And Never Expected To Be

Photo by Banter Snaps on Unsplash

Day // 18 // of a 30 day personal publishing challenge on identity in Christ

It’s been one of those days. A day when no matter what I do, or have already done, or could slap onto my schedule to be done…it’s never enough.

That feeling is back, of running. Always running late, or behind, or tired, or slower than I feel I “ought” to be.

The list in my head drones on, a mixture of self-pity, exaggerated viewpoints, and true pain.

I say ‘thank you’ often — and it never seems enough, or to the right people.

I clean and tidy and decorate my home —because I like it that way — yet it seems to be a mountain that has no top.

I parent hard, and occasionally do it well — yet I won’t know for twenty years if any single one of the million-and-a-half difficult choices has a happy ending.

I open my home multiple times a week to many different groups of people — and I seem to usually be an afterthought on invitation lists. (“Oh, you heard about that? Oh. Well — you can totally come, if you want to…”)

I want to write a bereavement message to a friend — but I struggle to connect with people who are far away, and haven’t kept in contact prior to this.

I write on the daily, send emails, post to social, do “all the things” — and yet even the few hours I squeeze out of my day to work this writing life result in comparative invisibility in an over-saturated market. I don’t have the energy to pivot, nor the time to figure it out.

Et cetera.

And in the middle of it all, the weeping and the whining, the sneaking shadow of guilt tries to creep in.

You’re literally writing every single day about your identity in Christ, and how you’re free, and look how you’re not. You’re an impostor, that’s what you are. Everything is deep and meaningful and “freeing" until you actually bump up against circumstances that aren’t going your way. Then you prove it’s just wishful thinking. You are never going to win.”

A few years ago, I’d have believed this voice.

But…isn’t the fact that I am remembering the truth —that I am free, despite all the feelings, the mixed emotions, and the struggle —actually the point?

That has to count for something.

I believe it does.

I may have to fight to feel it, all my life.

But in the end, I think it’s a battle worth fighting.

To believe, even when beaten down by expectations, disappointment, neglect, or weariness, is the very essence of faith.

To believe, when there is nothing that can be seen, is what makes the unseen believable.

Therefore we do not give up. Even though our outer person is being destroyed, our inner person is being renewed day by day. For our momentary light affliction is producing for us an absolutely incomparable eternal weight of glory. So we do not focus on what is seen,but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

II Corinthians 4:16–18

Is it hard to do that? Um, yeah, it’s hard.

And some days, if I’m totally honest and transparent, I. don’t. care. I just don’t.

The good news?

I don’t have to.

That is what Christ in me is all about — my failures, my weakness, my inability, and my limitations are replaced by his triumph, his strength, his ability, and his competence. I don’t even have to want to do the right thing. Sometimes, that’s way beyond my power.

I can simply rest in the truth that he can be what I can’t be, or don’t know how to be, or even won’t be.

Now, recognizing that’ll usually make me want to care. But — if not, he’s got it. He can handle it.

He will take up the slack. He finishes what I can’t even start. I don’t need to give way to guilt and hopelessness, because he is my freedom and hope.

He is in me. He is for me. Because of this, I cannot lose.

When I am besieged by the demons of Never Enough, I can recognize it for what it is: an opportunity to turn to my Always Enough.

I can see it as a signal to slow down…halt the hustle…silence the stress. All the things-that-I’m-not are simply because either I don’t need to be, or I am not yet.

I am complete in Christ. I am whole. I am free.

Remembering and embracing it is my way out.

Inviting pew-weary Jesus people to embrace + experience their truest identity as beloved through subversive spiritual disciplines. Hope*Writer. Creative mentor.

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