Being vulnerable isn't easy. On Monday, I felt led by God to be a little bit vulnerable with some people...some people I'm not usually all that vulnerable with. Pouring my heart out is sometimes a struggle for me, but Monday it turned out well. It was an unbelievably freeing experience. In listening to and heeding God's direction and leading, I realized some things about myself that I hadn't up until that point been willing to admit even to myself. Once I said those things out loud, I felt an overwhelming sense of freedom. And today I choose to still be free. Oftentimes when we experience the true freedom that God wants for us, it is our tendancy to want pick up again those very same things that held us hostage. Not me. Not today.
I have been struggling a great deal with feelings of inadequacy, particularly as it pertains to my intellect. I lack confidence in my own original thoughts, and am afraid to speak them, especially when it comes to spiritual things. I've been feeling out of place lately-- I can't even articulate how. Just all over, I guess. At work, I'm the only one on staff who didn't graduate from Asbury College. I'm not the child of a pastor, nor do I know all of the UM people in Kentucky. At school, it seems like I'm the only person I know who didn't take Greek in undergrad (perhaps a slight exaggeration). I'm pretty sure I'm the only person at school who didn't know what the word "exegesis" meant until AFTER I had already been here a semester. I'm not from Kentucky or Indiana. I'm from Texas, which around here makes some people roll their eyes in a sort of "Oh, you're one of those..." kind of way (Okay, we ARE obnoxious! I don't entirely blame them!).
In short, I have been playing this ridiculous game of comparing myself to others. I take note of the ways I am different and have somehow looked at those things as though they were bad.
In this constant, ridiculous comparison game, I have not remembered what I know is true: that God created me uniquely and with beautiful purpose. I have allowed myself to become harsh and judgmental and jealous and angry, and full of resentment. I have not extended forgiveness to others. These are all things that I have chosen for myself and I am the only one that can accept responsibility for it. It takes a lot of energy to carry all of that around, people. I have felt very ugly.
I had forgotten, I think, that God knows me by name. On Monday I was reminded of that very fact, through the encouragement of the others that sat in that room with me when I obediently shared my struggles with them.
So, my friends. That's where I've been, but not where I will stay.
I am grateful for this freedom.