During a particular procession session of life, I was thinking about a woman that I went to college with. We didn’t really know each other, but I went to a small college so everyone kind of knew about everyone else. I confess, I’ve been known to lurk on her Facebook page from time to time. She writes a blog that is extraordinarily insightful. She’s a published author. She advocates for the lost and overlooked. She beams the love of Jesus. She tells honest and beautiful stories about the everyday. She has a seemingly fairytale-but-still-real kind of marriage. She travels as a speaker for businesses and ministry events. She has a beautiful family. She throws great parties. She is quirky and creative. And I got to thinking…
How does that all fit into one life? How do you have all that energy and passion to do such amazing things; to be so amazing? How can you cram so much beauty and grace into one person? And then I actually said these words out loud to the mirror,
“I’m fighting for my life just to keep the ugliness inside.”
Cue the big, hot, wet tears.
I was surprised that the words came out. I even covered my mouth. Do I really believe that about myself? That most of my energy goes toward just keeping my own junk together?
When I lose my temper with my kids. When I comfort myself with that chocolate chip cookie. When I run out of kind words for my husband. When I let my friends down. It seems like a full time job just managing myself. And then what’s left over? Enough to really love my kids well? To be a better wife? To do something truly great? To be creative? To serve, and share and give?
I’m so daily confronted with my own shortcomings, it can be overwhelming. But I know it isn’t true. This isn’t all there is to me. I am not just a collection of all of my flaws. Sometimes I feel like Peter when he walked on water (Matthew 14:22-33). I step out of the boat, eyes fixed on Jesus. Confident, knowing that He’s got me. Sure of everything—because it’s just me and Him. He gives me strength, even courage. I’m kind of a badass over here, walking on water. With each step forward, I trust in who Jesus is, and I know who I am. Then the waves rise up. Waves of doubt. Waves that question my value. Waves that speak ugly half-truths about me. Waves that mock me for feeling so confident. Sometimes it feels like those waves win.
But here's the thing-- they don’t.
Just like Peter, I am not alone on the water. I cry out, just as he did, “LORD SAVE ME!” Save me from these lies. Save me from being pulled under by a current that draws me away from you. Lord, save me. Jesus doesn’t struggle to pull Peter out of the water. He doesn’t throw him a line and hope Peter can grab it. Jesus reaches down with his hands and snatches Peter out of the water. Peter doesn’t see the waves anymore. He is face to face with his Savior, in the arms of his Redeemer.
Friends, I want to live in that place! Eye-to-eye with Jesus. Entirely dependent. Grateful and amazed by God’s mercy and strength. Because isn't that what God has done for me? Reached down into this dark world and grabbed me with his own hands? He scooped me up and spoke truth into my heart: You are mine. I am with you. When the old lies bubble up to the surface and I find myself getting swept under the water, "Lord, save me."