“You’re too hard on yourself.” That’s a familiar refrain others tell me.
“Too hard?” I wonder, “What else am I supposed to be?” People make the comment like I have a choice. Like there’s some setting inside I can switch. “Hmmm. Let’s see, there it, right behind the gall bladder, the ‘give yourself a break’ switch.” Try as I might, I haven’t found it.
And as a result, disheartenment can creep in. Today it stormed the gates.
So now at 3:00 in the morning, I am sorting through the pieces trying to find some sense in it all. Because a lot of the time life really doesn’t make sense to me. It’s confusing. It’s discouraging. And it’s hard.
“Yeah, but you seem so confident. You seem like you ‘get it.’”
Really? You must not see what I see.
You must not have seen me on the tennis court today playing the game that I love, with a partner that I love, like a deer in the headlights and losing miserably. All while the cackling hens watching clucked over our defeat. “See, they’re not such a great team…It’s obvious who the better player is…They’re not going to make it at this level.” Did I actually hear them? No, but I’ve heard enough of those conversations to know how it goes.
You must not see the friendship that I pushed away or the one I’ve tried, unsuccessfully, to pull closer.
Or the family relationship that is broken.
Or the God that I love who seems so far away right now.
You must not see the discouragement that I experience with writing. And how the deafening silence that accompanies it causes me to question, “Why do I write?...Am I reaching others?…Do I have the ability?”
You must not see the insecurity that prowls the perimeter looking for cracks to sneak in.
And you must not have seen me driving through the countryside this afternoon. Running away, running toward. Searching for answers and coming home empty-handed.
Where does this leave me? I suppose as a lost sheep desperately needing a savior. Because one thing I am sure of: without faith in Jesus, life REALLY doesn’t make sense.
I wish I could write some clever prose and cue the music for a happily ever after to this drama. For now, I’ll cling to tonight’s happy ending: My incredible husband who “gets me” and loves me anyway. And who is always there to help me pick up the pieces.
As I attempt to recapture sleep tonight (actually this morning), I will try to rest in the hope that nothing can separate us from the love of God. Not bad performance or harsh criticism. Not broken relationships or fractured faith. Not inadequacy or insecurity.
“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39)