I am sometimes wrecked by my unbelief. “Lord I believe. Help my unbelief.” scripture says Mark 9:24. I am coming to see.
Must I always put on habits? It seems that I must choose daily, sometimes moment to moment. I have to wear my belief like an new sweater or twist the rubber band on my wrist to remind myself of what I want, what I know, what I need. I am so full of need, so empty.
Like the havoc of the wind, I am wrecked by my unbelief. The slang definition of the word wrecked is to be drunk or intoxicated. I have always gotten high on all the wrong things – shopping, my own panic, books and other “things”, easily addicted even to the lack in my core, in my soul. I am even hooked on my own sadness. In this I know what I need. As I come to depend on all these highs that I choose for myself – my inner core isn’t worthy of my own trust.
Have I always been a vessel in ruin? Shipwrecked. Does that mean that I cannot be trusted? That is what some believe and say that 1 Peter 3:7 means : that women cannot trust themselves. That man cannot trust woman who are the weaker vessel. What does that mean? Others say that “Both Peter and Paul wrote about mutual, reciprocal submission in Christian relationships.” If I believe I cannot be trusted, I’ll never learn to trust myself. I’ll never trust anyone. Can I then learn to trust God?
Growing up in the narcissistic family that I did, it is no wonder I do not trust myself. Everyone in my family fluttered around one person, my father. We existed to ensure his happiness and help him succeed at all costs. The costs were many. The price was high. All my life I was told what to do by him. I learned to always seek my father’s approval. He was my universe. What do you become when your “god” is cruel, selfish and destructive? You cower. You play the supporting role. Never learn how to live your own. Did he really become my god? I don’t believe that is what he really wanted. How did it happen?
I’ve been physically “free” of my father for eight years. I am only learning how to breathe on my own. Jesus is reshaping my view of the world and myself. I am starting to see that I may be wrecked, like a ship cast to pieces against the shore and torn to pieces, but I did not create the storm. And I am slowly being healed by the Jesus who healed, he healed women as much as men. He empowers me. He trusts me. He is teaching me.
I have been fighting him, Jesus, and God, the Father. As I fight, I am wounded like Jacob who wrestled with God and I am afraid.
I am afraid of my life. I have been fighting and demanding.
I read and wonder if it is true:
“The Lord has to break us down at the strongest place of ourselves before he can have his own way of blessing with us. “ (James H. McConkey, Life Talks)
As I have healed, I have slowly demanded a purpose for myself, a big dream, a significant place to contribute, and God has been quiet. At least it seems to be so.
“This is the work (service) that God asks of you: that you believe in the one whom he has sent. ” That means cling to Jesus, trust Jesus, rely on Jesus, and have faith in Jesus.
“God created the world out of nothing. As long as we are nothing, He can make something out of us.” [Martin Luther]
I cannot lose this ever present need and instead of making me feel strong, it shames me. I feel my lack of belief, my frequent anger and pain, absence of joy or gratitude; I feel powerfully this emaciated, hollow life. Is this what I am known for? I pray not. I pray that I can surrender, even now. Even today give up every part of me, the resilient and the faint fragments , to him.
I tell myself I do not fear my own flaws. But I fear that it will be used against me to prove that women are weak. I fear my own power too.
Jesus says, “Lay it all down.” Let it all go again. As I am developing the habit of abundance, I doubt that have never responded like Mary did. “Let this happen,” she said, when told that she would mother the king of kings (Luke 1:38)
Whatever it is, “this life” for I do not know what it is yet. For I cannot even imagine. I am learning to respond.
Let this happen.
P.S. I am inspired by reading Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts.