Was God Rolling His Eyes at Me?
“How dare you call yourself a missionary. You’re disgraceful,” she said and slammed the door. My eyes brimmed with tears.
In the heat of the moment, I had said some terrible things I didn’t mean. As soon as my rampage was over, I felt an enormous flood of guilt. What is wrong with me? What came over me? I had hurt someone I loved and words are powerful.
I apologized and told her I honestly didn’t mean it. Truly. I asked for her forgiveness. I begged her to forgive me. But all to no avail. She spent the next weeks mumbling about how disgraceful my behavior was, excluding me from meals, threatening to tell my supporters about ‘the real me’. She told me I’d better consider another career because I wasn’t qualified to be in ministry.
The worst part? I believed her. Every word. I spiraled down the vicious cycle of self-hatred. I hid from family and friends out of shame of ‘who I really was’. I remember sitting in my dimly lit bedroom shame embracing me like a heavy coat reminding me how I was messing up God’s story. I thought I was doing myself and God a favor by wallowing in my depravity.
In agreeing with her, I was in essence telling God He was a liar. He had told me over and over again he would use me to love people, despite my shortcomings, inconsistencies, and sinfulness. Not because I am good, but because He is. I asked for forgiveness from my friend and from God and it was time to move on. God wasn’t holding the sin over my head. But isn’t it so easy to believe our sinful moments define us? Over the next several weeks, I wrestled with going back to China. Was I qualified? Was I too screwed up? Was God perhaps rolling His eyes at me?
Listen to this beautiful quote from The Wounded Healer :
“Over the years, I’ve come to realize that the greatest trap in our life is not success, popularity, or power, but self-rejection. Success, popularity, and power can indeed present a great temptation, but their seductive quality often comes from the way they are a part of the much larger temptation to self-rejection. As soon as someone accuses me or criticizes me, as soon as I am rejected or left alone, or abandoned, I find myself thinking, “Well that proves once again that I am a nobody.” …[My dark side says,] I am no good. . . I deserve to be pushed aside, forgotten, rejected, and abandoned. Self-rejection is the greatest enemy of the spiritual life because it contradicts the sacred voice that calls us “Beloved.” Being the Beloved constitutes the core truth of our existence.”–Henry Nouwen
Do you struggle to believe you are beloved? “Qualified” to be a Christian? Have you ever felt like God was rolling His eyes at you?
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