The problem is, I think I often pick a fight with the wrong crowd.
I'm run-down, striving, irritable, and need someone to blame. In all honesty, many times I choose to battle in my marriage. Sometimes my kids. Even sometimes my friends. But most often, I battle myself.
The self talk. I dwell on something that, in my mind, went wrong, or is inherently wrong with me. And my mind spins and ruminates and dwells on how I must be a horrible friend. I'm not a "good enough" Christian. I'm lazy as a wife. I don't have what it takes to raise these boys. Whatever it may be. My mind telling me to strive more. Work more. Be more. Because what you are isn't enough.
When it comes down to it, that is the lie I believe far too often. Day in and day out, it is far too often an attempt to "be enough" on my own. Or at least an attempt to take steps toward whatever "enough" is in my mind.
I rely on my own works.
But works doesn't save. And I am not my own enemy.
I'll say it again, I am not my own enemy.
Why, oh, why do I so often live believing I must be a failure. I make idols of productivity. Even of service. Of being a great friend. Of hospitality. Those things become far too important to me. And I'm never good enough in my own standards... so I strive and I strive.
If you remember, our battle is not against flesh and blood, but between what is unseen... between evil and the heavenly. And my only battle is to choose Christ. Truth. Life. Redemption. Day after day.
I need to choose truth for my mind, so I can speak it to my kids and my husband and bring life. I need to choose life for my heart, so that I have confidence to act out of obedience even when fear seems to scream louder. I need to choose redemption, so that I can own my heritage as a daughter of the king.
There is absolutely a time and a place to hold accountable thoughts and actions. But when it comes right down to the beliefs we have about who we are, we are calling God a liar if we choose to believe that we must strive for more than he's offered through grace to be good enough.
I remember many years ago in pre-marital counseling they told us to remember, your spouse is not your enemy. This is a truth we have needed to repeat to one another time and time again. I am not your enemy.
Most days, I need to be telling myself that too. I am not the enemy. I have been redeemed and am spotless... more than good enough.
Oh, how freeing that is. My chest already feels lighter.
Too often this has been paralyzing for me. I dwell on my sinfulness as if I haven't accepted redemption. I live in fear far too often. The fear of being "found out" that I'm not as good as I pretend to be. One of my favorite authors, Jennie Allen, wrote this blog post over a year ago. But I stumbled upon it recently and it rang true. She so truthfully says about our fear,
"Get over it. We are all about to be dust. Might as well live the stories God (the living, sovereign, lives forever, made us and the spinning planet we are sitting on….that God) wrote for us. Don’t miss your story because you are afraid of it not being great enough."
I'm ready to forget about being good, or great, by the world's standards. Instead I will battle for truth in the smallest of ways. Owning my least-ness, knowing that He will be made great. Dwelling on truth. Living out of thanksgiving. And being an active participant in my own story, God's story, however good, great, or not-so-good, I am at times.
This is a on-going battle for me. To choose to believe what God says about me as opposed to what the world, or my mind, tells me must be wrong with me. I share, because I figure I must not be alone in this battle. Another step in making this a place of honesty and vulnerability for me.
Lord, thank you for the gift of your heritage. I choose to see myself as you do. A valuable daughter, filled by the Spirit. Redeemed.