Coming Undone

There isn’t a thing the matter with me.

At least that’s what I’m being told.

My head too often seems to gyrate with the notion that I have to be a different me to be a better me.  You know… smarter.  More hip.  More together.  

And sometimes, many times, more confident.  More sacrificial.  More humble.  More accomplished.

Just plain more.

In the early days, I would eagerly gulp that Kool-Aid.  The enemy of my soul, slimeball that he is, would whisper those lies and I would swallow hard, naively ingesting the poison.  And boy, how it did spread:  a wicked cancer licking through every crevice of my soul-system.   

Yeah, maybe I was encouraged to perform early on, bystanders clapping hardily as I cleared every hoop.  And maybe along the way that did begin to twist into some type of identity traffic jam.  At some point, however, it took on a life of its own:  the daily dose of pride and perfectionism and the adamant unwillingness to let it all go.  

But tucked away in some corner I could still feel it, the desperation.

How do I keep this thing going?

All those plates spinning perfectly in synch with a grin spread across my aching cheeks and that cry throbbing in my chest.  

Lily-02How do I keep this flying without some fall-to-pieces finish?  One slight tip is all it would take.  One little kink in the armor.  

I’ve seen it happen too many times.  I’ve heard the heartache.  I’ve listened across the room and watched the tears come fast, trails of pain marking yet another set of cheeks.  And I’ve felt the pain of each dear one as deeply as my own.  The wrestling struggle to let go, to drop abandoned into that pool of grace and just rest in Him.  

‘Cause when Jesus found me trapped in that crazy circus show and I finally got it – there’s real freedom waiting for you – I felt like a kid let out for permanent summer vacation.  Delicious, thrilling freedom.  And through spankin’ new lenses, I could finally catch it:  the only solitary person who cared about those plates being perfectly spun was me.  

So I began to ditch the demeaning self-talk and the outlandish expectations and the ball-and-chain of guilt.  I had to pull out the big guns, ‘cause those lies die hard; but by then, the freedom, the joy, was  too great. I couldn’t go back.

Jesus would meet me and we’d talk about the way I really look to him.  When I’m lounging on the front porch. Snuggling with one of my precious children. Walking the beach trail.  Holding my husband’s hand.  Not scrambling to check my boxes, not grasping hard to make it all work.  Just resting in my Daddy’s arms.  

Oh, how sweet it is to be free.

Lily-03My Father seems to take a great deal of genuine joy in reminding me that I’m His, and that He’s already done it all, everything I could possibly imagine might need to be done and more, through the work of His Beloved on the cross.  And I can’t add one iota to that righteousness through any scuffle of my own.  So I might as well just lean back into my new, undeserved identity and take joy in His work.  

Either that or strive my way into 10,000 kinds of miserable.   

So now when He whispers so tender in my ear that I’m His and that’s enough, I grab ahold.

He’s got such a way with words, that Lover of my soul. 


Photo by Josh Wray (#josh_wray)

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26 comments

    • But, enough about me…..let’s talk about you!! Oh my gosh, Tiff, this was just what I needed to hear today. You described my feelings and my seemingly eternal predicament exactly!! I am trying so hard to only run myself through a “God Grid” and not let the world (and my own self-talk) boss me around! What a sweet realization that a woman I love and admire so much feels and fights just the same as me!! Love you, precious sister!!

      • What a weird sorta joy to know that we wrestle with the same crazy issues. 🙂 I so respect who you are as a passionate daughter of the King, my dear sister. Love you!

  • So transparent, Tiffany. I appreciate it. Have you thought of compiling your blogs into a book to publish? ❤️Amy

    • Thank you, Amy. I am actually working on writing a book, but not one based on my blogs. Thank you for the encouragement, though! 🙂

  • I miss your wonderful spirit – the beauty of joy, freedom and the Spirit of Love in you. Your family, husband and Costa Rica is blessed to have you. Costa Rica is blessed to have your family. I think of you often and I pray. I know any challenge that comes your way wll always be brought before your King – the one who runs over the hills to be with you. You have found the One in whom your soul loves. Yah God. Loved this blog – it was one of my favorite. Hi to Chris and Anne please. Lots of love hugs – chow:)

    • Thank you for your wonderful words of encouragement, Sandie! Love you and am looking forward to fellowshipping face to face again someday soon.

  • Thank so, dear one for giving love through your words and life!

    Rachel

  • Amazing!! Loved it and love you!! Miss you and hope you are doing well in Costa Rica!

  • This is something I also struggle with now & then. Thank you for the reminder that He takes care of it all and I don’t have to strive to be in His grace. He is so wonderful! I miss you & your family, but thankfully you writing is another way for you to still be around 🙂 I love it.

  • Well Said and so very true! I could just see those spinning plates in my own life years ago! Never feeling quite “good enough”. Love you guys. Praying for the whole team.

  • You also have “…such a way with words…” and I’m thankful for it!! Miss you guys…

  • Sometimes I feel like you have peered into my life and are sending me a gentle stirring to be still and let God do the rest. Such a place of challenge for me. Right now I feel as if you are sitting across from me with your gentle gaze and compassion and it brings me to tears. Thank you for the reminder. I love you.

    • Oh, Teresa, how I love your heart! You are such a treasure. Thank you for your words of love and transparency.

  • Hmmm….did you catch that? What Theresa Matarrazo wrote? Be still. It’s everywhere, in neon lights. One singer captures it so well, but darn it, I can’t remember her name. Or any lyrics to the song, but it was about being still and letting God win the war. When I hear it again, and I surely will, I’ll share it with you. Not because I think you need to hear it, but just so you can know what the heck I am talking about.

    I love you so very dearly. If God ever brings to your mind things that I might ponder, consider. Something that might help….as you know, you have carte blanche permission to share 🙂 Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. I see and hear this verse nearly every day, and I know I have the Spirit of the Lord living in me….but I’m seeing bondage, not freedom. Any thoughts on that?

    This post one was one of my favorites too. Thank you for sharing all that you did. I would NEVER have guessed some of the things you said, I really thought you knew were you were perfect. I look at you and you are. Smile.

    • Sweet Cindy…one of my biggest cheerleaders! I so appreciate your words of life and am humbled by the way you champion me. I am also humbled so have such a beautiful platform to speak into your life. What a joy to walk this journey together. I love you right back!

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