You’re probably not going to believe this.
So really, the truth is, I don’t want to believe this.
I joined this Bible study because I needed to get back to God. I don’t know a single person at the study and have never stepped foot in this church. (If you want to catch up on the story. Read this. Then this. And this.)
So, Beth Moore was on the video for Stepping Up, talking about the Psalms as songs and it was so very interesting. She was reading some verses and having us flip to some in our Bibles and we were in Psalms and had to move to Hosea and I flipped right to it because I know where Hosea is and I know the story Hosea tells and just the other day I likened my lifetime-relationship-search for God to Hosea, so yeah, I know right where it is. But the girl next to me didn’t and for a moment, when I saw her go to the table of contents, I started (in my mind) judging her and I have no excuses. I just did. And I thought to myself, you should give her a little grace. There’s no reason you should be thinking this stuff, this is stupid.
Then I hear Beth Moore on the video say, “ALL of us need to turn to the table of contents to see where Hosea is, lest we should get prideful in our hearts because we know where it is and our neighbor doesn’t.”
If the girl who sat next to me at Bible study last night is reading this, I want to apologize. Which makes me a coward, because I totally couldn’t work up the nerve to say it last night. But I am sorry and I don’t want to be like that.
If there was a time when I thought God couldn’t possibly know and react to my every thought–that was washed away completely last night. You skeptics can call that coincidence. I think otherwise, though.
And I feel horrible and really need to change some things. What made it even worse (for me, in my head) is when I got up to leave she said, “Be careful going home, Michelle, it’s snowing pretty bad.” She knew my name and cared enough to wish me well. And here I am, being all mean in my head. For no reason.
Time to make some serious attitude adjustments.
How many times have I heard someone say, “Make a decision for Jesus!”
The statement never felt right. Still doesn’t. I know all about inviting Jesus in my heart, but come on, if He wasn’t after me in the first place, would I bother?
People don’t like to think Jesus knows all the answers. They talk about how maybe we’re just puppets on a string to God. Ok. So what? I’d rather be God’s dummy than anything else I can think of. I’m protected, loved, cherished, and I’m allowed and encouraged to be me. In fact, I was created to be me. I was given gifts, talents, and unique abilities that only I possess.
God did all that for me.
You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. John 15:16
Why yes, it is the name of one of my favorite Jeremy Camp songs. It hits me where it hurts.
Every single word I say, You know it before I speak.
You know every thought, the deepest part of me.
You draw me close and then I see…
Your presence is everything I need
To be the child that You’ve created me to be.
Can I tell you something I don’t often admit? I am needy. I need to start admitting it more. But, wow…this is difficult to talk about. I don’t want to talk about it because it is true. If I tell you I’m needy you’ll see a flaw, a pretty serious one. And to know what people are like and how they judge and abuse knowledge and get all self-righteous, it is scary to admit I have a weakness.
Well of course you already know I have weaknesses and flaws. You may have already found some and are just waiting to see if they show up again. For what? To maybe feel a little better about your flaws? Oh now…wait? Don’t go there? We both have a problem, friend. It’s called pride.
Pride causes me to want to hide things. Like this being needy. I don’t want to admit that I like it when people say something nice about me or about what I write. It feels good. And yes, God did give us the Spirit so that we will encourage our siblings. And we should do that whenever we can. But when I hear praise, I don’t want it to become my reason. I don’t want to write so that my reward becomes the praise. I don’t want to write so that my reward is a blessing. I want to write to bless Him. So as my Father, He will read it, smile and say, “She did listen!”
But I am needy. And I can’t “hear” Him. So He sends a sibling in my life to put an arm around me. A sibling to say, “That’s really good.” And I feel better…for a little while. It seems to be a never ending cycle. Needy writer writes. Feels uncertainty. Must be insane. Who else is like this? Depression. Discouragement God sends approval. Feels good. Yeah…it is good, isn’t it? I should be proud of it, shouldn’t I?
Is this the point at which I’m supposed to pay attention? Did I just take the credit for what God gave me? Did I take credit for writing something? Did I just overlook the fact that God sent someone especially for me, specifically for me? Do I think I’m a better writer than someone else? Do I think I’m more deserving somehow? Is that “self-justification” kicking in? Am I believing that I am better at characterization? Plotting? Dialogue? Craft? And is that other person another writer who is writing for God??? How did I get here?
I’m ready now to see it your way
Lay Down my pride
It would be far better for me to acknowledge on a constant basis that I am nothing without that which He gives. Better for me to admit I’m needy. Because He already told me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness” and I ignored Him.
Ready now to see it your way
‘Cause I’m done
Now its true
I’m kneeling at the cross of your grace