I didn’t like what I read recently! (Problem is, I wrote it!!!)
I complained to a good friend that my writing is making me feel like a hypocrite as I fail to practice the truths I’m writing about. Here’s part of his response to my self-pity filled venting:
“You are a hypocrite, what did you expect? Most of the content in your blog is God’s truth, not yours. You are a mess just like the rest of us, but you are loved and there is nothing you can do about that.”
So, here’s what this messed-up writer is battling with:
“We don’t have to wait until we feel truth, before we embrace truth.”
Within a very short time of writing my previous post about standing on God’s promises when facing negative emotions, I allowed anxiety to escalate way out of control, overwhelming me with fear, resentment, anger, self-righteous justification, and so on.
“We don’t have to wait until we feel truth…”
My rational side knew that my anxiety-driven crush of overwhelming emotions was being blown completely out of proportion. But I refused to submit those feelings to God’s promises of His faithfulness and love (Psalm 145:13). I refused to stand on truth.
And my resulting attitude, fueled by feelings rather than truth, resulting in my hurting myself and those around me.
“…before we embrace truth.”
I wasn’t able to sleep. EVERYTHING from the previous days and weeks seemed to be churning in my mind. That’s when I remembered the wise (and frustratingly simple) counsel from another friend. “When I’m overwhelmed I open my hands and ask Jesus to take it.” I knew God was asking me to talk to Him.
“Jesus, You died for my fears of abandonment. Jesus, You died for the self- hatred I feel for having flashbacks of abuse. Jesus, You died for my feeling I’m not really a man. Jesus, You died for my feeling that I don’t measure up to those I see as “real men”. Jesus, You died for my selfishness. Jesus, You died for my jealousy.”
There was more. A lot more. Eventually something broke inside of me. That tormenting spirit of anxiety had to let go when confronted with the cross.
Being overwhelmed became an invitation to experience overwhelming mercy.
These words from the song “Overwhelmed” give me perspective on what happened as I brought my feelings to Christ.
God I run into Your arms, unashamed because of mercy
I’m overwhelmed, I’m overwhelmed by You
(Big Daddy Weave)
Submitting what was overwhelming me to Jesus’ work on the cross brought me into God’s arms of mercy, breaking the grip of anxiety.
How I wish I had this battle defeated for good. But I know better. Given a life-long history of anxiety, fear, inadequacy, etc, I will have to choose whether or not to stand on truth again. And again. And again. Sometimes I’ll experience quick victory. Other times I won’t.
In the middle of this battle (again!) as I write, I know that I may fail (again!) before this post has a chance to go live for you to read. And if so… God has a promise for that – even for hypocrites like me!
The Lord upholds all those who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down. (Psalm 145:14)
What about you?
What is overwhelming you, filling you with anxiety and fear or with guilt, shame and condemnation? Will you see your struggle and battle as an invitation to run into God’s arms. To lose your shame as you find His mercy?
(If the video player above doesn't load, click here for the song "Overwhelmed".