the beauty in “ing”

Travelling the Lighthouse PathPlease excuse my absence! I never mean to stay gone as long as I sometimes do but you know how it is when you’re ‘twixt and ‘tween work, ministry, home, life, etcetera… lots and lots of etcetera!

 

I’ve just returned from doing what someone has called “living the life I need to write about.” and I’m dying to tell you all about it!  I will eventually but first, I need to take a moment to come clean.

 

See, there’s another reason why it’s taken me so long to write again.

 

You know, there are things I’m so passionate about; my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, serving God, missions, ministry in the Spirit and the work I get to do; my calling, family and friends, church…writing here, you dear people, and the subjects and sub headings listed in the drop down menus above…this is stuff I TRULY care about.

 

And I want to be found faithful more than anything.

But, here’s the thing; I suck.     Royally.

I mean, I’m trying, truly trying, to live it and be it and do it.
I’m truly seeking to grow in wisdom and to show love and grace but darn it; I can’t. Not consistently. <sigh> I’m selfish, jealous, mean and insecure more often than not.

 No matter how hard I try or how many days since my last major blow up or  internal mechanical failure…eventually I do crash and burn.

As I crawl out from the remains my most current wreckage, covered in the ashes of my latest, curse-laden outburst replete with screaming and doors slammed so hard that the frame moves a few inches (um yeah), I realize the truth of who I am.  In my own power and left to my own devices, even as a Christian, I fail miserably.

I’m not telling you this because I get a kick out of self depreciating behavior and this is not some door-wide-open confessional moment. I’m simply being honest because I know I’m not qualified as an “expert’ able to speak or write on any subject.

 I’m sharing this so as you read backwards or forwards you know who you are dealing with: a sinner saved by and in daily need of grace. So you’ll know typically I’m writing about something I learned best from screwing it up the most.

 

People, I need Jesus. No really… I. NEED. Jesus.

 * To pick me up and dust me off, wipe the ashes and tears from my eyes, to cleanse me and clothe me with His righteousness and forgiveness…daily.

* I need Him to give me the courage to apologize to the ones I’ve hurt.

* To give me the humility to go find the heavy hammer and to tap the doorframe back into place so it will close again.

I need that. More often than I care to admit.. Because Jesus is taming my inner shrew.

 And oh, the graciousness of it all …. the beauty is  I know… really and truly know I’m not alone here. The ONLY way I can be honest about these things God has made me passionate for is because I’m willing to be honest about myself and what God has done and is doing in my life.

No matter what God reveals to and through me,  I can only give from  what He provides. I am the vessel, He supplies the oil. God is the expert and I am his willing mouthpiece… a modern day “pixel prophet”  hammering out through this keyboard these things God has been hammering out first upon my heart.

Only because I choose to live in the midst of what I like to refer to as the “ING” of life. It’s found all throughout Scripture..in fact “ING’s” are all over the Bible. But the one I think of most often when I get to this place is found here:

 

Philippians 2

 

See it?!?!?

We are saved by grace and yet daily we discover we are workING out our salvation and it’s hard so we are doING it with fear (awe) and tremblING.
As we go through life, God is usING all our experiences good, bad and U-G-L-Y,
sanctifyING (purifyING and perfectING) us. 

 NEWSFLASH! It’s about process not perfection. This broken life here is our set of training wheels (another ING) for the next where we’ll cruise fully unhindered!

Most of the time, we get that. Most of the time it’s ok. But, when we forget and go semi-postal, this is where I pray we’ll  have one another to lean on as we stumble along that well-worn and muddy path to bow before the cross. 

 I had to share all this with you.. you know remove the mask so to speak, and show you my blood and guts and my heart….for Him and for you. Because I want you to come here and feel free to embrace the ING in your life too.

 So whether it’s a bad hair day or a full-tilt emotional meltdown and we need SOMEONE to put us in time out, I want us together to  rise from those broken places. I want you to know you are not alone and you’re not a screw up… you’re just like everyone else: a sinner.

And if you have found a relationship with Jesus, you’re also  forgiven and free. And if the Son has set you free..well my friend, then you are free indeed. Bless you.

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21 thoughts on “the beauty in “ing”

  1. Dear Loretta,
    Amen! If more people in the church lived by process instead of aiming for perfection or pretending to have attained it, then how more glory would God get…and how many more people would be drawn to God?

    It has taken me a long time to learn to truly embrace the process of sanctification and to believe God is working in the midst of it as I put down pride, and embrace Him in my imperfection…love to you 🙂

    1. Dear Dolly!

      Yes. Process is key the same way “content is king”. Honesty is purging and purifying…I need it so much. It’s why I choose to read and “hang with” folks like you! Bless you right back!

  2. Love the newsflash- that’s a news flash that I am in constant need of. Satan, and my sin nature hold me back when I think I have to be perfect. When I believe the lies that he tells me, that I’m not good enough, don’t have enough experience, need more training, and on and on.
    Love love.

    (visiting from #tellhisstory)

    1. Satan thinks he’s pretty clever getting us all worked up over stuff that has no eternal consequence or bearing on God’s love and acceptance for us. I don’t know about you but I definitely want to be the fresh wind beneath the wings of another allowing them to soar to great heights with Him! Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Honesty is beautiful when spoken in the place of humility. This is lovely and a needful reminder that the hope of walking out our faith isn’t reaching some inner state of perfection but accepting our brokenness, then offering it to the world.

    1. Yes. As Jennifer Kennedy Dean puts it when we “altar” ourselves in this way, our lives become the broken offering to be used by God wherever and however He sees fit. The beautiful thing, as you know is how He fills those places we thought would be broken forever. Glad to see you here! Bless you.

    1. Bless you Stacey. I’ve come a long way in this area and the farthest I’ve come is in knowing I’ll always have further to go. It’s why I am glad God’s chosen some pretty sweet traveling companions for me! 😉

  4. Oh yes, Lorretta. We need Jesus. Pure and simple. We’re not going to live this life well without Him. That old hymn ‘I Need Thee Every Hour’ floats through my mind and wends it way to my heart this morning. Yes?

  5. Welcome back! This really spoke to me – same here, and same with the whole process … I am a site under construction, a masterpiece in the act of being written, of being painted. Not complete yet, but destined for glory! xx

    1. Thank you Frances! Yes, there is so much healing to be found through the honest acceptance and admission of the truth. Because that’s where the enemy often gets to us: “oh, you are the only one”…” everybody will reject you if you______” To hell with him. Soli Deo Gloria and in praise of the beautiful people God has brought into my life…especially one from Daaarzzzzet! 🙂

    1. Ah Christine, I HAVE been reading your blog and God’s been reading my mail too! 🙂 Truth be told, while I sometimes wish I’d had these insights and this courage a long time ago, I fully accept God’s sovereignty for my now. And that “now” also includes discovering a friendship and a bond with YOU!

  6. God does not call or commanded us to be perfect.There are however many places we are instructed to bear with one another, encourage one another, admonish one another.. think you get the point. That can only happen when we stop pretending and admit, what we all know any way…none – not one of us is perfect. When are courageous enough to admit our struggles I think God smiles, because He knows that everyone around us can finally do the same! And that means we can get back to the business of building the kingdom.

Welcome to the discussion!