I am nobody. Have you ever thought that?? I am nobody. Her hair is prettier than mine. His car is nicer than mine. She is a better singer/writer/cook/Mom (insert anything) than I am. He is stronger and better with tools than I am. I must be nobody.
I just read a blog post that made me feel that way. A lovely gal with a heart for God writes a blog that humbles me, and try though I may, every time I read her posts I feel less than great about myself. Why is that?? In this instance, I know full well that I am not the author of a completely shabby blog; in fact, I know many of you really like this blog, and while I may not yet have the following that she does, I know am doing what I believe God wants me to do. I know that full well. In my head...I know it. Soooooo, why, oh why, is that prowling lion gaining any access to me? Why, oh why, must he torment me with my full permission?
This feels like a true confessions night, so here goes. One of my biggest downfalls, for my entire life long, is that I habitually compare myself to others. I have been doing it since I can remember. I measure myself against others, no matter who they may be, and I inevitably end up with a perception of my self-worth that based on that comparison. Every so often, I come out on top. Sometimes it is a wash. Most of the time, however, I lose. It is a habit ingrained in me, and try though I may, I have yet to shake it. It hate it that I do it, but day in and day out, I am a comparer. There, I said it.
Have you ever had an area of your life that you know God is forcing you to face? An area that God is not too pleased with, one that He wants you to correct or surrender to Him, one that fails to glorify Him? Have you ever been keenly aware that a pleasure, or a habit, or quality of your personality, or a worry, or heartache, or a hurt, is unexpectedly and repeatedly thrust in front of you eyes? Like God is holding your face in front of a mirror and making sure you look really long at it so that you will notice with Him that which He wants you to notice? Little reminders will come your way through comments from others, songs on the radio, sermons in church, scriptures you stumble upon, conversations with relatives, or plain old-fashioned "conviction in your spirit". Little reminders will blare in front of your mind's eye, reminders that force you to face who you really are and what you are really made of. It can be an annoying phenomenon to experience, to say the least, or a tortuous affair, depending on how hard God is working on your, ahem, shortcoming.
Years and years ago, the first time I recall experiencing this sort of "reconstruction", it was with regard to my sexual sin...and we got that one out of the way, PRAISE HIM. The next one I recall was alcohol consumption....and I have not been drunk in 7 1/2 years, nor shall I be again. Reconstructed. After He had me straight and self-controlled, God took issue with my white lies, also known as stretching the truth. I was never good at calculated, big, sordid lies, just the "little" ones that made me look better or got me out of an embarrassment. However, God does not like those any more than the "big" ones, and He made sure I knew it. Reconstructed. After lying it was self-righteousness. Apparently, the clean, straight, honest me thought that she had God all figured out, and that no one else did. HAH! God does not like self-righteousness. Reconstructed.
And now we are to present day, the summer of 2010. I am now confidently convinced that I our Lord is answering my earnest prayers for wisdom, by giving me some mega-dosing of humility, while at the same time forcing me to examine my past for the reasons I am a habitual comparer. He wants me to stop comparing myself to others and and undergo a humbling process, at the same time. In His power and might, God knows that I am, at every given moment of every day of my life, a wild blend of arrogance and complete insecurity. And He is now forcing me to face them both, at the same time. Their roots, their strongholds, their presence in my daily life...under scrutiny and in front of my face. In my mirror. At the same time. He got started with the humility piece some time ago, brought it to a full boil this summer, and has now thrown in the comparing piece. It is a strange and painful combination.
However, He who began a good work in me will be faithful to complete it, and I know that nothing I walk through with Him will go unwasted. As painful as the humblings are, as torn apart as I may feel when I have to face past hurts, and as broken as I may feel while my arrogance is stripped and my insecurities are patched, God will never leave me nor forsake me, and nothing will be able to separate me from His love. On the backside of this process, I will emerge from the refiner's fire reconstructed yet again, bearing just a little more of His reflection on my face, and made just a little more useful for His kingdom. The one who has promised is faithful, and He will do it!
To Him be all the glory.
When I sat down to blog tonight, I fully intended on talking about "God's bird-eye view". I had it all thought out. And now here we are instead, at the end of "true confessions with Shelly". He is a tricky one, that Lord of ours. I pray someone out there was reaffirmed by my honesty, because I sure had not intended on sharing it, but I have to believe that God wanted me to. May He bless you all.