So Long, Self

June 8, 2010 | 21 comments

I know when it’s going to be one of those days, even before bare toes touch carpet in the blue of dawn.

I can’t explain the why of those days. I can’t explain why those days start all wrong, before feet even hit the floor. But sometimes they do. And on those days, it doesn’t take much to send on-the-edge emotion tumbling out like a waterfall.

I look in the mirror and the whispers accuse: “You’re a nothin’. Statistically, your life is half over. What do you have to show for it?”

Or I hear the snarling: “You hypocrite. If your friends could see inside your thoughts. If your pastor really knew you. And you blog three times a week about Jesus?”

Fraud. Fake.
Ugly. Unworthy.
Incapable. Inept.

Those are names I hear.

And I know the words come from the liar, the prince of this world. I know who accuses, but I entertain the whispers anyhow. I buy into the lie, for no particular reason at all other than the fact that I am flesh of Adam.

The lies can paint a whole day. Like this:

* The call comes from the insurance company. I cradle the phone between my ear and shoulder while I scrub breakfast dishes, and she says, No, we aren’t going to cover the strep test or the blood draws. I feel heat rising, and I want to shout at a stranger.

* I read the Facebook status of a good friend who is meeting others for lunch. I feel sorry for myself and wonder: Why wasn’t I invited?

* The full-time working mom shows up at the door. I’m still in my pajamas, and the house is a mess, and shouldn’t a stay-at-home mom have her home put together better than this? The woman didn’t even say those words, but it’s how I see things … during one of those days.

People are starving, and dying, and grieving, and getting fired, and facing a diagnosis … and I’m getting my feelings hurt over the lunch invitation I didn’t receive.

And I wonder how in the world I’ve kept it together when I really did have reason to fall apart?

She’s the Old Me. May I introduce you?

This woman who wears pity around her neck? She’s my Old Self. She lurks in the shadows. She comes out from time to time to remind me who I once was.

On one of those days. And those days still happen these days.

She strings up the pain like beads, reminds me of the things I’ve done, and she wears hurt like a martyr around her neck.

And it’s just a jumble, this thing she holds in her hand. And I can’t even make out the words.

***

I’d rather not admit it, you know. I’d rather you didn’t know that I have those jumbled days. I don’t want to tarnish my testimony. (And yes, I know that’s pride.)

But it takes some time for me to untangle myself from the lies, to find Truth in the jumble.

To just be still. To say once again: “So Long, Self.”

To be reminded of the new me.

To clear the mind
and light the candle
and think clearly.

Yes, to think…

To think about

To think not of lies, but of True.
Not of old, but of new.
Not the wrong, but the right.
Out of darkness, Heaven’s Light.

Jesus is the antidote to the tangle.

Yes I will think about such things.

So, Long Self. I have found Somebody else. On those days, I will think of Him. I will think of Heaven.

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things.” — Philippians 4:8

***

PHOTOS: YES! That’s a necklace I could wear. I found it on one of those days, underneath Lydia’s bed after a pipe broke in our home and flooded her bedroom.

by | June 8, 2010 | 21 comments

21 Comments

  1. Bina

    Oh, my sweet Jennifer. How it is that God uses you nearly every post to reach into my world and touch my face and whisper "I see you"…oh, its just beyond me, but I thank Him for it anway. I wish we could do coffee…cuz I know I would love the *real* you.

    In tears…and in Him,
    Yours,
    Bina

    Reply
  2. KJ

    What a nice post! Thank you for the reminders…as these days happen to me to some times…

    Reply
  3. patty

    Aaahhhh, THOSE days…they happen often in this heart. Thank God He's got me even when I have a hard time holding onto Him. Love you, friend, patty

    Reply
  4. Kelly Langner Sauer

    our testimony is not what we look like to the world, you know. it is how He reveals Himself to the world in us. it is "Jesus Christ and Him crucified for us" on "those" days.

    Reply
  5. Andrea

    Thank you so much for your prayers, encouragement, and support.

    Blessings,
    andrea

    Reply
  6. A Simple Country Girl

    You know girl, if my mountains grew up next to your fields, we would have lunch in our jammies any ole time. Consider it an open invitation.

    Much love and many hugs to you!

    (I think our insurance ladies were one in the same yesterday. Maybe they each needed a lunch date?)

    Blessings.

    Reply
  7. Jennifer @ Getting Down With Jesus

    Thank you for your words this morning, kind friends.

    This felt hard to write, and your presence here today is so encouraging.

    Thank (((you.)))

    Reply
  8. Shirl

    Oh this is a good one! For a minute I thought ~I~ had written it 😀 Or at least that you had been eavesdropping on my thoughts sometimes! The mind–Satan's battlefield.

    Blessings!!!!

    Reply
  9. Doug Spurling

    Thank you for such transparent honesty – turning on the Light; The Truth exposes him who accuses in the dark and causes him to flee. Great job! Too often my old self speaks. I try to follow Jesus example and answer with the Word. Seems I have to often remind my old self I'm dead. "I'm crucified with Christ, never the less I live, yet not I but Christ lives in me and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the One who loves me and gave Himself for me."

    Reply
  10. Deidra

    Those days…I know them well.
    Thanks for revealing yourself – old and new – to us.

    I get caught up, too. The thing about the devil is that his native tongue is lying…so when he speaks, we hear lies and somehow think they're true.

    But Jesus? He IS truth. And He has come to set us free. It's a journey, isn't it? This becoming free…

    Reply
  11. Anne Lang Bundy

    Love what you did with the beads, and with your thoughts. It all resonates true. The song is perfect. It calls to mind Steven Curtis Chapman's "Much of You":

    How could I stand here
    And watch the sun rise
    Follow the mountains
    Where they touch the sky
    Ponder the vastness
    And the depths of the sea
    And think for a moment
    The point of it all was to make much of me
    Cause I'm just a whisper
    And You are the thunder and
    I want to make much of You, Jesus
    I want to make much of Your love…

    I better quit! I'll come sing the rest with you someday. 😀

    Reply
  12. LynnRush

    Wow. This was touching. Needed to read this today!

    Reply
  13. alicia

    We definitely all have those days. And to set your pride aside to let others see that "even Jennifer who appears to have it all together" has those days is good for others to see. You have blessed me much by this post!

    Reply
  14. Billy Coffey

    This is why writers write. Not just to expound upon the good days, but to reveal the bad ones, too. I think your testimony shines even more in your transparency. You blessed me today, Jennifer.

    Reply
  15. Missie

    I can totally relate, thank you so much for your words!

    Reply
  16. Dakota Midwest

    I'm slipping my shoes off (a very big deal). This ground is holy, my friend.

    Your courage, raw and real, it makes the ground tremble just a little over here.

    We all hear our own different version of that lie, you know? But always the same at its core: It's not finished, He is not enough, we need to add something to Jesus that we will just never have.

    I like what Kelly says here, He is telling His story of love and forgiveness and redemption and His work through us. And the glory of that is that He does it through our brokenness and frailty and ugliness and . . . ineptitude. He tells that story through you . . . here three days a week, yes, but all over an Iowa farmhouse and a little Iowa town all day long. I know it.

    Now, I'll pull my shoes back on and go look for my eye patch and polish my hook. I hear there's a ship sailing tomorrow night.

    Reply
  17. Lyla Lindquist

    Whoops. That was me…still logged into the work account… Messin' up your comment box again…

    Reply
  18. elaine @ peace for the journey

    I can't think of a better day to find that necklace than on one when the pipe breaks!

    I have a day or two like this as of late… even before the feet hit the floor kind of days. It's so frustrating when defeat takes over, even before breakfast. Right now, my life has me hanging on by a thread. But that thread?

    He's a strong one, and he is enough to hold me, even when I've let go and am flailing about in the wind.

    A lovely reminder to me this night that just a thought of Jesus and his heaven is enough to reprogram my sinking spirit.

    peace~elaine

    Reply
  19. Karen

    Oh, Jennifer…THOSE days…THOSE lies…STILL happen…

    So thankful you shared from your heart…you have touched mine more than you know….

    Reply
  20. Holly

    Oh my goodness…I feel like you were reading my thoughts from yesterday…thanks so much for sharing!! 🙂

    Reply
  21. deb

    Jennifer,

    I read your post above, and it's beautiful,

    and this, this , is fabulous. Sometimes I can switch into one of those days moments after being in one that transcends you know.

    hugs to you for all of your moments. they are all beautiful truth.

    Reply

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