For several months, I’ve been really nervous that I’m about to have a heart attack. I haven’t though. Finally my dear husband (DH) suggested that I maybe was dealing with heart-related anxiety because I was holding things in my heart that didn’t belong there–that I needed to let go. I’m what he calls a verbal processor. So I started talking.
First I was telling him about being sent to boarding school in 10th grade and how I felt like my parents had given up on me. Then I talked about the wreath that my grandmother made before I was born. It had two little dolls–a boy and a girl–representing my older sister and brother. But there was no doll for me. Even though he already knew, I told him again how Mom was pregnant with me not just unexpectedly, but when they were actively trying to prevent pregnancy. And how I always felt a little outside my family because they were this whole family unit without me, then I came along after they were done having kids and they had to start all over again. Even though they assured me they wanted me (as soon as they found out I was coming), I felt like I had to earn my place among them. Just singing around the piano made me feel left out. Mom was an alto and my big sister a soprano, my brother was a bass and my dad a tenor. What was left for me? Especially when I didn’t know how to sing harmony.
I moved on to talking about feeling like I have to earn God’s favor as well. Surely He’s tired of my disobedience and distrust. Certainly my allotment of grace has nearly expired. I keep expecting the other shoe to drop. I’m so imperfect, I keep waiting for all of my mistakes and bad choices to catch up with me in some big horrible experience, like some sort of penance for everything I’ve screwed up, an impending disaster was not only of my own making, but for my own good.
DH asked me if I really thought God worked that way. I responded, “Well, I know I’m not supposed to.” And, honestly, I don’t think God works that way, but I often feel and act as thought He does. Even though I (ought to) know He doesn’t.
I had the song “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” running through my head during our discussion. I know it’s an oldie, but the version I kept hearing was the scene from 10 Things I Hate About You where Heath Ledger’s character is singing on the bleachers accompanied by the school marching band. The song starts out with the line, “You’re just too good to be true.” Just like I was thinking about God and grace and my not having to pay the price for each and every sin I’ve produced.
Later on, as the evening was winding down and DH was nodding off, I remembered the lyric from the end of the tune, “Let me love you.” It seemed like that was God’s message just for me: Stop trying so hard to earn the love I am already giving you and just let Me love you. Quit doing so much and just be the woman I am making you to be.
So, in an attempt to spend more time with God in His word, I’ve started this blog. I don’t know whether I’ll get to it every day or every week or on any sort of regular basis. I’m trying not to have a plan or a whole series of expectations, but just setting this place aside to be me.