When I wander, I wonder.
There, I confess. I said it. The truth is out.
Two words only separated by one vowel, but greatly different.
I love how Jennifer Rothschild words it in "Invisible" (an incredible book by the way!), "When our thoughts wander from God, we begin to wonder who we are."
Let me say it again, GUILTY.
The moment I look outside to anything other than Christ for my identity, I falter. I flail. I sink rapidly. That downward spiral happens in a flash of lightning.
She asks this question, " If I am in Christ, why am I in crisis?"...
The beautiful response...
"I know why---it's because I am prone to wander. I am always one errant thought away from rejecting the truth that God accepts me and instead adopting the lie that He accepts everyone EXCEPT me."
"When we don't see the truth that we are loved, we seek proof that we are loved."
"We often find ourselves in places or seasons of life where we feel like a nobody. It can be hard to see our own value if we are feeling constantly overlooked or we associate our value with our virtue. You know, if we are good, we are worthy of being acknowledged. If we behave, we merit attention."
Now, I don't know about you, but to me those words are really hitting a raw spot in my own heart.
We HAVE to stop embracing the lie that our worth comes ANYWHERE other than God himself. Otherwise, we are going to be constantly seeking validation or placing pressure on someone or something to fill us up. AND. WE. WILL. REMAIN. EMPTY.
Who I am is found in WHO HE IS.
It is easy to feel invisible in the world we live in. Social media, technology, and just the influx of information and inundation of "stuff" overwhelms.
If we don't pull away and quiet our hearts to meditate on His truth, we can't silence the lies.
As a SAHM, homeschool mom that is CONSTANTLY surrounded by someone ALWAYS needing something, I can't tell you the number of times that I feel like I'm spinning around in a room and just want to scream, "I can't hear you." Some days, it is pure controlled chaos. The noise, the motion, the lack of personal space. Granted, as my kids have gotten older, it's much less of the physical demands (I'm finally beyond the days of cooking with someone on my hip or don't typically have fingers poking under the door of the bathroom---unless it's one of my "littles") and more of the emotional demands. (Someone remind me that I WILL live through the teen years!).
Just as I feel as if at times I can't breathe as my day is spiraling around with loops and dives of a roller coaster and I want to jump off and say "FREEZE".... it's the same way with God. He is right there waiting for me...to just stop and listen.
I DO have to stop. I DO have to purposely take that time away to just reach for the calm and sit with Him. Read His Word. Be in communication with Him. Learning. Studying. Acting in Obedience. Listening. Repeat: listening!
Because if I don't.
I wonder if I'm good enough.
I wonder if anyone really cares.
I wonder if anyone sees me.
I wonder if He loves me.
My husband may make a fairly innocuous statement and suddenly I'm wondering if he meant something else. Which is then followed by, I wonder if he still loves me like he used to. Or that little comment may spark a pointless war in which there is no winner.
I see a prayer answered for someone else, and I wonder why I'm not good enough to have it answered for me.
I see someone praised for something they did for someone and I start harboring bitterness because someone didn't thank me for the same thing.
I do something for someone and they don't acknowledge it or don't acknowledge it "enough" or with enough thought that I wonder if I'm not good enough for them. This is especially a hot button for me when I spend hours upon hours making something or putting EXTRA thought into a gift instead of just grabbing something off the shelf.
I can't solve this or that problem in my parenting, in a relationship, etc... and I allow it to seep deeply into my heart as it screams failure, you're not enough, etc...
My sins condemn me instead of convict me.
Oh my, how that list can go in.
I'm getting vulnerable and honest here (as I've always promised to do---no matter how scary that is!).
Those things are the reality of what happens when I'm not rooted and grounded in Him. I become so self-focused and inward driven. The more I obsess with me, the easier it is to stray from Him. OUCH! Did I really just type that out loud? :)
But there's this BEAUTIFUL reality. When I stop wandering, I stop wondering. When I purposely spend time in His word, my perspective changes. Moving from self-focused to soul-focused is POWERFUL. It's where I go from head held low, emotionally in a pit----to head held high and victorious.
If I don't take that time...
The pit swallows up quicker than walking in mud in flip-flops! OK---think about that image. Have you ever done that? It just draws you deeper and deeper. Every subsequent step feels more and more difficult. And----if you're wearing those cheapy flip-flops---you'll probably even find that the straps might break. Been there. Done that. (Ever run out in flip flops to quickly take the dog out and he decides to drag you along on a wild tangent that ALWAYS includes mud? Maybe that's just our 4-legged crazy creature!)
Today, purpose your heart to not wonder who you are and what your value is. My value, your value, comes from His inherent value. But to know that, to REALLY know that, we have to be spending time with HIM. It's not enough to sit through a church service and consider that enough to silence the lies that Satan loves to whisper. Even if you manage to go every single week or even twice a week, it's not enough.
It's easy for me to know if I'm spending enough time with Him. The days (weeks, months) that I'm letting the priority slide perfectly coincide with the same time frame that I'm struggling with worth, negativity, bitterness, anger, etc... Unfortunately, my family and those relationships closest to me also know. They are like an instant thermometer of my spiritual health. It's not coincidence.