Saved

I am a born-again Christian.  I don’t advertise the fact specifically because I am so far from being a good example, I’m afraid I’ll turn someone away from God rather than help make a positive introduction.  I know, as a Christian, that I’m supposed to have the ultimate answer to all the problems and issues in my life.  I have Jesus.  But what I have found over the course of these many years since meeting God is that I’m still a very imperfect being.  I’m an imperfect being who has been forgiven, yes.  And God has made some very positive changes in my life.  But I’m quite the work in progress and there remains a great deal of renovation that needs to be done.
 
I’m utterly embarrassed, truly ashamed, in fact, at just how much work needs to be done before I will in any way be “presentable” as an example of what Christ does to transform ones life.  Which is why, though I don’t deny my relationship with God, I don’t actively advertise it either.
 
We all need a savior.  I believe that.  But I feel as if I need Him more than most.  My imperfections are fairly glaring.  PTSD, depression, eating disorder, isolation with inability to connect with others in a meaningful way (particularly since being dumped by my ex-husband), abuse and sexual abuse survivor with many resulting issues, distrustful, fearful, with no sense of self-worth, I struggle a great deal just to get through most days.
 
I want to be a good example.  An inspiration.  I hate being a failure.  A drain.  Someone to be avoided.  To be shunned, who is pointed at and pointed out as what not to be and what not to do.  So I don’t often mention that I have a relationship with the God of the universe, the creator of all that is and was and will be.  I don’t want to be an embarrassment to Him.  I mean, like He can do all things, right?  So if He can do all things and has all power, I should be practically super-human, right?  My abilities to overcome should be wow-worthy.  Instead, well, I’m so far from being worthy, we won’t even talk about the wow.  The only wow I would inspire in my present condition is one of horror and unbelief over how despicable I am.
 
And then there’s the whole issue of how I see God.  I struggle to see Him as a loving father.  “Loving” and “father” don’t go together well in my experience.  My counselor tells me my image of God is intertwined with my image of my earthly father.  My abuser.  The person who trashed my spirit and destroyed my soul.  He was the only example of a father I had, so it makes sense that I would see God through that experience.  And struggle to believe He loves me.  I’m pretty much afraid of Him, in all honesty.  He does have all that power…and I don’t have any at all.  He can pretty much do whatever He wants and if I’m not in His favor, He can let a lot of bad things happen to teach me the lessons I am supposed to learn.  On one hand, I know my view is skewed.  On the other, I don’t know how to see any other way.  And I don’t know how to change my beliefs or my feelings.  I learned some lessons well…about fathers and how they operate.  Unlearning those early lessons that are burned into my soul and seeing God differently than my birth father is problematic, at best.
 
I know in my heart that I’m messed up and that I’m not seeing things clearly.  But I don’t know how to see anything differently than the way I see them.  I realize God is perfect and therefore, any imperfection comes from me and not Him.  He isn’t doing bad things to me.  I either do them to myself or others, making bad choices, do them to me.  But God doesn’t feel safe to me because I don’t feel like I can trust Him to protect me or take care of me.  I feel like it’s all up to me.  And I’m a total failure at most everything in life.  So.  I don’t talk about being a Christian and I don’t represent myself as being an example of what it means to have God in your life.
 
God seems far away most of the time.  I pray.  I call out to Him and beg Him to help me.  But I feel very alone and abandoned.  I need Him.  I need a miracle, or two, or three.  I desperately need the all-powerful God to reach down and touch me, lift me out of the mess I’m in and show me how to live, for real.
 
I feel like a total failure because I supposedly have this amazing relationship with the God of all things and I’m still worthless and way screwed up.  I’m still not making it.  I’m still an absolute horrid mess.
 
So I stay silent.  And try to hide my worthlessness and glaring imperfections.  And I remain alone.  And broken.  And afraid.
 
I feel like I’m so messed up, even God has turned away from me in disgust.  And if God has given up on me, what hope remains?

One thought on “Saved”

  1. Your posts always touch me deeply because you describe your feelings perfectly.

    I want to cry when I read how much you beat yourself up and put yourself down. I’d like to tell you the God you should envision doesn’t see any of your imperfections. You are perfect without needing to do, be or say anything.

    That said, ten years ago I was in my deepest darkest depression during Lent when I felt I was failing God. I was sure God judged me and I was a failure. I would cry after church and hate myself. That’s why I feel your pain so strongly. You’ve taken the way you’ve learned to talk negatively about yourself and applied it to how you think God sees you. He doesn’t judge you. You are perfect. Really.

    Have you ever read Start Where You Are A guide to Compassionate living by Pema Chodron? I will share how her book starts:

    “WE ALREADY HAVE everything we need. There is no need for self-improvement. All these trips that we lay on ourselves—the heavy-duty fearing that we’re bad and hoping that we’re good, the identities that we so dearly cling to, the rage, the jealousy and the addictions of all kinds—never touch our basic wealth. They are like clouds that temporarily block the sun. But all the time our warmth and brilliance are right here. This is who we really are. We are one blink of an eye away from being fully awake.”

    The author is an American Buddhist nun and teaches us how to be compassionate to ourselves. I, like you, need that lesson! Reading the first chapter is like being stroked by a real God. A God of understanding and love.

    HUgs, Daylily

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