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?”
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.