[note: this took many days to write, so bare with me as it is now three or four days after this event]
I'm sprawled out on the operating table right now.
I have been split completely open by mess.
Things I have neglected kept building and building; my self-care had gone shamefully mismanaged and neglected. Things were not going well.
I am not saying things are perfect now, as I lie on the table. I mean, I see that God's hands are ready to mold me. Take me apart, squish me together again, reshape me, do all kinds of things.
I see that God is doing work in me.
And it's scary.
There have been nights - recent nights - where I have sobbed on the laundry room floor and cried out at God, not necessarily to Him - and said, "I don't want this call! I don't want to do what you want me to do."
I've gone to the brink of suffering and almost lost my footing and let myself be swallowed.
And today I was completely split open.
Thanks to a few trusted counselors and a friend, I'm gaining some perspective bit by bit. I'm realizing how I need to care for myself. I need to put my oxygen mask on before I can care for anybody.
And let me tell you - I've let my oxygen mask hang there like a tree ornament for years now.
Oh nevermind you, I'd say to myself. It's selfish to think of yourself.
(As God whispers His command: "love others as yourself")
Nevermind you, I've repeated for twenty-plus years. You aren't worth it.
But no more. I am not letting the enemy's lies dictate my worth. I will not rely on anyone but the Lord to tell me who I am.
So I have taken an R&R evening. I have had to force my mind not to dwell on whether she did all her homework or if that electric bill sitting on the counter is going to tip us into the red. I have had to walk away from a sink full of dishes.
This is not piously said.
I say this in shame because I had to force myself to say:
I am breaking. I need help. I need saving. If I don't change something now, I will be lost forever.
Lord, save me. Stop this. I am Yours.
So although the image of me on an operating table sounds completely helpless and vulnerable, I have complete confidence in the Almighty to make me into who He wants me to be.
Why am I sharing this with the blogosphere? And who, really, reads my blog, anyway?
Reading my dear internet-sister-in-Christ, Michele-Lyn's blog entry, "What is alifesurrendered.com?" I read many of my own mission statements.
I can't keep quiet. What happens inside this heart is important. Not because I am more important than anyone else, but because I know God is doing important things in me.
I am becoming stronger not by my own efforts, but because I lean on Christ to strengthen me (Philippians 4:13).
My life will be a testimony. It already is.
God will use my story to help others. He uses all of our stories if we let Him.
Our story is His story.
That is what I desire - for my story to reveal His story.
Great Physician, here I am on Your table. I want to be molded, changed. I know I am made new by my faith (2 Corinthians 5:17) and I also know that I will continue to struggle (John 16:33) so I ask you that you humble me enough to listen to You always. I ask that you humble me so that I may carry out the immense calling that you have for me - to serve my family and model Your love. As much as my heart beats for Daniela in her village, for Compassion International, Food for the Hungry, WorldVision, Operation Baby Rescue, and so many wonderful organizations that help the needy...my mission field is my home. The needy children are my own stepchildren who God has placed in my life. And God placed me in their lives. It goes both ways.
And Lord, I'm sorry that I was getting so overwhelmed and upset and I wiggled and strained against Your guidance. Sometimes it is so hard, Lord. Sometimes, I admit, I don't want this call.
I admit it. I am human.
I heard on Susie Larson's "Live the Promise" show (yesterday? I forget) concerning God's calling, that, if your heart resists a bit when you hear God calling you to do something, then that usually means you know that is what you ought to do.
Why? Because it's probably hard. And we have a hard time with the hard stuff.
Lord, I wrote a few days ago - bring it on.
And oh, you did.
You did so much that I found myself split open. I know you didn't cause this immense suffering these past weeks or months, but I know now that it needed to happen. I needed to be split open to see the light - Your light.
I needed to remember where I come from, Who I come from, where I must serve, and who I must serve.
I needed to remember who I am.
I am not anything or anyone defined by my childhood friends or current friends; I am not defined by roles placed on me by family. I am Yours, first.
I seek You, Lord. I seek to love others as I...
I am learning to love myself.
That is hard to type. I still hear echoes of ugly in my head.
But You ask me to love others as I love myself.
So...in order to love others perhaps I must dare to love myself.
Perhaps I must dare to let myself be split open and lay on that operating table and release my life into Your will.
And it says - your will is that I love myself.
Lord, help me love.
Help the ugly voices turn truthful.
Help the lies dissipate into steam on the mirror which quickly fades.
This I pray.
This I put out there in the blogosphere for Your glory and in hopes that someone might come along and read my story, Your story, and decide...
to love him/herself.
And to love others.
And to love You, Lord.
I chuckle as I look down at the necklace I wear every day. The abbreviated Bible verse has not felt personal until right now.
"Seek...to reflect Him" 2 Corinthians
So Lord, I seek You and I lay upon the story table where You mold and move me.
That's where the big stuff happens. That's where redemption is found.