Yesterday I had one of those moments. You know, one of those moments where you finally let yourself face the things you’ve been avoiding and dissolve into tears? Yea, one of those. Riley had gone down for a nap, I grabbed a cup of coffee, got down on my knees to pray (I don’t usually get on my knees to pray, it just seemed like a good idea), and just lost it. I’m pretty sure that at the end of my time of prayer I was just laying face down on the floor sobbing.
You see, last week I came face to face with the real Krystal, and let me tell you, she was not pretty. What I saw was a mom who just wanted her sweet daughter to be napping all day and counted down the hours (and minutes) until she would be able to have “me time.” A woman who thought about herself all.day.long. Who was disengaged when her daughter was awake, spending most of her time on the ipad or watching TV. I saw a woman who was vain, spending more time on her appearance than on her heart and spirit. A woman who only posted photos of herself on instagram where she felt she looked good and cleaned up enough. A woman who was lazy, choosing baby’s naptime as veg-out time to piddle around online and drink coffee rather than do the laundry or clean the apartment (which really needed to be done, by the way). A woman who was not very thoughtful or loving to her husband but would snap at him or speak disrespectfully to him when her expectations were not met. Expectations that she had not communicated to him but only, well, expected of him.
I looked at myself and saw the woman that I judge. The type of mother and wife that I don’t want to be. I am guilty. I was exposed before myself, and was left discouraged and disheartened.
So I was broken before the Lord. I read a little bit in Ezekiel (one of the Old Testament Prophets, the book of the Bible I am currently reading
daily sometimes) and found myself agreeing with God’s judgment of Israel for one of the first times in my bible reading career. I usually have a tough time digesting the pictures of God’s judgment that we see in the Old Testament (I’d assume most people do). I usually wonder, “Why would God do that? It seems so unfair. Too extreme.” But this time as I read about it, I found myself thinking, “Yes, that makes sense. They deserve it. I can identify with the Israelites. And I deserve it too. I deserve God’s complete wrath and judgment. It really is right, completely logical and just.” I sat there feeling defeated, at the end of myself.
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
But then as I sat there in tears, I felt God’s Spirit comfort me. And I started to feel overwhelmed with gratitude and freedom. Because the truth is, I do deserve God’s wrath. His just judgment finds me guilty of serving myself at the cost of hurting many others, but most of all disobeying and turning from the One who created me for a love relationship with Him. BUT (oh glorious, beautiful “but”) that is not the end of the story! Unlike the children’s song Humpty Dumpty, my final destiny is not helplessness. (sidenote: has anyone else noticed how disturbing children’s songs and fairy tales are? Just me?)
God encouraged me with this realization: even if I were to spend every second of Riley’s awake time engaged with her, spend every naptime cleaning and doing house chores, and speak nothing but loving and respectful words to my husband, my heart would still be the same. I might be “doing” all the right things, but in my heart I would still long for Riley’s nap time, still want to veg out and do nothing, still get obsessed with image, and still harbor bitterness in my heart towards my husband if I felt frustrated. Now that may not sound encouraging, but it is! Because man looks at the outward appearance, but God looks at the heart (1 Samuel). Even if I could trick everyone else into thinking I was the perfect wife and mom, I can’t fool God. He knows what really goes on in my head. And yet. YET. He still chose me to be His. He still loved me so much that He took my place. He poured out the wrath that I deserve on His son Jesus instead, so that I would not have to know the judgment I have earned. Instead, He gives me freedom from this. The perfect life of Jesus is credited me.
So I lifted my body from the floor knowing that I was forgiven. Clean. OK. Knowing I could get up and try again. Knowing that I could try to do better but whatever I did, I did not have to carry the heavy weight that had brought me to tears in the first place. It was already carried for me. Jesus has given me His Spirit and promises to work in and through me, and that is VERY good news! And even in the Old Testament when it talks about God’s judgment, the final word is always a word of blessing and restoration.
Humpty Dumpty may not have been put back together, but this girl sure was :).