This is definitely the title; no getting around that. I’m finally coming out of my self induced me-fest that seems appropriate to blame on pregnancy, gestational diabetes, and hormones, but let me tell you– THAT is no excuse for the way I’ve made a mockery about God and his image. It’s the image He’s bore onto me from the moment I was conceived. You see, I’m dreadfully embarrassed by how I’ve behaved, more than anything, in front of my own impressionable children. It’s almost laughable now, but I do take it with seriousness. I owe Matt a big fat apology for my poor choices. I need to swallow some more of my pride and admit I was NOT in the right for the last week no matter how much I think I was somewhere in my fleshly self. God has been talking to me and letting me know how disappointed He’s been. Me, too, God. I’m not strong enough without you. How do I get back to your heart when mine is taking over? My self control was gone gone gone. My temper flared as hot as the Florida sun. (and add humidity to boot)
I have to ask myself, “Do I want/need to be justified, or do I want to live an abundant life?” Both really can’t exist. On Friday, we leave. We were past Petersburg, VA and Matt realizes that he doesn’t have the key for the condo in Florida. Immediately, this goes right under my skin. I grumble about the fact that if I had not asked him questions, we could very well have gotten 14 hours away from home to find we didn’t have the key. He turned to me and said, “I assumed you would have gotten it, since it was right by the computer when you were booking the hotel.” I was doubly bugged that now it seemed like the problem was deflected on me, with no responsibility taken for the key. It was the start of many bone-headed moves, and let me be the first to tell you that not one went unnoticed. I punished, I crabbed, I complained, I name-called, I whined, I pitied myself, I got self righteous, and I was just plain ugly. It doesn’t even matter all the things that happened over the week, but what does matter is how poorly I’ve set an example and how I need to repent for the way I’ve been and turn from that pattern of behavior.
A hot Florida sun and a baby brewing in my belly cannot be the reason I love less and respect Matt even less–even when I deem he doesn’t deserve it. God tells me he deserves it. He tells me I deserve God’s love anyway, too. God, you could hold me in condemnation and I’d deserve it. What an example I could have been, had I chosen what Robert Frost might coin, the road less traveled by.
Monday morning, the first real day we were back in real life mode, I felt a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. It is somewhat like that feeling when you were a kid and you did something wrong, but your parents didn’t yell at you. Instead, they shook their head slowly and quietly said, “I’m just so disappointed in you.” As I got ready for bible study, I came to a screeching halt in a particular section regarding God’s image.
From reading a beautiful book (that I think every woman should read), Captivating by Stasi and John Eldredge, I had already felt the undulating tone and crescendo of the work that God started in Genesis and came to a high point in creating woman. I had finally accepted that God saw us not as the feminists would have us believe as an oppressed, flawed creation, only able to be brought about by the rib of Adam, but instead, God saw us as a beautiful capstone of his wonderful works and a undeniable need for humankind. God’s image on earth was not complete without a woman to bear it.
The bible study book is “Tune In” by Jen Hatmaker. If you follow me into the book, my point of conviction was found in week 3, day 1. (page 81) Some questions that really hit home, I’ll list…maybe they’ll speak into you as well…
1. List several of God’s characteristics that you see stamped into the human race.
2. Open your ears. What has God communicated to you through people, made in His image?
3. How does your self-image honor or dishonor God? Remember, you are His handiwork.
—she goes on to list scriptures that we can claim because of this:
-every human being is worthy of honor and respect; he shouldn’t be murdered nor cursed (Gen. 9:6 & James 3:9)
-We have God-given authority to exercise; we aren’t to be His ambivalent puppets. (Gen 1:26)
-We have an amazing capacity for spiritual knowledge. (Col. 3:10)
-Eternity is set within our hearts, as it is in God’s (Eccl. 3:11)
-We are individually called, justified, and glorified as we are conformed to the likeness of God’s own Son. (Romans 8: 29-30)
I believe hearing every human is worthy of honor and respect really sent a pang to my heart about how I’ve treated my husband. Also, hearing that my own justification is not within my own ability to claim it for myself and make judgements, but on my own path to being more of an image bearer myself. I cannot be righteous on my own accord. Righteousness comes from God’s decree. It takes a lot of the weight off my shoulders, really. He was gently telling me that I didn’t need to be right. I didn’t need for everything to even run smoothly. I needed a lesson on grace giving, holding my tongue, patience, and honor.
Perhaps it was the last question that sent me into a journalling frenzy:
4. Through mankind–the image of God– what is He communicating to you about you?
You see, not all of what God told me that day was about how I had messed up. In this question, God reminded me that through me, He tells me that He’s funny, and he gets my humor. There’s value in my transparency and my heart matters. He tells me to stay faithful to the things He calls me to do and speaks to me when I do so. God through me, tells me that being a woman is as much about God as being a man, never less. He often tells me that I am a good mom and able to do much more than I can even think, even when I feel like a failure or giving up. He writes desire on my heart.
I still learned something from Disney, even though it came at a hefty price. (both literally and figuratively)
Going through Disney really made me think about vision, creation, art and innocence– all of Disney made by us, but by an imagination only God could have crafted. It all matters. Seeing the kids’ faces made every long hot line, overpriced drink, and even a torrential rainstorm disappear. That speaks to me about who God is. It also speaks to me about who I am called to be. More of a child in wonderment, than a woman scorn over conditional states of being and the irkings of her husband.
Don’t count me a failure, but a work in progress!