Friday, May 16, 2008

I Don't Measure Up, but He Loves me Anyway

I love to read other Christian women's blogs. Well, for the most part I do. Sometimes I get a bit intimidated. It doesn't take long to get the feeling that other women are quite a lot better qualified than I am in how they do the whole thing: how they live out their faith, how they write, how they pray, how they remember Bible stories and relate them to their lives. If I read them and then turn to examine my own ways, I can easily see the many ways that I come up wanting. My housekeeping. My application of Scripture. My attitudes. My ability to be the friend some of my friends need. Lots of things! I do fall short. Reading them this morning made me look at things this way. I have to stop and do something else.
(A parenthetical note to my readers, if I ever have that effect on you, please dismiss it. All you have to do is come here and check around a corner or two and you'll see a way I fall short! We must remember how it might be easy to present one image online, whatever it is, and have the living reality be quite different.)
Comparing myself with others can even make me wonder why God chose me, why He would bother to redeem such a woman who doesn't make her home the really humming haven that some women manage to keep, who has more frailties than you can shake a stick at...I shake my head in wonder. And I realize that we all have our strengths and weaknesses. On a happy morning, I can read them and rejoice in the strengths of these women; this morning, though, I see those strengths and contrast them with what I am. I think my feelings of inadequacy are all the more accentuated this morning, because in three friendships yesterday I was brought to doubt my own methods...though I realize it's not about me, but various unrelated circumstances caused me to wonder how well I'm doing at being a friend to others, or even (and I rarely do this) how they perceive me and whether choices I've made measure up to their standards. Whether I'm the friend I should be might be one worth examining, but I realize the choices I have made are not between me and them but between me and God. Still, I cringe a little...
I get up from the computer to get a cup of coffee (from my messy kitchen) and look out the window. I get a lump in my throat, because looking out the back, I see dew on the grass, a clear blue sky edged in pink, and a mist that makes the park behind us just beautiful. God did that. Only God could have done it. If I open the sliding glass door, I can also hear all the various sweet calls of the birds that I heard when I was waking up this morning. Only God could provide that as well. I think He showed all of it off to me to encourage me, to show me that He loves me even when my house is a mess. He's showing off the beauty of His creation, and here's something that encourages me: I know that if I walk through that same park, there are messes in every blackberry bush and, it would appear, some disorder even in His very orderly and beautiful creation--His creation is perfect, if a little messy in appearance. The overall view is stunning, and I am thankful that He showed it to me.
Maybe it sounds a bit trivial, but it was enough for me. He loves me. I don't know why, but He does.


Paulette and Jack said...

That was remarkable. I've tried this blogging thing for over a month now, but find most sites a bit surface. It is like everyone has an exceptionally wonderful life wrapped in a pink bow with just the little problems in life. As one of my non-blogging friends said, "you can be someone or represent yourself as someone you are not on-line." She is a counselor with a Masters and thinks it can - not that it always is - be dangerous to live only in Cyberworld. It is not that I'm pessimistic; I'm very thankful for God's grace and mercy in my life. Computers and blogs can have powerful benefits and be used by God just as easily as they can be a tool to live a fake on-line life. Tonight for the fun of it I was surfing around and your testimony caught my attention and drew me in. I actually read your post all the way through and started the next. Your honesty is refreshing!!!! Your vulnerability is real and made me say AMEN out loud. I've been a Christian since I was a child and am totally, completely overwhelmed by His goodness. But I've been a questioner and one who had to be honest with herself even if it was a bit frightening. Your authenticity as well as that can be known on-line :) was appreciated. Thanks for your post today. God bless you!!

NeverAlone said...

Praise God for any encouragement it gave you, and for that which you gave me. Your kind comment made all the blogs I've ever written worthwhile and brought tears to my eyes! I rarely get comments and I love hearing from readers. Funny, this wouldn't have been one I would have expected to draw any reaction. God is great, isn't He!

Paulette and Jack said...

Came back to see what else you'd written and see if my spelling and grammar were too horrific : ). I noticed your return comment. Happy to hear that it touched you. God knows which ones though, right. BTW, I'm Paulette, my husband doesn't really even know where the power button is on the computer but I like to include him : ). I've just completed reading all the posts displayed on your page! Wow - you have some great thoughts to share. I've added a bookmark to your blog. I've only added one other. I'll have to stop by for some real encouragement from the Word. I guess that's what I like all the Scripture. And the depth. But pretend like I'm not reading - just keep on like you've been. Once again, God bless. Oh and just wondered - is Gary a Christian now too? Lord willing yes : ).