I have so many blog posts that are half written, and who knows if this one will actually get finished either. I tend to start writing when the house is quiet and things that have been building up for a while just start coming out. It’s 9:30pm and I should be doing my work so that I can go on to bed at a reasonable time, but instead I just want to get some things off my chest.
My life is beautiful.
It is not what I thought my life would be and, to be sure, there are parts that I wish were different. But I am thankful. I love my job. I am healthy. I am surrounded by people that love me. I have an incredible husband who in every way is more than I will ever deserve. This life is beautiful.
My life is hard.
There are things I wish I could change– moments in time I would like to do over. There are patterns in my life that have developed over the last 20 years that I am slowly unraveling. There are circumstances that I wish I could control and people that I wish understood me better. This life is hard.
My life is not my own.
There are many things I wonder about, many questions that keep me up at night. But here is one thing I know- I am not my own. I’ve been bought with a price, and though I forget again, and again, and again, Jesus reminds me that I am his. My life belongs to another.
My life is a constant contradiction.
I saw something on Twitter or Facebook recently that said something like, “If you are a jerk then you have missed the Gospel.” I honestly don’t remember who said the quote (sorry if it was you!) but I think maybe you were talking about me.*
Because I am a jerk– All. the. time. I might be pretty good at concealing it, but deep down it’s there. Except, here’s the thing… I haven’t missed the Gospel. I just forget it. In that moment when my husband gets home a little later than I thought and I FREAK out on him… I’m forgetting the Gospel. When I give in to anxiety and obsess about things I can’t control, I’m forgetting the Gospel. When I get annoyed at a person (a soul that Jesus loves and died for) because she didn’t do something on my timetable, I’m forgetting the Gospel. In fact, I think we can say that any time we as believers act in a way that is opposed to our nature in Christ, it’s not that we have missed the Gospel (ie, that we don’t understand and embrace it in a salvific way) it’s that we have forgotten it.
Forgetting seems so benign… as though we can’t really help it. On any given day, I forget to bring the diaper bag along on an outing or I forget where I put my keys when we get home. Sometimes I can’t remember if conversations really happened or if I dreamed them. Just like the foreign language you learned in high school or the trig graph you used to be able to draw…. things that used to be clear are now foggy.
And so we need to remind ourselves. We need to be constantly about the business of reminding each other of the Gospel. And I will tell you from personal experience when someone does this for me, it’s like a window being opened in a room that has been shut up all winter. The beautiful sweet air of the Gospel flows freely into my heart and whispers truth to my soul. I’m reminded of the better way, the True Way, of being human. And for a moment I can stop being a jerk. Not because I’m trying harder, or because I understand things better, but because I’ve been utterly captured by the Gospel. And for that one brief moment, I stop being a contradiction and I remember who I really am. A daughter of the King.
*[To be fair, I think I know what what he/she is getting at... that being a jerk to other people isn't consistent with the love of the Gospel, and if we've been really changed by the Gospel we will love others like we've been loved. But I know that I have been changed by the Gospel... and I'm still a jerk. I don't always love other people (even my husband!) the way I've been loved. I'm selfish and petty and lazy. But, I'm thankful that one day those things will pass away and I'll see clearly then what is now so foggy.]