Saturday, May 05, 2007

Better

After a morning of feeling depressed - I nearly missed my riding lesson cos for some reason the alarm didn't go off, I wasn't well on the way in, there's this 15-year old girl whom my coach said is a better rider than me (she might be better but he didn't have to SAY it, afterall she's got the better tutor...) and I was feeling very uncompassionate and unChristian the last few days, wondering if God loved me or just chose me as a part in His plan - I caught up with some much needed sleep in the form of an afternoon nap. I woke up with a headache and thought of skipping a social I had planned to go to in the evening but after a shower, I felt slightly better so decided to go.

Chatted to Jasmine who picked me up and realised that I wasn't as uncompassionate as I thought myself to be. I may not be the most vocally appreciative person (that's why I think cards and Facebook is fantastic) or the most sympathetic or empathetic person, in fact I'm hardly sympathetic or empatetic so if you happen to be the kind of person who needs a shoulder to cry on, try as I might to be that shoulder, I might do more harm than good. Nonetheless, I have been fairly well trained by some friends to offer tea, ice cream, a hug or just an ear, even if it makes me a little uncomfortable. I find that there are some ladies at my church whom I would call beautiful, not because they wear make up or dress smartly or have lots and lots of friends or play music in front of the church or are in the limelight or lead discussions about tricky theological points. They are beautiful because they trust in Jesus and their faithfulness shows through their willingness to serve unaffected, their kindness to others, meekness, humility and unassuming yet quietly confident nature. I feel very much like a bull in a china shop compared to these ladies. They have an air that I feel only someone who completely trusts in Jesus can have. An assurance that cannot be shaken.

I don't know whether it's just 'me' or because I haven't reached 'that stage' yet, but my assurance is usually a frazzled one, full of questions and in need of reassuring. Perhaps it reflects the way my mind has been wired through illness. As a child with frequent panic attacks, I needed my parents around me almost 24/7. As I began to realise my parents couldn't physically watch me 24/7, I developed a way of thinking that told me I could do anything or go anywhere (without my parents) as long as I could always run back to them when I needed help or when the panics started. So when I went to school, I knew I could walk to my dad's office which was about 2 kilometres away. It didn't matter to me where it was, as long as I could get there, as long as I could do something about it. Even when I went to the UK, when I did get panic attacks, I told myself that I could fly home easily. Yes, I would have had to book the airticket and might not get home til the next day but it remained that if I needed to, I could. A lot of it was about ability hence also why I get incredibly stressed when I feel bound whether by rule, regulation, time or space. I need to know I can leave whatever I'm doing whenever I want to. I need that control, if not the attacks creep up and threaten to confine me to my house and even to bed forcefully sleeping, because when I sleep I'm not conscious.

I'm glad God is so patient with me. It's easy for me to doubt His love although I don't doubt His power. Maybe it's selfish, but I don't want to be one in a crowd. I want to be exclusively loved. And I know, although often it's easy not to feel, that although I am in a crowd, I'm not a nameless, 'whatever-face' to God and that He does love me. Exclusively. However many questions life throws at me, the most important question to me, if answered, can put to rest all other questions even though I may never find the answers in this life. God is my father. He doesn't want me to make appointments through other people to see Him. He doesn't need me to score valadictorian results to feel proud of me. Most of all, He has given me the ability in the Holy Spirit, through Jesus to go to Him anytime, anywhere. It's not about having control, yet He gives that assurance that I need, that confidence that no problem I can ever have is too big for Him to handle.

I want to please Him but whenever I think of wanting to please Him I always wonder how He can love me or how the best thing I can do can win His approval because I can never please Him 'enough,' not on my own anyway. I can be no one but myself; a self that is changing and being moulded, not because of anything I can do, but because God has enabled me to change. Strange isn't it, that ability that comes from ourselves is rebellious, sinful and futile but ability from God empowers, enriches and comforts.

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