by Leah Clouse
A year ago I wrote this post about being a not-very-nice girl. At the time I was feeling
inspired ashamed by an incident that happened at the office I worked at at the time. Being the not-so-nice girl I am (was?) I was emailing back and forth with a friend about a particularly annoying coworker and somehow managed to CC said coworker to the conversation. Brilliant, I know.
There was some fallout and wrist slapping, but more than anything there was utter embarrassment. In hindsight, I’m always mortified in these situations, but not because I’m ashamed of my actions. Nope, not this girl. It’s because I’m ashamed to be found out. The ugly parts are on the outside and the judgment is raining down like a ticker-tape parade. So long as no one knows, I feel just dandy. oh my humanity.
In the year following the post in which I not-so-subtly imply that I’m becoming a better person, some interesting things have happened. Paul and I moved into a larger home to accommodate some family members who were having a rough time. We also had front row seats for the mess that living with extended family sometimes degenerates into. We did our best, we prayed a lot, but ultimately things did not end well for those relationships. Never one to waste our pain, God used that time to do some serious work on this mean old heart.
He drew me in. [Side note, I can barely type that sentence without cringing. What does it mean to be “drawn in” by God? Hell if I know. Scrap that]
He grabbed my by the back of my shirt and made me sit down, look him in the eye, and really talk to him. Immediately my eyes welled up and the boarded up walls around my soul gave way. Well, by immediately I guess I mean “after a few counseling sessions and some serious gnashing of teeth. Po-tay-to, po-tah-to. When I really sat still and took a look at my pain, it looked a lot like those ugly parts I try to hide. Eventually I realized that when we keep our hurts and ugly parts bottled up they start to take over. They intertwine with the shalom God has been building up within us and stamp it out.
That was exactly what I had allowed to happen during my spiritual hiatus. I got stamped out, ironically, by myself. By pushing God out of the equation I let my own hurts and crooked places take over. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but people aren’t all good
all most much hardly a fraction of the time. We need help. We need something good and bigger than ourselves to root for, to BE for.
But now, here I am. Considering some HUGE life changes that I never [no seriously, NEVER ever ever] would have considered before. This process of becoming someone you’d rather be is s—l—o—w and it’s painful… but by God, it’s downright intoxicating to get a taste of exactly where you’re supposed to be.