I have many faults, and I don’t always share them in public like skivvies on a clothesline. But today as a part of being real, and helping us all feel so very human, I’m sharing some of my faults. (But not all, or this blog post would become my next book).
Fault One. I catastrophize.
Typically I can handle a lot of stuff, even when life throws 23 curveballs my way. But there comes a moment when too many bad things happen at the same moment, and I either blow up (ask my kids) or fall into the deepest pit of catastrophe. I begin to think that everything in the whole wide world is against me or evil or out to trip me up. I think all-the-bad-things-I-ever-imagined will henceforth come to pass. I don’t easily come out of that hole, either. I stay there a few days, worrying, letting my mood darken from gray to black. Usually my husband or my closest friends throw their hands down into the pit of my own making and have to lurch me out. Sometimes I don’t come out willingly.
Fault Two. I Can’t Seem to Make Peace with my Body.
Let’s just say things aren’t the same in your forties as they were in decades past. And although I’m in the best exercise shape of my life, and I eat good ol’ healthy food (hardly ever any junk food), the scale still hollers back at me. Now this self-hatred wouldn’t be too much of a problem if it didn’t spill out into my relationships. I can’t receive a compliment from my husband. And I’m sure my anger toward my body has an unhealthy effect on my girls. They may wonder, “If she is that harsh with her own body, how will she view me? Or how should I view me?” I am praying about this fault. A lot. I want to make peace. So if you think about it, please pray for me.
Fault Three. I’m Obsessive.
If something traumatic happens to me or someone I love, I obsess about it. If I see an injustice in the world that I can somehow have an impact in, I will fixate on it to the detriment of everything else.
Fault Four. I Worry.
Connected to my last fault is worry. I remember being with my grandmother every summer and noticing how much she worried. I hoped I wouldn’t turn into a worrier too, but oh-baby did I. I worry constantly. In order to help myself in this self improvement project, my word for 2015 is TRUST. Trust is not worrying. Trust is believing God is in control even when we are not. Trust is plodding forward in your calling even if things don’t line up. Trust is not giving into despair. But if I were to give myself a grade for trust this year, I would give myself a D-. Ah, but in worry? An A.
Fault Five. I Tie My Worth to What I Achieve.
This is not a revelation to those of you who have read my blog over the past decade. I wish this weren’t true. I wish I could say, “Yes, Jesus loves me, and because He does, I have worth.” I wrote a book about worth this year, not from a position of “I’ve figured this out, alleluia,” but from my own deep wrestling with the issue. As an achiever, if things don’t go right, or I don’t have a tangible thing to point to, I feel worthless. This is NOT good. I wish I were different.
Fault Six. I Struggle with Affection.
When my children were little and they hurt themselves, my natural instinct was not to touch or nurture, but to be aloof. I knew this was a problem, so I trained myself to care for them. I felt awful that this instinct didn’t come naturally to me. Even now, I don’t naturally demonstrate affection to those I love. But I am trying.
Fault Seven. I Need to Be Noticed.
I realized this trait this year. Not sure why it took me so long. But when I was younger, I felt on the outskirts of life, never with the in-crowd, always on the sidelines. This bred in me an insatiable desire to be SEEN by others. It definitely crept into my adult life. And being an author and speaker has not been helpful in this regard. Whenever I’m passed over for a book contract or a speaking gig, the pain is deeper because I feel unnoticed. I hope my new awareness of this fault will breed change. I don’t want to be enslaved to my neediness in this area.
Fault Eight: I am Too Hard on Myself.
You’re probably noticing a trend here. I’m so so so so hard on myself. I expect perfection. But, like you, I’m incredibly human, clay-footed and flawed. So when I fail (every day), I barrage myself with insults. It’s not pretty in my head. I need to offer myself the compassion and kindness I offer my closest friends.
So there’s a short list of some of my faults. Or sins. Or problems. After writing this all down (and knowing just how many more I have), I am so very grateful for Jesus who forgives, enables, and gives me new life. There is hope. And He doesn’t want me to be strong because strong people don’t need Him. I just need to acknowledge my weakness.
Because my faults are entryways for Jesus to do His most amazing work, His strength in my weakness.
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And for that, I am grateful.