I’m never sure when I stop writing if it’s because I’m overwhelmed or because I get overwhelmed because I stop writing, but I always know that after not writing for several days, I am overwhelmed.
I’m not stressed and I’m not crying and I’m functioning ok, but I want to say with the Psalmist, Why, oh my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me?
Somewhere down deep, I feel like God is writing a bigger story in me. It begins somewhere with a little girl who was desperate for approval and attention. Even though I had a wonderful, Christ-loving, stable family, I came into teenagehood craving approval.
I didn’t get it through promiscuity or being loud or rebellion. I tried through perfection.
Grades were everything to me, trying to have the right clothes like the popular girls, getting the boy I liked’s attention or the teacher’s attention or really, anyone’s attention. I wanted to be accepted. I wanted everyone to be proud of me.
This need for perfection led to an addiction of approval from people. We all know that spiraled for years until someone finally took me up on it, giving me as much attention as I wanted. He craved the power of seduction and I craved being seduced. I’m not proud of it. It doesn’t feel good to be desperate, particularly when there was no reason to feel that way. I had parents, family, a husband, and children that all adored me. But it was never enough.
God saved me from myself that season and taught me that he alone was enough. He loved me until my heart was overflowing. Oh, how he loves us, I would sing with tears rolling down my face. And I believed it. Full and content and overflowing until I was ready to pour it out on a little boy who needed to learn the same kind of love.
Even though He is shouting through feathers that He loves me and is with me, some days I still feel that emptiness. I’m pouring out and it feels like I’m not getting filled back up fast enough. I don’t think I have learned yet about the manna–about the every day pouring in. I’m trying. I open my Bible and I journal and I listen and it seems like it should all be working. But these past days, I still feel down. I feel like I can’t hear God quite as loudly. Oh my soul, why are you downcast?
God is not a geanie or a formula. Have I not yet learned that I can’t do all the right things and have it come out just so?
I don’t have a positive conclusion for you today, just an honest reflection.
Some days I burst with his love, and then other days I sing with the Psalmist.
Why, my soul, are you downcast?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God. Psalm 43:5