I often convince myself that I am motivated by the right reasons for doing the things I do. And in some ways I am: like when I pick up the living room motivated by love for Matthew and a desire to have our home be a peaceful place for him to come home to, and for me and Eliza to spend our days. But in a deep and subconscious way, a way I only discover when I am not able to accomplish the things I want, I am actually motivated by the insidious feeling that I should bring something to the table, I need to have something to offer–that in some way it is really, truly all up to me.
I discovered this true motivation again a few nights ago, when I realized that I had been distancing myself from Matthew because I felt that I couldn’t really be lovable, when I am completely failing at all of the things I want to do. How could he help but be mad at me when the house is a wreck, when laundry is piled up, and that’s ALL I have to do but I can’t even do that? Even though he had not given me a single indication that he felt that way, I projected my feelings onto him. The next morning I realized that I felt the same way about God. At the drop of a hat, again and again, I find myself back in a place of feeling unloved by God in a way that really affects how I live. I mean, I know the big-picture, theological stuff. But…but how can He tell me He loves me when I don’t read my Bible, when my mind is this nasty mess of anger and insecurity, when I can’t get myself to a peaceful enough place to listen to him? Aaaannnnd once again, I live as though it is all up to me, as though, fundamentally, I must bring something to the table or get my act together before God can invade my life and be in relationship with me.
I bring nothing to the table. Both God and Matthew–in a lesser, human, fallible way–have promised to love me unconditionally. The fact that I can’t accept that unless I feel myself to be deserving of that love is not allowing me to fully acknowledge or appreciate the depth of that love. Uncomfortably, it may be that the only way to really learn that at a gut-response level is to live in this place for awhile. This place of failure, brokenness, and insecurity, and real sin.
But I have this big and little God, One who reaches through all the huge mess and uses little things to reassure me and soften this heart that I sometimes really try to make tough and hard. Amen. So be it.