I’ve had a tough week. And that, my friends, might be the understatement of the month. And, if you know me, I’m not a big fan of understating things, drama queen that I am. But, alas, the only way I can think to more accurately state that fact comes with a lot of phrases that aren’t considered appropriate for a pastor’s wife’s repetoire.
I messed up…a lot….last week. It felt like everything I attempted to do, I bungled. I missed deadlines. Others I met, but I sent out stuff that was riddled with errors and incomplete. I had to cancel meetings because I hadn’t adequately planned for them. These example are minor; at worst inconveniencing and confusing people. But there were other mess-ups. More serious and hurtful ones. I said things that I shouldn’t have said (in tones that I shouldn’t have used), and I didn’t say things that I should have. I turned away in anger rather than turning toward in honest hurt. And I caused a myriad of angry words to fly and hot tears to fall.
I spent a lot of my days feeling upset and embarrassed. I worship at the idol of competence, and I CANNOT STAND looking incompetent (you’d think I’d be getting mighty used to it by now!!!). I was also ashamed and sad….ashamed at how I treated the people I loved the most and sad over the relationships that I strained because of my inability to see beyond my own nose and my own hurt. I was convicted that I didn’t put others ahead of myself. By Saturday morning I felt so overwhelmed with the breadth of my incompetence and the depth of my heart-darkness that staying in bed all day seemed like the most viable option.
I did A LOT of apologizing to A LOT of different people over the course of 7 days. Some of them were simple and almost comical:
“Oh, sorry, that I sent that attachment in a different language (I wish I was exaggerating!), or, “I apologize that I totally forgot to pick your kid up for that playdate that we have done every single week since almost as long your kid has been alive.”
But others were much more serious in the repentance department. More along the lines of proverbially being on my face before those I had wronged, tears falling as I outlined my serious transgressions, and asking for forgiveness.
And what struck me was that almost without exception, people were ridiculously quick to forgive. People responded to me with such love and grace, not in any way downplaying the way I had inconvenienced or hurt them, but assuming the pain of my transgressions on themselves so that I could be forgiven and so that our relationship could be restored. I was blessed with such gracious responses and encouragement and forgiveness, that I was pointed to the Ultimate Forgiver
How appropriate that during this Easter week I have been reminded of how rotten to the core I am. How appropriate that this week as we lament Jesus’ death and as we celebrate our Saviors resurrection, I am being reminded of my desperate need for a Savior. My need for Jesus goes FAR beyond needing to be saved from my absentmindedness and my incompetence; I needed Jesus to die because of the depth of the darkness in my heart that threatens to swallow me whole and eat me alive. I need a Savior to save me from how that darkness makes me want to run for the hills because of the shame and the self-loathing I feel for the things I think, feel, and do.
Some of you will read this and questions whether, as a pastor’s wife, I am being too honest. The fact of the matter is, we are not honest enough. We pay lip service to how Jesus’ death paid for our sins, but we are often willing only to confess those sins that are “acceptable,” and we leave the real depth of our sin buried, maybe even to ourselves. 1 John 1:6 says, “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar, and his word has no place in our lives.” Jesus died for ALL my sin, not just the ones that are more palatable and less embarrassing….he died for ALL darkness, ALL the garbage, ALL the sludge in my heart.
I want to be part of a community of believers that are broken and bruised and heartwrenchingly honest about how badly they need Jesus. And, judging from the encouragement, the forgiveness and the gospel that I received from people this week, I think I am. I’m beginning to realize that the more honest I am in my confession, the more people are free to be honest as well, the more the gospel becomes real, and the more Jesus meets us where we’re at.
This Easter, may you really begin to see the depth of your soul. And may that lead you, and all your baggage, to the cross. May the death and resurrection of Jesus come alive in a fresh and new way as you realize that, wherever your struggle with sin “there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
The mission of Intersection is to help our readers to see how the gospel of Jesus intersects & transforms all of life in a very real way. Our goal is to destroy the false & harmful dichotomy between 'the sacred' & 'the secular' by presenting a wide range of perspectives that focus on different aspects of life in the city. These stories, reflections, observations, & opinions all have one thing in common—the shared conviction that every arena of life can be holy & beautiful when it is lived out in full awareness of the gospel & in full submission to the leadership of Jesus. Although the Intersection team loves, values, & supports all of its contributors, the views expressed in their posts are ultimately their own & may not necessarily reflect the beliefs & values of New City Church.