Truth, Honesty, and all of that fun stuff

I feel like if this column is going to be anything worth reading, then it has to be honest.

After all, it would be a waste of my time and yours if it was anything else.  So in that spirit, I would like to talk about why you see my name by the title of this blog and not a fake name

I didn’t want to use my real name, at least not until I’d been doing this for a while.  There are a few reasons for that.

The first is that I’ve never really been comfortable with attention.  I don’t crave it, or enjoy it, or seek it out. I used to go out of my way to blend in, but in the last few years I’ve lost that option.  I’m 32 years old, use a cane, and live in a small town.  The way that I walk is very awkward and painful and as a result, I get stared at everywhere I go.

I’m not comfortable with it at all, but it’s also something that I can’t really do anything about.  Being sick has brought so much attention my way and it’s something that I’m still not used to.  The thought of going on the internet and talking about it while using my real name isn’t all that appealing to me, because I feel like I already attract too much attention.

But a while back, God put a thought in my head that I’ve been trying to make sense of ever since, “What if God doesn’t want me to blend in?”

What if instead of me trying to hide in the shadows, God would like attention called to me so that I can direct it back to Him?

What if when someone asks me about my struggles, I tell them about how God provides for me?

The only problem with that is that I’m not very good at it.

Not that long ago I felt like the Lord gave me a calling to go forth and be a light in this world, to spread the love of Christ to everyone that I meet and be a beacon of peace and understanding.  So I prayed and truly felt the Spirit within me and I set forth and…. didn’t do so good at it.

It turns out that it’s not easy to do that sort of thing, at least not for me.  The truth is that I didn’t want to use my real name on this column because I feel like a lot of the time I’m not a good representative of what a Christian should look like.

I don’t have a halo.  I get mad about things, and the more pain I’m in from falling down all day the worse it tends to get. I’ve done things that I’ve been ashamed of since I’ve become a Christian and behaved in ways that I wish I could take back.

I’ve learned a lot about God’s forgiveness because I need that forgiveness EVERY SINGLE DAY.

I’m not perfect, or anything even close to it. I don’t feel like it’s okay to pretend that I am, so I don’t.  I’ve talked about this subject with other Christians, and they have assured me that they share this same struggle.

I want to be so much better for my God than I actually am.

I don’t feel good about failing but I know that when I ask Him to forgive me, He does.

What I have learned recently is just how difficult it is to forgive myself.  I’m not proud of the way I behave sometimes, and it’s probably safe to say that I beat myself up about it much more than anyone else does.  I’ve always been told that I’m too hard on myself, and I know that there is some truth to that, but when I know that I have acted in a way that is displeasing to God it just crushes me.  I want to be perfect for Him, but I’m not.

He is a God of mercy though. He forgives me and so I have to do the same. If I don’t forgive myself, then it’s like I’m saying that I know better than my creator does.  So I pray that God will help me to do that, because all forgiveness has to come from Him. I can’t do it on my own.  I can’t do any of this on my own.

So there it is.  If you’re looking for a column written by the perfect Christian, this isn’t it.  All I am is someone who God had mercy on and rescued.  If there is anything in my life that I have achieved or any success that I have had, it is because God made it happen.

The times that I actually am able to be a light, a beacon, even just a decent guy doing the best he can, it’s because I serve a merciful God that loved me long before I loved Him.  That’s why I desire to serve Him and why I pray and ask for forgiveness and why I try again when I fail.

I really don’t feel qualified to have any sort of calling from God, but when I read the Bible it is filled with stories of  underqualified people doing things that are amazing. They are able to do these things because they trust God and He enables them to do whatever He needs them to do. That’s the person that I want to be today, the one that trusts in God enough that I want to do His work even if it looks impossible.  So for today, I choose to trust that He would not have given me a calling if there’s not a way to accomplish it.

I was hoping to work some sarcasm and bad jokes into this column, but I’m sure that I’ll more than make up for it the next time around. Until then, I pray that God will bless you and guide you throughout your day and into tomorrow.

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