It appears as if I’ve been doing this whole following You thing wrong for a while now. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you saved my soul more than twenty years ago, and I am eternally grateful. At the age of six, you didn’t save me from a life of blatant sin…apart from talking back to my mom. But I know you saved me.
But what amazes me even more is what you have done in my life since, and that You still want to do more. And I stand before you now, to apologize for all the times I’ve shut down and delayed the progress You want to make in me. For a season, my sin was more obvious, heading down a road that would have been destructive. But I’ve worked hard to get my life together, correct behaviors, and live a life that glorifies you. I’ve also tried to be transparent, and help other people, like I know you’ve called me to.
Despite my efforts, I still screw it up, though. The more I try, the more I fail and find ten more things housed in my heart that don’t honor You. I find things like selfishness, pride, and distrust. And when my heart doesn’t easily evict those things, I grit my teeth and try to fix it with actions. Act less selfish. Act with gentleness. Act like I believe You’re in control.
While I know that actions precede feelings every time, I feel like I’m missing something. I’m tired of trying to look like clay graciously forming to Your potter’s hands, when I feel like I mess it up more than I get it right.
I start apologizing to You for my faults and conjure up ways to fix them. But you know what? I’m tired of apologizing…I feel like I don’t have the right to ask forgiveness for all the things I mess up. I feel like maybe I just shouldn’t mess up that much. And I’m just tired.
This tiredness is telling me that I’m doing something wrong here. Do You hear how many times I say ‘I try’? Of course You do. I’m starting to realize that You just look at me like a kid who wants to help her daddy make pancakes, really wants to try. But she’s just not old enough, and just not coordinated enough. So she makes a giant mess. And just like my dad wouldn’t have looked at me and scolded me for being an idiot or a screw up- neither do You. You look at me with a loving plea that says “Are you ready to let me help you yet?”.
“NO! I can do it. I don’t want any help!” That’s been my response. I’d like to think I can still do it. But I’m slowly becoming convinced that I need to hand you the spoon. Because even with all good intentions, I still make a mess.
I’m realizing that nothing within myself can produce joy, gentleness, patience, love, and selflessness. And I desperately want to be known by those things. The same Holy Spirit that you gave me when I was six is still there, patiently pushing. And I know that He’s the only reason I even want to be those things, the reason I feel conflicted and tired. He is the reason I want to make a difference- even that desire can’t stem from within me.
So would You help me? If I’m honest, asking still hurts my pride. I still want to be able to do it. But I can’t. And I’m tired of trying to convince the world that You’re doing amazing thing in my life, when I just won’t let you. Don’t get me wrong. Somehow You still are doing amazing things, despite my bull headedness. But I’m beginning to see how much more real and amazing it would be if I just stepped back and stuck to one thing. Following You.
So Father, I want to be honest with you about my faults. Not be scared to come to you when I’ve messed up. Help me to trust in Your plans for my life, and remember that You want nothing but joy for me. Even if that joy comes from a different direction than I anticipate.
Help me to just surrender it all over to You. I gave You my life a long time ago, and I’ve tried to take it back many times. I leave it with You now, cover it with Your majestic hands, so that I can’t reach it anymore.
And thank You. Thank you for loving me, and always hearing my plea for forgiveness and never denying it. Thank you for REALLY forgiving me, for sending my sins as far as the east is from the west. Thank you for sending Jesus so that when you see me, You see Him, see perfection.
Thank you for always having my back. And thank you for taking back the spatula and making gourmet Belgian waffles instead of plain old pancakes like I had planned.