Lord, I humble my competence and exceptionality before you as one who has always attempted to use these things to justify my worth. You have shown me where this has stood between us and continues to interfere with the calling You have for me, with the way You can impact (or not) my heart. And I’m pretty much fed up with that, so either I have to change or You do. I choose me.
It’s hard to do that right now. I notice the way my thoughts obsess over this competence, and even over the gifts You have put in me. I can hardly have a thought without mulling it over and over and over and over again, reworking and rewording it to make it just right and as beautiful and provocative as it can be. It is the curse of an artist, whose heart You have given me, but when the gift becomes so controlling, it is no gift at all. And it has been a way to buffer my lingering questions about whether I am good enough. Probably also a few about whether You are good enough.
Are You who You say You are? Are You good and do You love me? Have You made me in Your image and called me “daughter” for Your glory? Because I’ve been living like that ought to be for my glory. Like You called me to make me something here, but that’s not the case at all. You have called me to make Your name known. Your presence. And You have been right here with me through moments of ecstasy and heartbreak both. Are You who You say You are?
You are. I am watching You work, and I know that You are. I know that You are good. There is so much healing and so much transformation taking shape here, in me. There are gifts and blessings poured out on my life that I could hardly have imagined and would never have dared to dream. You have given me Your promise, and I believe it. But I don’t know who I am any more.
I don’t know what I would be if I couldn’t be competent. Does the world take notice? Does anyone know whether I live or die, show up or fail? Does anyone care? I am…stuck here trying to figure out who You are making me or have made me to be, and yet…all I can know right now is that it is not this. It is not behind this mask of intelligence and competence and hard work, though these are all things that I enjoy. The torture that living by these facades has put in my life has made me weary and diminished me to merely a shadow, something intangible that moves about but has no presence nor purpose in this world. That’s no way to live, and I cannot do it anymore.
Every moment, I must surrender the moment. And not just the moment but so many things of myself. My hopes and dreams, my attitude and words, my spirit and glory – they are changing. Perhaps they changed a long time ago and I just didn’t notice until the pain of living a divided life started eating away at me. I haven’t felt rested. I haven’t felt satiated. I haven’t felt valued or worthy or purposeful in awhile, it seems. You have taunted me with tastes of what You have and yet something has held me back. And I realize it is myself, the only me I have ever known and the one who is scared to consider that there might be something more.
Because it is all death. Every bit of it at this moment is death. It is pulling weeds and dying to pretty much everything I have always relied on. When an opportunity arises, I know there are some I would have always jumped on, taken on my shoulders as another show of my dominance, competence, strength, will, whatever it is that would prove me as something. Yet now, I sit idle. Knowing You have not called me to that or at least knowing that my heart is not in the right place to serve in that way. Not right now. When it’s still about me, then it’s not what You have.
I just feel like I’m lost. I know I’m so lost. It’s…I don’t know. I don’t even know. I know that I don’t want to try to be what has held me back for too long. I know that I don’t want to give away my power to darkness or to self, but only to You, God. I want You to take my life and transform it, and to do that, I have to get out of Your way. I have to set myself free from expectation – the world’s and my own. I have to believe I can live a different way. I have to believe that it will be better. I have to trust that I can be faithful even though I know without Your help, I cannot. I have to turn everything over to You and let You answer the nagging questions of my heart.
What I believe about You is what You have said. You are good. You are worthy. You are glorious. And You do a tremendous job of kicking my ass. You humble me and break me and crush my heart under the weight of something higher, something more beautiful and more daring than I could even identify.
What I struggle with is what You say about me. Am I worthy? Am I loved? Am I good? Am I anything? And to that, You say always the same – I am Yours. I am daughter. And I am so loved.
Why can’t my heart believe that? Because it is blocked by my own attempts to confirm or deserve that. It is blocked by the way I try to control everything down to the minutest detail and refuse to be simply normal. Refuse to relax and rest. Refuse to just be. Refuse to give up what I have so long held onto that now tries to keep a hold on me because what You plead with my heart to accept is so foreign. So foreign that I do not know it by name or word yet. Only that feeling that there is something more. Something so much more.
And about holding on – am I holding on to these things of my own fear or are they holding onto me? For much of my life, I felt they were holding onto me. They had firm claws in my heart and would not let me go, for the darkness needed me. It always has. Lately, though, as I sit up through the nights and cry and pray and my body begs for rest, but there is none there for my mind cannot stop racing and my heart cannot stop crying out, I have begun to see that it is still me that is holding onto the darkness. And if all that it is is my holding on, then it is time for me to let go. I do not need the darkness any longer; I want to live boldly in the light.
Lord, I surrender and humble myself before you – darkness and light, faith and doubt, hope and despair, questions without answers, self-indulgent and self-satisfying habits that control my every thought, my feeble attempts to validate myself, the way my heart rests on other things beside what You have said, even the deep stabbing pain of Your word ‘daughter’ that does something in me I still have not deciphered as joy or heartache – all of me, Lord, I surrender and humble before you. Free me from the death grip that has such strong hold of me. Restore to me Your peace. Your call. Your presence. Your perfect plan for me. Let me live naked before You, before the world, and before the mirror that I may see what You see in me, that I may believe what You say about me, that I may know without proving it the worth of my heart and that I may stop obsessing about anything otherwise.
I am Yours, let me live as Yours. Every moment, let me surrender every moment. Let me hold my head high even as I bow my knees before you.
Let me be normal. Let me be Yours. Let me be “daughter.” Let me be light.