Where the Goodness lives.

Only when we can love ourselves can we overcome our shame of imperfection” (Paul Stewart, 2016). This race of perfectionism is a life committed to the hustle - or constant hedging of protection around oneself and when we give into the hustle, we miss out on the goodness and kindness Christ has to offer.

 

I John 3:20-22 says, “If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. 21 Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God 22 and receive from him anything we ask, because we keep his commands and do what pleases him…”

 

This idea of prayer is relationship. We come into prayer within the confidence of the relationship - believing the One we pray to has our best at heart. But like real relationships, prayer takes time. Am I approaching prayer in this way?

 

Prayer allows God to examine us, and for us to lay it all out and say, “I want you to be the governing presence of my life” ← and there’s trauma to this -- something happens when we draw near to God -- it’s raw and scary. The closer we get to the light, the more exposed we are (Luke 5:8; Isaiah 6:5). So, coming into God’s presence requires reassurance - like what’s offered in I John 3:1, “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” This is the kindness of Christ. It’s there, waiting for us as we step into the harsh light, we are wrapped up in his loving kindness.

 

This love is hard to accept. Sometimes it’s hard to trust. For me, it’s hard to connect what I know in my head to what I believe and trust in my heart. As I go to God with all of this, it feels raw and exposed.

 

Intellect, Knowledge, Proof, and Logic.

 

Somehow-somewhere I learned that to have

These - my emotions

Must die

or

Be separate

and

Sometimes

Hidden

or stuffed.

 

Emotions are

Weak

Uncontrolled

Wild

Unreliable

 

So, how do I live

Whole-heartedly

When the things I believe

About myself

Aren’t connected--

But compartmentalized

Into two?

 

I have to figure out

A way to

merge

The two and

heal

The gaps.

 

I know this has more to do with giving into the flow than doing all the things all alone. If I’m going to re-commune the two to be one, it’s not by pushing one into the other -- but by removing the bars that hold them back.

To do this means  to break my world. It feels unsafe, exposed, and dangerous.

 

But - that’s where the goodness lives. And we can be assured that His kindness will meet us there.

 

                                                                                                                   -Mandy Mahr