Why am I like this? Why can’t I change and be some other way? Why do people put up with me? What’s the point of even trying, you won’t be any good. I wonder how long people will put up with me before I become a burden they can’t cope with anymore? Why did I end up here? I have nothing to offer these people! What if they knew what I was really like? Help! How long before I can run away? I wonder if they’re talking about me? Why am I so self-obsessed?! Wouldn’t it be better if someone else was doing this? Why don’t you try harder? If I were the other person, I’d think I just didn’t care… What on earth am I doing?! I can’t do this job! Will anyone ever just want to be with me? Why is my heart so cold? Why am I so judgemental? What can I do to make people like me?
These are all questions I’ve asked myself, or thoughts that have run through my head. I share them now because I’m working on being more honest – less of a front, more of what I’m really like. This isn’t an experiement self-expression (I don’t think these things all the time and they’re not the sum total of how I feel at any given point) nor is it a plea for help (though I’m not denying I often need it, and am always thankful when people offer it) but an exercise in openly stating that I am broken, damaged by my own reluctance to trust Jesus, affected by a world that doesn’t love it’s Creator… but still not hopeless! For all the stuff that is wrong, for all the struggles I face or see in the world around me, and every moment I do feel these things keenly – there is hope. Unlike the wisdom of the TV ad, it’s not in searching for self-worth, nor is it found in digging deep into my past – it’s completely outside of me… alien, you might say.
…But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith…
(Philippians 3:7-9 ESV)
I know there’s no hope to be found in me – I can’t deal with any of these problems or situations on my own. But like Paul says, there’s hope outside of me, outside of broken humanity, outside of the damaged world we live in – Jesus is my unshakeable, life-giving, joy-restoring hope. I don’t have to look within, I look to Him. 😀