I wrote this in my journal Monday afternoon, at the bus stop, waiting for my boys.
“Sunday afternoon, I saw an ugly part of myself. Yet another instance where I let the tapes in my head, the insecurity, the unworthiness define me instead of God.
You see, I have a dream to write a book. That’s when they start – the same Sanballat (the name of the villain in the book of Nehemiah, always the undermining voice of opposition) voices that spent so long arguing that I had nothing to say on Sunday mornings – “Who are you to think you have anything to say? Why would anyone come to hear you? Who do you think you are? I know who you really are…”
Now, they’re shouting at me, same words dripping with judgment, their only goal to fill me with shame.
And I listened.
Not to the Creator, who lovingly placed these dreams in me, but to the enemy, who has never wanted anything good for me (or you or your sister or co-worker or anyone else).
I kept my mouth closed, embarrassed at what I was being re-programmed to believe were delusions of grandeur – not grandeur, really, just value. Re-programmed to think value was a delusion. Shhhh, don’t speak because ‘what if’
What if what?!!?
What if I were created in love, by love, for a purpose? What if God gave me dreams and passions? What if God called me?
Which isn’t too far fetched, by the way. God has called us ALL, yet I seem to think I’m not a part of this super-secret exclusive group ‘ALL.’ What?
Anyway, what if?
Back to the ugly part. We had close friends over for dinner, really terrific people who truly care about me, us, and most of all, they care about Jesus. So, they asked me what I was feeling/doing/where I was spiritually, and I answered (mostly the things I told you last week). But I stopped short of the book (which I’ll call Chronicles, Nehemiah, and Other Books Nobody Reads). I can’t tell you why.
Then my wife pressed me to share it with them and I hesitated (I still can’t tell you why), letting it escape like a dirty secret – And they were thrilled. Of course they were.
I shelved this exciting part of me, instead choosing to display the me the voices described. But those voices are filthy liars. The person they describe isn’t me at all. AT ALL. I honestly don’t know the person they are describing.
When given the choice, I decided to court the discouragement of wrecking balls rather than the love and support of angels in human skin. (And they really are angels, these friends, these beautiful Liedtkas)
I wonder why…
Either way, it was disgusting and so far beneath me. I’m not going to do that again. In fact, I think I’ll shout from the mountaintops about this book. About how I am new. About how we are loved, and valued, more passionately than we could ever possibly imagine.”
If I had any sense (or privacy), I wouldn’t post pages from my journal. We all know I’m prone to over-sharing, but this one feels different to me, much harder. But even though this is extraordinarily frightening to be so raw and vulnerable, I know it’s necessary.
We can all see that it’s not just about a book, right? It’s an apology to my friends. It’s a public denial of the tapes that run, telling me I am less than, convincing me I am not good enough. It is an affirmation of the Gospel that whispers straight into my heart that I am not who I was, that I am not a better version of that guy, but that I am new, thanks to Him.
It is a New Day.