You see her sitting across from you in the coffee shop. You know, the professional woman who is typing away on her Mac. She is dressed head-to-toe in Ann Taylor and Michael Kors and her hair has looks like she just left the salon. You jealously gaze upon her, wishing that your life could be successful, too.
I was having such an amazing day until I got on Facebook. I was enjoying a peaceful Friday morning working in my yard. I did a heart check and realized that for the first time in a long time that my heart was healed, whole, and happy. It felt great! I had come through a tough week but I had pushed through and prevailed.
Earlier that morning I had posted on Facebook a 250 word “description” of myself that I had written for an upcoming conference. And evidently someone took exception to how I had described myself. There on Facebook, ready to burst my happy balloon, was an extensive comment about how I should not label myself and I should not this and I should not that and blah blah blah.
It was a sacred moment for me. I entered the stately brick Methodist church through wooden doors that were twice my size. I journeyed down hallowed halls that were filled with a holy hush. Then I found the room where the MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group met.
This was my very first speaking engagement in my new journey as a professional Christian communicator. I was prepared, a little nervous, and to bolster my self esteem I had on a lot of hot pink. My presentation was about how God’s grace was a greater factor in how our children turned out than our own mommy failures.
I was telling the story about how an autism therapist gave me a list of strategies to teach social skills to my son. She wanted me to take him to the park and initiate social interactions with strangers. Even while she was talking, I knew that I was not going to do that. It was too hard. As I shared my thoughts with these young moms, my words didn’t come out right.
They came out in a way that nearly made me wet my pants.
Tears escape my eyes while worship takes place all around me in the church building. No one notices me down here on the floor, but God does. Down on my knees, face towards the floor, I cry out to the Lord. “Oh God, change me,” I pray with passion. “Change me so that You can use me. ”
When I peer into my sinful, human heart, I see so many things that I wish weren’t there. Anger over the actions of people. Frustration when things don’t go my way. Disappointment when my plans were stymied. And it gets worse. Round and round in my brain swirl hateful words that I long to say. I want to reject those who reject me and I want to hurt those who have hurt me. I demand justice for wrongs that I have suffered.
It’s hard to admit a weakness. No, hard is not the right word. Perhaps excruciating. Terrifying. Embarrassing. I have experienced all of these emotions as I have shared with the world my struggle to believe that God will heal me. I can stand on a stage and teach God’s Word with great power, but then I go home and struggle to believe God’s Word. It’s a weakness.
As a speaker and leader, people view me as a Christian woman who has it all together. It has been so freeing to let people in on my secret…that I am far from perfect. I am far from living up to God’s standards. I’m far from living according to His Word. I’m far from measuring up to the expectations of most of the people in my church.
But really, when are honest enough to admit it, we are all broken. None of us measure up.
Vulnerability is a good weight loss plan. Facing my impending doom, I couldn’t eat lunch or dinner. My stomach was in knots from all of the butterflies fluttering around in there. God had asked me to do something HARD, and I dreaded it all day long, sunup to sundown. Like a lamb lead to the slaughter, I went to teach my Philippians Bible study.
It is time to go to sleep. My head is on the pillow, my eyes are closed, but the tears are flowing. Two hours ago I taught an amazing Bible study. People were encouraged. People were challenged. People met God. I should be filled with joy but instead my soul is tossing and turning with guilt and shame. I taught tonight about being like Jesus, but in the quiet of my home, I feel as far from it as possible. Everyone around me has faith to believe that God will heal my chronic migraines, but I’m sorry, I’m just not convinced. I struggle to believe.
I close my eyes tight and ask God, “What is wrong with me? How can I teach your Word with great power and anointing, but I can’t believe you will do the simplest of things for me? People think that I’m this great woman of God, but really I’m not. I don’t have a steadfast faith that is able to weather the storms. I am not able to ask that you will heal me, believing that you will, because really, I’m not sure (Mark 11:34). I know that You can heal me, but I’m not certain that You will. (more…)
If you’ve spent some time in your Bible or in church, you’ve probably come across a woman that we affectionately call “the woman at the well.” The story of this Samaritan woman is found in John Chapter 4. Jesus met this woman at the well when he came for a drink.
We are told that this woman had had five husbands, and she was currently living with a man who was not her husband. Girls, this was a broken women. Can you imagine all of the rejection she felt having been through 5 husbands and now with one who did not want to fully embrace her as wife? She was also a Samaritan and the Samaritans were rejected by the Jews solely on the basis of their race. She was living with all of this rejection and pain without knowing the love of a Heavenly Father. She was crumbling on the inside, much like the well that she was drawing from.