What I say, “I would write even if I only had one person reading.”
What I mean, “I love when I hear that someone has connected with my writing. I hope I have 10,000 more just like them.”
What I say, “The number of followers on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, my blog…doesn’t really matter. What matters is that I’m reaching the person who needs to be reached.”
What I mean, “I love affirmation! When I see the number of followers steadily rise it gives me a rush. When I see the number go down it makes me wonder what those people didn’t like about my message.”
What I say, “I write as an expression, never paying mind to what people might think when they read my thoughts.” (I literally just laughed out loud at the absurdity of this comment while typing it.)
What I mean, “I hope this changes someone’s life and makes me the hero.”
The more “followers” I have, the more I want.
The more you “confirm” my value, the more I want to hear.
The more “likes” clicked on my status, the more validated I appear.
I want you to think I’m a wonderful person with an endless capacity for charity.
Truth be told, was it not for grace, you would see the wretched person I am.
I realize I’ve just completely sold myself out and admitted that I’m an affirmation junkie, a seeker of self, a slave to ego…then I add Jesus to the equation. I open my hands and ask him to strip away those things that entangle me. I beg him to remove everything hindering my spirit from walking closely with him. I cry out in frustration that I would allow myself to be the one thing standing in the way of complete freedom in my Savior. It’s exhausting!
And then He whispers to my heart, “Worthy, precious, child, if you did everything perfectly, what need would you have for forgiveness? If your every decision was selfless and pure, what need would you have for grace? If when you stand before the mirror, you are without blemish, why did I give my life to set you free? Some days I will give you moments while others will be hours, but not a day will pass where I will not give you the realization that everything good comes from me. Never a day will go by that I don’t show you that the breath you’re breathing and the next breath and the next are not possible without my willing them to be. It does something for your soul to approach me, recognizing your absolute dependence on me.”
My journey has been one of gut wrenching pain, inexplicable happiness, bountiful blessing and tragic loss. I know the superficial feeling of superiority when surrounded by people of earthly importance and I know the sacred peace of weeping with a mother whose baby just took her last breath. I am both a woman in recovery who has seen addiction at its ugliest and a wife, mother and business woman striving to make a difference in the short time given on this earth.
I am learning that when my mind attempts to steer me toward self, I choose Jesus. Sometimes it’s just in the nick of time. I don’t say long, elaborate prayers. I don’t always drop to my knees or fall on my face (though at times that’s the only way to find reverence.) There’s no formal monologue. Most of the time it is a word or sentence. It’s simple enough for a child to recite yet powerful enough to calm my anxious heart, “Jesus. My Jesus. Not my will. Not my way. Yours. You are able to do far more than I could ever ask or think. You created me with great purpose and I trust Your plan. You have never deceived me and will never lead me into a place where You are not there waiting for me. Please drowned out all the noise that attempts to distract me from my real purpose. Unshackle me from the bondage of self.”
Maybe you can relate to the confessions in this post or maybe you now view me as a lying, Jesus freak. I cannot concern myself with your interpretation, only with my delivery. I can only hope that by sharing my struggle, you will feel less alone in yours.
Need a place of refuge? Visit my friends over at People of the Second Chance. Get connected. You don’t ever have to be alone again.
Thank you joy, everything you wrote here is something I needed to hear screamed at me right now and everyday!!! Thank you for sharing your heart!!!!! I love you!!!!
I appreciate you reading and taking the time to comment. It means a lot.
Joy, Great, as always! You always speak from the herart to hearts. Thank you ! You are a great B;essing!! I love you, Dad
I can’t believe my eyes! A comment from my dad! That means you figured out how to log in and leave a comment. I’m so proud! 😉
Thank you dad! I love you too!
Joy, if only I could write as eloquently as you I would say the same because what you have expressed openly I feel in my heart as well. You are truly an inspiration on many levels, girl.
Melva, Thank you! That means a great deal to me.
It is always a wonderful thing to know that beauty has come from the ashes of my story 🙂
I really do not think what you say is the ugly side of truth. To me it is more beautiful than the facade. The facade may look good but when you look on the other side it is pretty ugly. The real truth that you mention is much more appealing in the sense that beauty resides in truth no matter how ugly we think it is. I think it would only be ugly if you did not realize the things you mention. I do not know everything about you; just that which you have shared here and what you have struggled with and through makes you a very beautiful person in soul and spirit. One of the most beautiful for we are not left wondering do I really know what this person is about. I so appreciate all you share.
I also think there is beauty in flaws and I think we end up loving the flaws in the ones we love and part of our love towards them is standing along side them flaws and all. Late last year I learned about a Japanese art form called Kintsugi which is where they repair broken pottery with a resin and gold mixed in and the broken repaired pottery becomes viewed as more beautiful and more valued. We all are broken and God can repair us and make us more beautiful than we were before we were broken.
You are making a difference in this world Joy and even if it was just one person it would be worth it especially to that person and those who love them.
Mark, I really appreciate your feedback and encouragement.
I loves that about the Japanese art. I’m going to look up images so I can see it.
God asks us to say it straight from the heart and you do that Joy. I love what you write and I love the way you express yourself and what you believe in. Never stop writing and never stop believing in yourself and your ideals. We love you…heart and soul….keep on keeping on…….
Thank you, Janie!
As always, you are a great source of encouragement.
Blessings to you my friend.
Real is so good for the soul. I get worn out with seeing perfect Christians and attempting to be one.
I agree Ashley!
Thank you so much for reading!!