Last night, I lay in bed, completely awash in anxiety and guilt and fear. It stalked me relentlessly, until I finally gave way, until my proud neck finally bent– and I laid it all out before God in prayer.
Prayer is a bit too tidy a word for the blubbering, incoherent, desperate break-down of the early morning hours. It’s amazing how wrenched your soul can be, when on the outside, only a few tears escape. How complete a camouflage these exterior shells can accomplish! But God knows the inner turmoil, He sees the anguish, the need, and He has an answer.
I had a very clear, absolute response from Him last night.
I have mentioned before, that I have guilt issues. I feel guilty over everything, and I’m so utterly sick of it. It’s like carrying around a million pounds of chain, shackling and pulling on me, weighing me down, imprisoning me. It is particularly heavy in terms of motherhood– I am plagued by guilt over my impatience and flaws as a mother. I am so afraid that I am doing it all wrong, that I am ruining them. At the end of the day, I lay in bed, and wonder how much I’ve messed them up. I think of all I didn’t do that I needed to, or what I DID do, that I shouldn’t have. I fall asleep, and often the last thought in my mind, is that here’s another day I failed.
That’s really awful, isn’t it? I know it shouldn’t be that way. But I can’t seem to stop it. Even when I do well, even if we have a good day, I have a hard time not seeing some way in which I’ve let them down.
Well, I hate it. I’m sick to death of it. And last night, I just couldn’t even put it into words, but I just dragged it out in front of God, and begged Him to take it from me. To burn away all the false guilt, the inaccurate perspectives and PRIDE (because isn’t perfectionism, in some way, denial and arrogance on our parts?)– and leave behind only the good and edifying urgings of the Holy Spirit. To take away the thoughts that discourage- leaving me with the ones that uplift and motivate…
And as the guilt came into clearer focus, what was real and what is not… I am left with still, a broken state. With false guilt melting away, then I can see what is truly, honestly in need of change. I see it, and with clarity comes grief. I cried out at my ineptitude, at my inadequacies. I asked Him, aren’t You disappointed? Don’t You regret entrusting me with these things? You’re working with faulty material- how can you make anything GOOD of this?? I am defective.
And it is here, where my one-sided conversation became Divinely two-sided.
But I am sufficient, He responded.
He whispered it over and over– I am God, and I am sufficient. To every self-deprecating remark, to every utterance of my failures and shortcomings, He said simply, I am sufficient. It doesn’t matter what is wrong with you… because everything is right with Me.
I laid there, with my swiss-cheese soul, with the gaping holes and voids, the bottomless pits of my imperfections… and His words rushed in to fill every one of them. His sufficiency made me whole.
He poured out over me, and into me, finding all the hidden vacuums in my life, and said I AM HERE.
How small my mortal words.
I slept, finally. I slept as a child, under the watchful eye of Someone Bigger, Someone Stronger, Someone who will never leave me or forsake me.
So today, when I see the deficiencies in my life, when I gaze into the countless hollows of my humanity– I will see HIM, working, stabilizing, upholding… I will see His strength in my weakness.
And I will know I am not alone.