Sunday, October 13, 2013

God Loves Who We Really Are

God weeps over us when shame and self-hatred immobilize us. Yet as soon as we lose our nerve about ourselves, we take cover. Adam and Eve hid, and we all, in one way or another, have used them as role models. Why? Because we do not like what we see. It is uncomfortable— intolerable— to confront our true selves. Simon Tugwell, in his book The Beatitudes, explains: And so, like runaway slaves, we either flee our own reality or manufacture a false self which is mostly admirable, mildly prepossessing, and superficially happy. We hide what we know or feel ourselves to be (which we assume to be unacceptable and unlovable) behind some kind of appearance which we hope will be more pleasing. 


We hide behind  pretty faces which we put on for the benefit of our public. And in time we may even come to forget that we are hiding, and think that our assumed pretty face is what we really look like. But God loves who we really are— whether we like it or not. God calls us, as He did Adam, to come out of hiding. No amount of spiritual makeup can render us more presentable to Him.

~ Brennan Manning Abba’s Child: The Cry of the Heart for Intimate Belonging

4 comments:

  1. "No amount of spiritual makeup can render us more presentable to Him."

    Ain't that the truth!

    Thankfully, when we "who were baptized, have put on Christ." (Gal.4:4)

    Makeup won't do it. But to be covered in the pure white garment of Christ will do it. He has promised us so.

    Thanks, Lori!

    Another great post. I just discovered your blog and I'm already finding diamonds all over the place!

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by and for your encouraging words!
      Blessings friend,

      Lori

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  2. Lori, I am the great pretender. I have worn a mask for so long, and to remove it feels like it would surely be the death of me! I come from a history of child abuse. Sexual, mental, emotional, I was not wanted, and was never good enough. I was not raised in church, but was exposed to God by a hell fire pentecostal aunt. I grew up believing God was Scary, and at 21 I got saved because my aunt told me that God was going to put me in hell. My salvation was short lived. I was in a marriage that was an escape from home for me. I married at 18, and the mab I married was violent. I wanted to fix him thinking that he would change for me. I grew up being told that I was garbage. I knew that I had no value, so I chose a husband that believed that as well. I tried to follow God, I wanted to be "good!" I had never been taught grace, only wrath. I walked away, feeling that I could not be like the people I saw at church. I ended up living a life that I am ashamed of. I was going out to clubs, I committed adultery, I luved like a rebel.I left my husband, and eventually remarried. I felt God stirring in my heart, I started opening myself up to him, I needed him to show me my wrongs, my sins. I have been in great torment, because he has allowed me to see the wickedness of my own heart. It has been almost unbearable! For two years, I have been stuck. Stuck because I do not know how God could love someone like me! I see the truth about my condition, and it is paralyzing me. I want to change the junk in my heart. I want to be what God wants me to be. I want to be accepted. I feel powerless to change my heart. I wonder if I am a reprobate? Have I went to far? I want to be a good person, but I know me, I know that I have lots of ugliness inside. I can handle the childhood trauma (I have ptsd), I can handle the wrongs against me, I can't handle the things I have done to hurt others. My sharp words, my attitudes. I live in constant guilt, and condemnation. I have been taught to fear God, and now I can't even read his word, because I see things that terrify me. When I went back to my vomit did that seal my fate? I need prayer, I need my father God to never leave. I struggle with abandonment issues, people always left, will he? Has he? Please forgive my long post, but I am desperate.

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    1. Oh Anon, this breaks my heart. No need to apologize for the long post, I love hearing about you and your struggles are real so no need to pretend they are not. I hope that you have or can find a good counselor who is willing to listen and give you truth. I will close with a couple of resources you may find helpful.

      What I want you to know first and foremost is this - We can never outdistance God. His pace is far greater :) That is a huge relief for folks like us who doubt and question. God's word should terrify - the lost. But those who by grace received faith, it is an assurance from beginning to end. It is an affirmation of God's great love for you that never changes, never leaves and is always coming for you. We can never hold on to God and his amazing grace. But that's just what grace is - he is holding on to us! No matter where you've been, what you've done or said, it does not change one thing about God's grace and mercy. It is exactly for sinners - all of us - that he came into this world. He came to save sinners. You, me and the whole sorry bunch of us! I struggle to believe as well. I struggle to know it's true. But I am coming to know that everyone does at one time or another. We are human. You already are what God wants you to be - his. Here is the good news. You feel powerless? Good! Trust that Christ is powerful for you. You feel guilty? Trust that your guilty stains are gone. You feel condemned? "For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him." John 3:17 All the wrath and all the guilt and all the condemnation was poured out on Jesus at the cross. There is nothing left for you and for me. It is finished - truly. Read my new post on failure. Then, check out Justin Holcomb's resources on abuse and domestic violence. You will find gospel rich stuff that may be of help to you.

      I am so sorry for your struggle. The last thing I want to do is minimize your pain. It is real and for that my heart breaks for you. Rest is God's great love for you. There is nothing more you have to do.

      peace,
      Lori

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