I know the feeling, and it’s absolute torture.
I grew up in a very religious environment: going to church every Sunday, going to a Catholic school, singing in a church choir, memorizing all prayers. While all those were good and gave me a very solid training on discipline, the part of obedience though was motivated by fear.
When I was a kid my image of God was kind of like a punisher or even a dementor (if you’re a harry potter fan you’d fear this creature). So whenever I sinned, I felt so much guilt that I try o make up for it by accomplishing more, doing more, that I became almost like the perfect kid out there who’s got it all. But, who was I kidding right?
Inside I was broken. I hated myself and I envied everybody else who to me were close enough to be saints. I feared God and his wrath so much that the scared me would either run away or crawl down a very deep pit of self-condemnation. Believe me, the place that I end up with was dark and lonely, even if that place only existed in my mind.
It wasn’t until my late twenties that the dark clouds in my horizon actually cleared. It’s like suffering from a cataract fro the longest time and finally able to see the world with its vibrant colors and distinct shapes. and yes, it was beautiful, as it is today.
Now, the God I know is tender- hearted, forgiving, gracious and merciful. I want to say He fixed me but that would be an understatement. He loved me and He loves me still. That’s all He did and still does. When you have Someone like that, your response is no longer hiding and running away. It’s showing up and running towards. After all, who doesn’t want love or desperately need one?
It’s not anymore about what I think I deserve but what I’ve been freely given. When I shifted my focus to this indispensable truth, I began to realize how my desire for worth was misplaced all these years. I hungered for the world’s recognition and applause when God was filling me with so much more and all this time I took it for granted. Tell me about shortsightedness.
Of course, I still have my cracks and all, but it’s in these cracks where His love seeps through. God can never fill your cup when it’s already full. So choose to stay in need of Him.
Last week I saw a video of a woman climbing a very large and tall tree. Reaching the top she muttered, “The world is very huge and we’re just but a tiny speck”. When you’re up there the tiny ones underneath becomes barely noticeable. And when you come down everything and everyone one again becomes large.
Perspective. When it changes, your attitude change and your take on the overall picture change. But to the One who made it all, you’re the same child He first breathed life into as the person that He’s looking at now. And it doesn’t really matter what you get to accomplish or achieve in this life, it’s how much love you put into it, and how much of that love was for Him.