FYI I Might Be Ugly for a While

There is a rumbling that is taking place in my heart concerning my relationships with others. It started at the end of 2018 during a class based on the book Experiencing the Father’s Embrace by Jack Frost. In that class, our instructor, Pastor Kay, taught me to recognize the different cultures – one being the culture of the Kingdom of God, the other being the culture of the world. There the Lord began to light up my heart with revelations of pride, self-justification, performing for the respect of others, anger, bitterness, condemning others, boosting myself up, self-promotion, the list goes on.

On the outside, I seem like a confident person. But on the inside, I battle a voice constantly telling me I’m not enough – stemming from a broken soul. For years I operated in this lie, I’m not enough. I can see how people pleasing prevails my life. It’s entangled in everything I do. I can’t clearly envision a way to cut it out without cutting so much of me that I’m no longer me; no longer recognizable. If it were all cut out, what would remain? Not much.

I used to think of sin as the obvious: murder, sex before marriage, lying or stealing. But the biggest sin I see operating in my life right now is a distrust in God: That the justification he bought for me at such a high price was not good enough. That the work he is doing for me and through me is not enough. That I need my own backup plan. I need to justify MYSELF. This process that God is bringing me through hurts. It is uncomfortable. It’s moving WAY too slow for my taste. I mean, really??? How long does it take to learn the lesson – trust in the Lord? Do everything for an audience of one, your Lord – the one and only God.

But I’m thankful that every trial and tribulation is being used by God to create within me the character of Christ. This process is scary because I have to shed so much. It challenges everything I know, I have to be willing to lose everyone I love in the process. It’s so easy to SAY, put God first. It’s so much harder to put it into actual practice.

People pleasing has been a way for me to control others; to control what they think of me. As I enter the Kingdom of God, I have to give that up. I have to allow my actions to reflect my true heart. Those actions may not be pretty at first – while God works on me. But faking it covers up my deep need for the Lord to fix it. I can’t stand vulnerable before God and allow him to fix it while pretending and performing for others so they think I’ve “arrived.” I can’t do both at the same time. I choose a true authentic change of heart empowered by the grace of God. To make that choice means I risk losing it all. I surrender to God my friends, my reputation, my right to be liked. (I write that final sentence with tears welling up in my eyes).

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