I thought she was a righteous woman. Never mind that I ignored the prompting of the spirit and the pleading of my bored child to hightail it outa there. How could anyone say these things let alone someone I felt an understudy to. I knew what was being said wasn’t kind and I had hoped to sway her to love and compassion. I never intended to get caught up in the heinous crime. I wasn’t even aware that I was guilty by association until I was told to , “not talk so loud!” And if it ain’t about you, and it ain’t about me, and nobody’s having a surprise party… It’s gossip. CRUD! The slippery ugly sin of gossip. BUT— I was trying to speak kind words in her defense. BUT— I myself did NOT say ANYTHING ugly. BUT— I still feel like I did, and I still stayed when God said go. I still laughed at the ugly to fit in. If gossip is murder and the Bible says it is; then I was guilty by association. My heart hurts; partly because she pointed out the singularly most painfully discomfited part of me–my voice. The other part–I’m smack dab in the middle of gossip. The ugly murderous kind that’s in the Bible. I held the tears back until I got to the car, and even then made it a good way home before Josh ask me what was wrong and I outed the whole ugly story between sobs. Particularly broken by how this woman I had admired so much had not just disappointed me but had embarrassed me in an area I had been vulnerable in confiding to her about. The next morning I cracked my Bible. My eyes moved across the words but that was the extent of it. Desperate for peace I took my Bible to the bath (When I am sad I clean; the house, my body. It doesn’t matter I clean it.). I knew Ezekiel was a bust that morning. I needed lighter reading. So it was David. You know how David loved Saul even though Saul hurt him and even attempted to kill him over and over and over? Why on earth would he do that? I mean Saul’s a nut, a bad egg, a hot head. David, you know he can’t be trusted?! All I know is David kept saying Saul was chosen and anointed King by God and that was enough for him. So I pick up my book, and wouldn’t you know Max Lucado cleared it up. Max told of how he had left his dog at a kennel and another dog had managed to get in with his dog nearly killing her. Max wrote a letter to the other dog’s owner suggesting the violent dog be put down. Max took the letter to the kennel and the owner of the kennel said, “I ask you to reconsider. What that dog did was unthinkable, but I’m training him and I’m not done with him yet.” Max explained that sometimes people do unthinkable things, but God isn’t done with them yet. Is Gods forgiveness only big enough to cover my part in the crime? Does this mean this woman is not the righteous, anointed, mentor-worthy woman she was a week ago? David was hurt, scared, lonely: BUT— He knew that Saul was still special, chosen, anointed. I was embarrassed, ashamed, disappointed: BUT— I know God’s no more done with her than HE is with me.
I believe in sharing the raw and ugly. I believe doing so is the only way to find purpose for our pain, and finding a reason for your hurt is the best salve for the wounds. David said, “For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long…” When I read that I felt like he took the words right out of my heart.
I am grateful to have received a beautiful text from a beautiful soul. Susie Sidebottom embraced the vulnerable and exposed the raw and ugly. I pray it was soothing to the wounds.
You can imagine my joy when she agreed to write a guest post. It was a testimony that stirred my heart. I had a feeling it would yours too.
This week, while doing my studies of the Psalms, I was consistently drawn to the thirteenth Psalm. In this Psalm, David was praying for relief from despair. Within the first two verses, David asked “How long?” four times.
“How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I take counsel in my soul and have sorrow in my heart all the day? How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?” Psalm 13:1-2 ESV
Ten years of marriage to my soul-mate, and I can promise you that I have asked “How Long” more than just four times. How long until we have a baby? How long do I have to work a job where I am unappreciated? How long until I am the number one priority? How long until we aren’t in a financial upheaval? How long are we going to be just the two of us? How long will this pregnancy last? How long will this test or trial last? How long until God finds and shows favor in me? These are just a few examples of the hundreds, perhaps thousands, of times that I have asked “How Long?”. Confession – the last of my thoughts are thanking God and rejoicing in Him and his salvation at those moments when I am asking that question. In reading the thirteenth Psalm, that is exactly what David did at the end of that prayer.
“But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, because he has dealt bountifully with me.”Psalm 13: 5-6 ESV
I can say that in the last couple of years I have been able to find greater peace because I have been able to let go and let God. These last two years, I have been trying to focus more on being thankful for everything that God has afforded me. Admittedly, David made me chuckle with the sixth verse, because it is inherently true. God has dealt bountifully with me.
God knows exactly the right timing for everything in our lives. He is the master designer of our stories. Looking back on my life, and the trials within, I can understand the answer to some of my “How long?” questions. God answered by showing me that He has the perfect plan and that His timing is impeccable.
It was easy to find great solace in reading this Psalm, because the great King David felt the way that I do and have in the past. David sets an excellent example and reminder that it is okay to ask of our God “How Long?”, but we also need to remember that He is the great provider, and we need to be thankful for everything that He has already done for us. Remember, He has dealt bountifully with us. That is quite a job on most days.
Confession: I don’t always feel lovable–or even likeable; to the point of creating an idol out of others approval. I have spent many a long nights laying in bed regretting comments I’ve made. I have chosen to do things at a high cost in effort of earning approval or love. Too high of a cost.
You know all those beautiful things God says about how much He loves us? I believe they are true… For you. And I walk around measuring myself up. I’ve never been good enough, thin enough, kind enough, a good enough wife, mother, friend… Being perfect is exhausting! Let alone impossible. So here I am, unworthy. Unworthy of blessings. Unworthy of position. Unworthy of love…
I just finished doing 30 Days of Praying God’s Names with Tony Evans. I was amazed at the new names for God that I had never heard before. When I tried to count the names of God I came to 235. I am certain that isn’t exactly accurate but I think we can all agree that there are gobs. Me? If you count my maiden name I have four. If my name determined who I was to be as in the days of the Bible; I’d be a renowned tiller of the soil. Mom and Dad thanks for not making me a mediocre or an inferior tiller of the soil.
Not God though. His names have meaning. They are all an attribute of God. You may or may not know who I am based on my four names but it takes hundreds to even begin to know who God is. King Solomon said, “The heavens and the highest heavens can’t even contain you, but you are going to dwell in this temple I’ve built!” That got me thinking about another verse I’ve read: “What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?” Corinthians 6:19 And I’m all, “The heavens, the highest heavens, and even Solomon’s Temple couldn’t contain you but you’re dwelling in me?!
We have established that God is indescribable, uncontainable, and once we are saved He is dwelling in us. I’m thinking we should ditch the scales, toss the ruler and just seek our worth in the Bible.
Amber. Now that’s a girl who knows where a person’s value comes from. You know what she told the homeless girl she brought home? “God sees you and I am proof he sees you. He sent me to help you because you matter.”
I can’t stop thinking about how God saw that scrawny dirty little shepherd boy. David mattered. I doubt many thought the girl running the brothel was measuring up to much either but God saw her heart and He thought Rahab mattered enough to be an ancestor to Christ. You can find yourself running far from home tending your father-in-laws sheep, You can find yourself in the belly of a fish at the bottom of the ocean; God sees you, wants to use you and says you matter. You’ve lost hope? Yeah, so did Sarah. That didn’t stop God from blessing her.
When God told Samuel that he seen as man but God sees the heart. I think that applies to how we see ourself. I get so busy beating myself up for all the ways I don’t measure up I don’t even know my own heart, but God does. He finds us at the bottom of the ocean, in the dark ugly of the red-light district, and wallowing in hopelessness. He sees our hearts and he claims them.