Welcome to honesty hour. I'm your host, Eva, and we're gonna dive right in here tonight.
If we're being 100% honest, I dream about the outcome more than I dream about the process. I dream about what others will say about what I've done for God's kingdom. I often wonder, "What's in it for me?" instead of dreaming about the hearts that can be impacted by His words that he sends through my fingers. I dream about being known, being chased, being important, being acknowledged, being cute and charming and funny and perfect. I know girls who embody those qualities effortlessly, so why does it feel like I'm stumbling through an obstacle course of awkward encounters with no finish line?
If we're being honest, I want to be praised more than I want God to be praised, but somehow I convinced myself that I want otherwise. If we're being honest, I say unkind things about myself around my friends so that they'll build me up. If we're being honest, I know I'm an exhausting person to love and I require a lot of assurance and attention--and I let the enemy slip these lies under my door and I stuff them in my back pocket, like the strips of paper from fortune cookies, and I take them out and read them aloud when I run out of nice things to think about myself.
If we're being honest, during the day I feel like I'm playing tug-of-war with God. But at night, when I lay down in my cozy bed, I'm exhausted and all my sins from the day are falling off my shoulders, I exhale and imagine I'm a helpless babe, leaning into His presence and His hands cup me. Internally, I'm sobbing, and He holds me and strokes my hair and continues to love me despite the fact that the only thing I've done all day is doubt His goodness.
Can you imagine? It'd be like having a best friend who constantly nitpicks at all of your defining and beautiful qualities. A best friend who turns their back on you and chases the girls who aren't as loyal and kind and nice as you, then when she comes running back to you, crying because they hurt her, you don't convict her. You wrap her in your arms, make her a cup of tea, and let her cry. She never pauses to thank you, really thank you, for always being there for her. She rarely spends one-on-one time with you. She always hangs out with you in group settings and commends your goodness in public, but in private, when there's every opportunity for y'all to really connect and be real with one another, she scrolls through Instagram and Twitter and her mind is like a VCR tape stuck on one thing only: her image.
A moment of honesty: I am that girl. I've tried so hard to hide it from myself and other people, but when you're running dry on joy, you begin to wonder why and then you realize: it's because I'm lying to myself and everyone around me. It's easy to disguise the rotten sin that lives in your heart when the world around you sees your sins as "minor" ones: people pleasing? That's barely an issue. Laziness? Oh, we've all been there, so that's not even a real sin. Worshipping your own image? Everyone does it so why should you stop doing it? It would be weird if you didn't.
The broken truth is, I am like this because I want desperately to matter enough to some human so that they will go out of their way to show me that they love me no matter what when I already have a God who has done that.
Y'all, I am sick and tired of the demeaning and critical voice that lives in my head. I want her to go away. She's rude, she's unkind, and she is not the truth. She is the narrator of a soul that rarely drinks from the well of life.
Tonight, on April 23, 2018, I'm putting an end to that voice. She can go away. I'm asking in Jesus's name that He will shut the door on this voice of untruths and usher in the voice of grace. Starting now. And if you feel this way, too, then ask Him to complete this good work in you too. Be so bold in what you ask of the Spirit. He does real and beautiful things in our hearts if only we release the iron-clad grip we have on the steering wheel of our own souls.
Here's what I'm asking: write down 15 things that you love about yourself. Things that you've always hidden because you're afraid of what people will say. Want to know something? That's where this honesty hour with God starts. Those things we hide are the things He cherishes about our souls, yet we spend all of our time on earth wrapping them up like mummies because we want so badly to fit in and remain unseen.
Slowly unfurl the layers of gauze that surround your aching heart and tell me: what 15 things do you LOVE about your heart that are qualities that the Lord bestowed upon you? Praise what He's done in you, and surely you will leave here with a lighter, less achey heart.
I was about to end this post by apologizing for undressing my heart in such a vulnerable way on the Internet but this needs no such thing. For the first time in a long while, I've admitted to myself what hurts the most in my life. I'm tired of hiding behind curtains, shrinking in the light. We were made to dance in the light. We were made to dwell and spend eternity in the light. So here I am. I'm in the sunshine and today, for once, it feels nice.
I hope it stays that way for a while.