“But I’m not that girl!”
The past month, through tears, that phrase has left my mouth on a couple of occasions. I honestly believed every bit of it too- and the tears were more out of frustration of who I was being at the moment than anything. How could I possibly be feeling this way and responding the way that I am? I’m NOT THAT girl! I’m not the kind of girl who gets upset over stupid stuff.
One prime example was Valentine’s day. I don’t even CARE about Valentine’s day! It has never been a big deal to me. As I was sitting in the bathroom, crying uncontrollably, that thought kept pounding in my mind. “I’m not the girl who does this. I don’t get upset over this stuff. The man worked till 3 am this morning for crying out loud! He already gave me my gift early. Let’s not forget that the 12 years before this, he has managed to be a rock star on this day every single year! I don’t even like flowers!! What am I doing?!?! I’m not that girl!!!”
The past few weeks have been equally revealing. We’ve been sick for what seems like an eternity and I haven’t had the communication with my friends that I would have liked to have. I started thinking that they didn’t love me anymore. Before you know it, I believed it to be true and my feelings were crushed. There I was all over again. “But I”m NOT THAT GIRL! I don’t get mad over made up things in my head. I’m the friend no one has to worry about! I’m the easy friend. The friend who does not get her feelings hurt. I always believe the best.”
The truth of the matter is, apart from the grace of God and the work of the Holy Spirit, I AM that girl. I was that girl every day for years. Every little thing crushed me. My thoughts ran wild- if it crossed my mind then it had to be true. I was constantly in a state of hurt feelings. It was a miserable life. Yet, God’s sweet grace has changed me dramatically. Yes, by His grace, I have not been the wife or friend who gets her feelings hurt over the irrational for a very long time. But yet, it’s so easy for me to forget the work of the Lord and to believe this change was all my doing. Or that it’s “just my personality”. Self-righteous pride sets in so swiftly it goes virtually undetected until you’re sitting in the middle of an emotional train wreck. Then you are faced with who you really are. A big sinner in desperate need of Christ.
On both occasions, in the midst of tears, hurt feelings, and total brokenness, I was able to fall on Christ. To cry out for the help that I so desperately needed in the moment to stop being irrational and to stop believing the lies. I needed help to think on what was true. It wasn’t enough to just know I needed to change my thoughts- I needed power that was outside of me. God was so gracious, and the Spirit so swift to move and show me that I had put my worth in something other than Christ’s perfect love for me and it totally failed me.
I could be ashamed and embarrassed over my ridiculous behavior but honestly I’m not. The truth is, I am a mess. I am that girl. However, it is the freedom that I have in Christ that allows me to admit that I don’t have it all together. I’m NOT the perfect wife or friend that I so desperately want to believe that I am. The point of the gospel is that we are not perfect- Christ is. Even as believers we are constantly in desperate need of Him- of his perfection on our behalf. In the midst of being irrational and ridiculous, Christ’s love for me never changes. It is there, while I am broken and desperate that he doesn’t hesitate to run and pick me up and remind me of his unwavering love for me. It is that perfect love that exposes the lies, gets my mind off of me, and reminds me that my worth is completely and utterly found in Him. It will never fail.
“…so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, so that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:17-19