I was restless in my heart and tense in my body for the past few days. I would cry- wondering if sadness, anger, shame or fear was at the bottom of my unnamed or misplaced emotion. I am learning more and more about accurately identifying my feelings.
Yesterday I got a text message that on any other day would’ve made me laugh and shake my head. But for some reason the words, the perceived tone, and the sarcasm made me want to punch a wall. It poked fun at an area I was clearly delinquent in. An area I never signed up to want to be successful in the first place. But here was a text message- making me feel like a failure in a very silly, unimportant space in my life.
And I fumed over it.
Huh. Interesting reaction to something that very much doesn’t matter.
Then after another before-school, crazy-brain morning, feeling (again) like I failed my kids in the rush of morning insanity, I put the two little ones down for naps and thought to myself, “I think I’m trying to be God.”
Immediately I fell to my knees and cried, confessing and asking for forgiveness for my pride. My deep desire to want to hold my world, my kids’ worlds and the whole world together became crystal clear.
I think it’s up to me most days. A husband who travels during the week has quietly convinced me that the health, safety, order and happiness of our household is up to me and me alone. And it’s not only a lie, it’s pride.
What’s crazy about confession is this: it’s the path to freedom, not the path to shame or low self esteem. Facing up my pride and asking the Father for forgiveness actually put me in my proper place; the one who depends on the vine. A branch. Unable to produce anything good if left to my own power or devices.
Hearing about my tears this morning may have you feeling sorry for me, or wanting to convince me that I’m actually doing a great job. It might stir in you a desire to give me a pep talk, to tell me how strong I am, how able, how God has called me to this so he will equip me for it.
All of those statements mean well and are good, half-truths.
But I’m here to declare this morning that what I need even more than a pep talk, even more than encouragement is to be desperate. Desperate for my God. To be low so he can be high, to be out of strength so he can be my power. I need to be a humble servant who looks to her King as the one who will guide, correct and handle. All of it.
Bonus: Confessing pride has left me with a strange unfamiliar feeling…
Try it sometime. Admit where you’re trying to be God. Admit where you are white-knuckling for control. Admit where you believe it’s on you to hold the world together. Admit where you are convinced you know best. Admit where you might be expecting someone else to be God in your life.
All of it is pride. And it’s okay. I’ve got a ton of it. Once befriended, pride can stop lurking around our hearts and heads like a silent assassin. Instead, pride gets to lay down. Again and again. So we can see clearly into the eyes of the God who is in fact in control, handling it all and knows more than we could ever know.
Pride comes before the fall. If it feels like you’re about to stumble, or you are already on your way down, take a cue from my body today. Beat pride to the punch. Fall yourself. To your knees. In confession. Asking the Lord to forgive, restore and free you up.
He’s so good at it and so glad to do it.