Went to an "exchange" prayer session yesterday. What?!
Yes. Prayer. Specifically looking for Jesus in those times in my life when I felt very very alone.
Exchanging...my view for His. It was good.
I got some revelation into my why's and wherefore's. He is good like that.
I want to just download a little bit of what I have been heart wrestling today as a result of that.
We saw the Lord uncover some vows that I had taken at a very young age. Not uncovered for Him. But for me. I had no clue. Except I did have some clue because now I see how these personal truths have scoped so much of my life. Truths that were not truths.
I hate those kind.
My vows were based on never disappointing...anyone. Specifically my parents. But everyone in my world got the benefit of my promise.
I promised myself to be what you need. To make it ok. To never make you cry.
A very heavy burden for a tiny girl to carry.
To be all.
I remembered my mom saying "you don't do hard things." She wasn't being ugly.
It was a thing I did. Set myself up for success. I was really good at evaluating a situation and not doing something that would lead to failure.
Vow to never disappoint, never do hard things ...
Seems like a natural progression.
Then comes the guilt.
Flooding in with the sworn profession of goodness and revealed when you see in your heart that good is not good enough really.
Then sealed when religion tells you again and again how un-good you are. How much you have failed. How every sin is equal in the eyes of God and all of them pound another crack on the nail in His hand.
(for some reason, in my minds eye I always pound the left hand.)
Again- and again-
I have heard it all my life.
and I never made the connection....
to know when you stuck your tongue out at your sister.
you hammered that nail.
Ate that cookie when mommy said no.
Wished plagues on your daddy for waking you up at 6 am. On a Saturday.
Bang. Bang. Bang.
I am really bad. Your child heart feels the weight.
I am really bad and the reason...Jesus...died.
I caused His pain. Hammered it in with my every failure- every disappointment.
How could one not feel guilty?!!
swamped and overcome. I am so so so so so so so sorry.
I began to see Jesus there.
In that picture that religion paints so "heartwrenchingly beautiful".
Jesus on the cross- worshipped there...
Not as Lord of the Universe but as the place to put our badness.
We look up from amongst our guilt and grovel and see our sin nailed there...and we worship that.
See! See how bad I was. How bad I am.
so many sins nailed to a cross like garage sale signs,
or missing puppy notices,
Until the man Jesus is covered and obscured and the sin-failure-disappointment is flagged high for all to see.
lest we be proud.
but proud we are
twisted in our shame and guilt.
I did that.
Do you see.
I did it.
It gets very very heavy.
And somewhere in there the vows come round again.
I will not be responsible for this pain.
will not cause it again.
I will be smarter-stronger-sweeter...
the list goes on.
the vows go on.
To never....ever....be a burden. To Him.
And the impossibility of this situation in full of smackdown with the reality that you will fail.
Disappointment is inevitable.
Grown ups know this.
Children who make vows do not.
They only feel the pain of hammering Jesus again and again because they ate that cookie.
I know what I did. My heart remembers all the times where my mind forgets.
So I ask Him.
His opinion being...REALITY.
"Honey, you have nothing to apologize for."
Then He takes the hammer from my hand.
It was His choice you know. His joy.
I didn't nail Him there. He chose it.
For the reasons of the mystical universe and setting things right and all the theoretical mumbo jumbo that is religion and that I cannot understand.
and I don't have to get it at all. Sometimes "just because" is the correct answer to a child.
He chose it. It was His pleasure. His Joy.
For the joy set before Him.
I am His joy.
I am His joy.
I think about that. If there hadn't been physical persons following orders, He would have crawled up there on His own.
Those nails didn't hold Him there.
My sin doesn't continually hold Him there. Burdened, and blackened, and bruised...by my lack.
I don't constantly cover Him with my badness.
He does not endure hell at my hand.
And do you know what else.
He does not endure all hell breaking loose so that I can finally be all clean and good like I tried to be but failed at miserably.
But He does clean me up.
My sister (Mary) got some revelation during my exchange session. She said it is like when my babies are sick and it is my pleasure to clean them up and soothe them and comfort them.
To clean me up.
Like I do when my babies vomit. I don't clean them so they can be good. I clean them because they are precious to me. Precious and good. I love them. And I know that vomit is wretched and I do not want them to live in that.
And they do not EVER have to apologize or feel guilty for being sick.
It is my pleasure to clean them.
It is not a burden I can't handle.
Think about that for a few minutes. I'll bet it will shake you up.
Another picture was given to me. A sweet memory.
My Daughter, 10 months old, waddling out from the bedroom with a giant city phonebook in her hands. She is holding the book up under her chin and it drug the ground as she shuffled along. She was quite determined to carry it but it was just too much. she stumbled and grunted as she tried to remain standing.
My heart- my love- my precious baby
- so unnecessary-
It was my pleasure to move to her side and lift that book.
For her- and insurmountable burden-
no burden at all.
With complete ease, and all the love in my heart, I picked up that book- that burden-
I gathered her in my arms and loved her there.
The weight did not overcome me.
And the weight does not overcome Him.