My notebook seems to be filling up with abandoned blog posts. I keep starting out, only to reach a point where I decide that I no longer want to finish. I can’t seem to form the correct words. They’re there in my mind, sometimes they even make perfect sense, but when it comes time to putting pen to paper it comes out as a scrambled mess. There seems to be a theme running in the blogosphere recently. Words like facade, be real, messy, quiet are being used a lot. It’s got me thinking; why do Believers place so much pressure on themselves? Why do I place so much pressure on myself? Who says that I have to be the perfect Christian with an eternal smile on my face? Who says that I am not allowed to admit when I have lost the faith? And who says that I am not allowed to shut the world out for 4 whole days, simply because I have nothing left to give?
Correct me if I am wrong, but didn’t people in the Bible complain too? Is there not an entire book dedicated to Jeremiah’s lamenting? Is this not also true for Job? What about Elijah who begged God to take his life? Didn’t Yeshua [Jesus] Himself cry out, “Why have You forsaken Me?”
Does this mean that God does actually forsake us? No, of course not, but we are humans with human feelings, and running away from them does not help. Pretending that we are perfect beings only leads to heartache – believe me. I used to place an immense amount of pressure on myself to be perfect, even though I have no idea what perfect even means, but I had some warped idea of what I needed to be, and when I wasn’t, it only made matters worse. To cut a long story short, placing this pressure on myself for so many years only led to me having a nervous breakdown at the beginning of this year, resulting in me having to take a leave of absence from work. And all of that, for what? Because I was too afraid to be seen as weak…because I didn’t know how to tell those closest to me that I was struggling and needed help..because I was afraid to say that I, someone who walked intimately with Yeshua, was in fact falling apart.
Why do we do this to ourselves? Where does this pressure come from? Does it come from non-Believers, waiting at the ready to yell “Hypocrite!” or “Judge!” when you mess up or make a mistake? Or what about your fellow brothers and sisters in Yeshua who tell you to stop allowing your flesh to control you when you’ve had a bad week and seem to be crying a little too much for their liking? Or is placed there by ourselves – Where His grace is sufficient for others, but somehow not for you?
Wherever it comes from, be done with it, because it’s not real and it certainly isn’t right; and I refuse to live that way. I refuse to put on a mask and not be true to myself or God because I fear the judgment of people. Sometimes life is so difficult, and I don’t always understand it. Frankly, I don’t understand it majority of the time, and so I go to the One who does. And I sit at His feet and weep and I scream and point fingers and I ask why. Why don’t you love me? Why am I still single? Why is life so difficult? Why did I have to give up my dream? Why have you forgotten me? Why why why…
And you know what He does? He picks me up, and He cradles me in His arms, singing songs of love into my ear. He tells me that He will be faithful when I am faithless; that He will stand with me and give me strength; that He will lead me beside still waters and restore my soul…and do you know why He does this? Because He knows better than any of us what it is like to be human. He knows what it is like to carry the sins of the world, to be rejected, abandoned, persecuted. He knows loneliness and heartbreak. He knows this; and He knows you.
So why run away? Why pretend that it’s not happening? His strength is made perfect in your weakness; so why are we trying so hard, continuously striving, to fit into a mould of ‘perfect child’, a mould placed there by the world. The world’s ideals, not His. He doesn’t see you like that either. He sees you as His beloved, so please, take off that mask and go and stand before Him as you are – Loved, accepted, chosen, worthy, cherished…Human.