and instructed Him not to fear.  He promised the Israelites that they would have full protection and victory.  This God who fulfilled that promise. 

This God who stopped the flow of the Jordan River so they could pass through safely. 

This same God goes before me and He fights my battles.

This is where I find my comfort and my security on the hard days. 

On the days where I just feel less than. 

On the days when I'm struggling because I feel like I've failed as a wife and a mother. 

On the days when I burn the pancakes and we're late for school.

On the days when I run into our perfectly-put-together pastor's wife in the store and I just want to hide because I couldn't even make a messy bun look cute. 

On the days when I feel guilty because I sent my husband to work with leftover pizza. Again. 

On the days when the family kitty is still missing and I feel guilty because I should probably be doing more to bring the lost prodigal home. 

On the days when I've looked at one too many Instagram posts from friends who seem to have it more together than me. 

On the days when the baby is throwing up and the kitchen is piled high with dishes and all I can think to do is stick my kids in front of Netflix and then find a closest to lock myself in and cry.

On the days when I just can't seem to let go of the shame of my past. So instead, I camp on regret and guilt rather than embracing freedom and Grace.

These are the day I just have to continue to go back to these truths.

God loves me.  He sees me.  He's going before me and He is fighting my battles. 

My battle has already been won. 

So if you are having one of these days like I am, maybe you can rest easy in these truths. 

There's a God who is for you, who loves you, who sees you and He is fighting for you. Even on the days when you are against yourself. 

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