One of the greatest gifts I have received in my life is the challenge of becoming a strong, independent female fending for myself. The grind, the hustle; it never stops. Now, I am not saying I am the only one who has it tough: I see you, single Moms. Moms juggling kids and their own College education, Moms of four homeschooling while hubby is grinding all day making sure he has enough to provide for the family. It is exhausting. But one thing is even more so: being single, alone, a small circle, and going home to no one after a long day of battling the daily trials in this dog eat dog world. Alone, with only myself to rely on when I need encouragement, a pat on my back, and a shoulder to cry on. Sometimes I proudly flaunt my strength. And yet other times, I buckle down and cry in the silence of my small world. Broken, afraid, and alone. And I cherish those intimate moments too. Moments with my thoughts and my soul. Meditating on things Higher. That is where I find myself again, and regain the strength to dust myself off and keep moving forward. Here’s to all the strong women in my life and in this world. I see you, I applaud you.
I have made many mistakes in my life
And hurt others along the way
With my insensitivity and lack of the Love I profess.
I am not perfect, I humbly confess.
I am doing my best.
Seeking what is good for my soul,
Purging all the rest.
It Is a process
and God is not finished with me yet.
It is His Grace that keeps me aright,
That lifts me up when I stumble and fall.
If not for His Grace, I would not be here at all.
Only by His mercy, am I fulfilling the call.
In His love toward a wretched sinner
I have a Hope that resides in me
Taking the wrong course terrifies me
I cling to Truth that sets me free
Stumbling along the way
Yet tomorrow is a new day
Renewed in Mercy
Oh Lord, have Mercy
I don’t really want to write this. Perhaps it is because opening up and being vulnerable is new territory for me. That path is unbeaten, fresh, and ready to be walked. Yet I hesitate, for I do not know where it leads. Are there dead ends? Are there monsters lurking behind the corners? The monsters of fear, insecurity, doubt? It is a scary thing; vulnerability. So I will do my best to express my thoughts without fear of retribution.
This morning, I woke up feeling rested, fresh, and ready to conquer the day. I was thankful for a new beginning, a fresh start, and the sunrise peeking through my window. The extra hour of daylight savings as well! What a morning! But just as suddenly as I opened my eyes, and relished in the moment, that moment vanished and was replaced with dread, fear, feelings of failure, and my motivation to get out of bed dissipated as memories of the previous night returned like horrific flashes of light, invading my head space with thoughts of regret and negativity. Suddenly, I did not want to go to church. I began making excuses that I was just unworthy. My actions are hypocritical and I had no right shining out there, while the deeds that I am committing are breaking my Lord’s heart. I was distraught. Yet I got up, and decided that regardless of my state, I will run, run, run to Jesus, begging Him for forgiveness the whole way. I will refrain from sight, from service, and from anyone else because I am an unworthy servant. I will go in, repent, leave, and cry and repent some more.
So with my plan set in place, I head to church, head bowed down, avoiding the glances of people off of the serving team, of which I take great delight in and am honored to be a part of. I try to make my way to the cafe for a cup of coffee, and stop short in my tracks when I see someone whom I felt like avoiding that day, standing directly in the way of my path. I quickly swerved from that direction and headed straight into the congregation, irritated that I could not have a warm cup of fresh brewed coffee that could at least offer some kind of solace to my already shot morning. As I walk into the congregation, I practically run into the serve team gathered around in a circle, preparing for the next service. I thought to myself, “ I cannot bypass these people, it is unnatural and unacceptable”. So I joined in the circle, almost sheepishly, hoping no one would notice the guilt and shame written across my face. I hung out for a moment, almost hoping I could somehow escape. But I lingered, I prayed, I set my belongings down, gathered my name tag, went to get a coffee, and took my post at the door to greet all the incoming worshippers of Christ.
I did not even know how to properly stand. I felt so awkward and out of place. Yet I stood there, and something happened. As if something clicked inside of me, and I decided that I will release all my fears and inhibitions, and just go for it. Just keep on going. So I confidently took my stance, coffee in hand, smile on my face, and greeted incomers with a genuine smile, and a heartfelt “Hello, welcome in”! It was beautiful. It filled my heart. It touched my soul. It changed my perspective, it renewed me.
The rest of the church service, including a conversation I had with one of the ladies that I was serving with, left me overwhelmed with joy and encouragement, and a reminder that yes; the Lord does love me inspite of my flaws. I hide, like Adam and Eve hid in the garden. Yet God: He goes seeking, calling “where are you”? Unrelenting, unwilling to give me up. His Love it surrounded me today. He stopped me in my tracks. I tried to run, I tried to hide. But He did not let me get away. He has a plan and a purpose for me. And only He can make that perfect plan come to fruition. He is a perfect God that is so intimately in love with an utterly imperfect human. I am a beast. I am a worm. The most unworthy of servants. Stumbling through life, begging for forgiveness every day. Wondering when I will stop and be more like Him. Relishing in His love and forgiveness. For only that allows me to forget my past, and move forward.