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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

2nd chapter of "The Well-Loved Soul"

Here is the 2nd installment of "The Well-Loved Soul." Each Wednesday for the next month will be a new chapter.
The Voice
"All night long on my bed
I looked for the one my heart loves;
I looked for him but did not find Him."
(song of songs 3:1)

He walks near her, yet she does not notice. He calls her name over and over again, but she can not hear. The harsh, inner voice is too loud. It shuts out all His tender words, His passionate pleas for her to come home to him. To find a safe space, a place of gentleness and warmth for her soul. A soft place to land, to discover sanctuary and begin the journey of restoration.

Today the voice has pinned her soul to the ground. She has failed to live up to the “now-your-enough standard”. The torment of the familiar curses begins, “I am simply not enough. Not beautiful enough, not smart enough, not kind enough, not thin enough, not competent enough, not hard-working enough and not spiritual enough. I should be so much better than I am.” And yet she wonders why she is so exhausted. Not recognizing the cost she is exacting upon her soul by daily waging a war of worth. She tries hard to be all she needs to be, for all the people in her life. It seems that everyone holds a hoop that she must try and jump through. She can hardly bear the disappointment when she fails to meet their expectations. The cost of failure is too high. She needs their approval, she needs their love, as it her only means of silencing the voice.

She had accepted the accusations of the voice and its standards so completely that she can no longer separate it from her own. Frequently she finds herself joining the voice in a litany of self-punishment. Sometimes she attempts to fight the voice, but the voice is strong, clever and devious. In the end it always wins because in her heart she has resigned herself to the belief that the voice speaks the truth. It is simple reflecting the “truth” of who she really is. And the “truth” of what is expected from her.

The voice is well entrenched, it draws its life from a thick, murky pool comprised of a lifetime of disillusioning experiences. Experiences that have taught her she is without value, without beauty and therefore not worthy of the honor of love and celebration. Her soul bears witness to cruel words and heartless actions. She has known what it is to be overlooked and ignored. She has felt the sting of being used and then casually tossed aside. She has fully absorbed the knowledge of her own insignificance and worthlessness.

Ironically, the voice assures its victories by drawing on her precious faith. The voice reminds her that she exists to serve, to suffer, and to die to herself. After all is she not a slave of Christ? Perhaps the voice is actually the Holy Spirit convicting her of her sin and guilt. The voice passes judgment upon her based upon standards that she is miserably failing. She is in agreement with the voice and wears her shame and guilt like a heavy, oppressive garment. It feels like just punishment for one who has failed. It feels like appropriate humility in light of her perpetual failure.

It feels like she is being a humble, good Christian. Yet she wonders…

2 comments:

The Trendy Couple said...

Thanks for posting parts of this book. Is it for sale anywhere? I would enjoy reading the whole thing.

Aimee said...

Only 26 short days to go!!! Wahoooo!! Thinking about you and hoping you're feeling good...