“I am a woman on a journey of learning how to make sure my reactions don’t deny Christ’s presence in me. I am a woman who says yes to God not because my reactions and emotions are always perfect. No, I say yes to God because He is perfectly able to forgive me, love me, remind me, challenge me, and show me how to weather trials in ways that prove His spirit resides in me. I remind myself often that people don’t care to meet my Jesus until they meet the reality of Jesus in my life”–What Happens When Women Say Yes to God, Lysa TerKeust, page 54.
When thinking of the topics for this week, I felt drawn to the Wholly Committed topic, as it’s something I’ve been feeling God whispering to me now for quite a while. Honestly, to tell the truth, He’s been whispering it so long to me I’m surprised He’s not yelling it at me louder and louder, trying to get my attention!
As a perfectionist and Type-A personality, I struggle so often with the idea of needing to listen to God and follow what He’s telling me perfectly. It’s something I’ve blogged about several times and something that I feel like I put undo pressure on myself with. Yes, I know that God loves me perfectly, just the way I am. I know that God created me to be just the way I am, that He knows my every move, my every thought, my every reaction before I do any of the above. And I know just like any parent of a child feels, there are times those actions must make Him proud and other times He must surely be disappointed in me.
When I know I should show patience, but I get irritated at having to explain the same thing to the same person over and over and over.
When I know I should be kind with my words, but instead speak in anger and with a sharp tone to my voice, especially to those I should love the most.
When I know should be showing love and affection for those I’m closest to, yet instead stew on something that happened ages ago–and make sure that person KNOWS exactly how I’m feeling.
I know when I act this way, I am not showing anyone how Christ is truly living through me. When I engage in any of these actions I know that I am failing God and that causes that perfectionist in me to go through that guilt cycle. I feel badly, that people know I’m doing these Bible studies, they know I’m strengthening my faith, and instead of seeing God living through me, they must think I must not be learning anything. I know I am not setting a good example for anyone in my life, especially the two people I long to be the best example for.
The first is my husband, John. Until starting these studies, I had never heard the term “unequally yoked”, but that is exactly the type of marriage I have. When we first got married, neither of us was very religious or showed outwardly (or probably even inwardly). As we started to talk about having kids, I started to feel the pull of going back to Church, especially the Church I had grown up in. John has not felt that pull and honestly, when we talk, I’m not totally sure how much of a believer he really is. I long to show him the Jesus that I know and the best way to do that is to act like Jesus is really living in me. But when I allow myself to show my anger and frustration at him, and act in a not-so-loving way, I am certainly not showing him what Jesus is doing for me.
The second person is my son, Luke. John and I have sent him to Catholic school since preschool and he will be entering the 5th grade in just a couple of short weeks. I know he’s getting a great Catholic education there, that there are many things he is learning that he would not be getting at the public schools, which I love. But I long to place more importance on Jesus in our home life. Yes, we do the bedtime prayers and we talk about things as topics will come up, but there is so much more I could be doing to show Luke how important Jesus is and should be in our lives.
No one, especially these two very important people, will come to know and love Jesus through me if I’m not truly “walking the walk”. I can say how important these things are until I’m blue in the face, but if my actions aren’t an example of my words, it won’t make any difference. And the best way I can do that is to be wholly committed, to listen to these things that God has been whispering to my heart and following through, to be wholly committed and answering with a resounding “Yes, God.”