It’s ironic that I love authenticity as much as I do. I cringe at superficial, surface-level conversation and things. However, once authenticity requires me to lay my junk on the table I start cursing it. This whole authenticity issue is showing itself as I try to make new friends and let them know me. I’m still trying to figure ‘me’ out.
This picture just gets me right now. I’m finding that this season– or maybe this isn’t a season at all– is filled with the stripping back of the proverbial paint back and revealing what’s really beneath the surface. How’s that for a ‘get to know you over coffee date’? Contrary to my attitude and emotional stability, this is not a bad thing, and it’s not a scary thing, either. I’m coming to find that there is a good deal of good and beauty found in, what I would consider, disaster. 2 Corinthians 12:9 says, “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
I mean, does it get any more counterintuitive than that? I find myself wondering if I can negotiate with God to score me a more flattering or trendy weakness. Something a little less hot-messy would be great. I don’t think it works like that though. As the veneer paint is being stripped off of me, my soul is being laid bare before the Lord, husBen, and myself. Ironically enough, I seem to be the one having the hardest time accepting it. I’m exposed. And it ain’t pretty. I’m not even getting into how this plays into trying to make new friends today. This is just a springboard into what’s he’s showing me as the paint gets peeled away.
So, this is nothing extravagant, just a simple prayer in response to a passage I’ve read before. It says:
“But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.”
That passage is not me. Not by a long shot. I don’t consider you and knowing you of surpassing worth. I say that I value you above all else, but my time and money and thoughts all reflect that I worship coffee drinks and fashion bloggers. Cognitively, I know that your glorious exchange of your righteousness for my junk means that I do not have to build my own empire of goodness to make me right before you. I wonder, though, if I even would. I can’t help but question whether or not I am as concerned with pleasing you as I am with being pleased with myself. I’m finding that so much of what I do is me striving to accept myself and feel that I have done good or am good. Ew. To make it worse, when I read about ‘knowing you, and the power of your resurrection’, I am all about it, sign a sister up. But when I see the ‘sharing in your sufferings, becoming like you in your death’ part, I want to skip over that part. As you strip away the paint in my life, it seems that you’re revealing that I want to worship a version of you that is convenient for me. I want to stay comfortable and fit you into my schedule. I call you ‘lord’, but I keep fighting to take the reigns. This– I, beneath the paint– is a disaster. You’ve revealed this by toppling over my pillars of familiarity and control. I’m sorry Lord, because I know– though I may not feel– that you are Lord and I am not fit to be on the throne. Please forgive me and change me. I don’t know if I want this right now– so forget about what I want. I know that you are Lord. I know that you are worthy of my undivided everything. But I have no idea where to even start counting you better than all things. My best attempt would lead me to self deprecation and cynicism, and ain’t nobody got time for that. So I need you to change me. I have a hunch that in order to consider you better than everything else, that I know and know well, I would need to know you well. So grant me an accurate view of who you are and an accurate view of all the things I love. May your power be made perfect in this girl’s weakness.