I've been avoiding my blog.
Because of my blog theme "Confessions From Behind the Mask", anything I'd have posted these past several months would have been a lie. A façade. Short of remarking about the weather, gabbing about cupcakes or sharing a pointless quiz about shoes or Pickle Pringles, I'd have given the term hypocrite a glossy new definition.
Because I've been living these past few months with my own mask right cemented on.
You know one unfortunate, inevitable side effect of mask-wearing?
It blocks your words.
I couldn't have forced them out if I'd tried.
So I didn't try. I skulked past my home computer, avoiding eye contact, or sometimes shooting it sidelong glances as if it were a foe to be reckoned with.
Turns out I was the foe to be reckoned with.
Turns out you can't have it all. You can't have God and sin too. You can't surrender your heart and life to Christ while clutching your future in two fists clenched tighter than a coffin clutches death. You can't bow to Jesus while lifting your chin in defense. You can't justify the end without reconciling with your beginning.
And all that messy in-between stuff, that lives between the beginning and the end?
Grace only covers what repentance shears true.
It's not enough to want it. You have to be it. Live it, speak it, absorb it. Be poured into so you can pour out.
I dried up. I shriveled, my tears stifled, my body evaporated of feeling because I was so over pain. I stopped receiving, and then there was nothing to give.
So the blog dried up like a ghost town, my words dust, my motivations ash. It was all gone.
And instead of fighting for water, for Life, I smacked my dry lips and clung to the one thing that looked like it might be good. Only in doing so, I essentially turned my back on He who IS Good.
Not intentionally. Not directly. Oh, I tried every good-girl-gone-religious method I could scrounge from my childhood, in an effort to bring God into my plans, into my will, into my determined path through the wilderness.
Which is as effective as skipping down a shadow-strewn street, sing-songing, "I'm destroying my life, Jesus. Won't you join me on this path to death?"
He said no.
I can't even type that without crying.
He said no.
No, He wouldn't join me, and guess what? I wasn't going either, thank-you-very-much.
He stopped me in my tracks. Not with a stop sign or a flashing red light or a construction worker holding a simple "slow down" sign. No, nothing that subtle.
Dead. In. My. Tracks.
And He spun me around, before I could breathe, before I could see, before I could recover, and planted me feet-first at a crossroads.
Deuteronomy 30:19 "I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live..."
He made me choose.
He might have swung me over His shoulder and cave-manned His way to the crossroads, but once we got there, He did the hardest thing at all. He stood me up right and made me choose.
You know what? I think it was hard for Him too. Because Jesus doesn't make us pick Him. And in His sovereignty, He knew the outcome, knew my heart, knew my battle.
But I wonder if heaven held its breath a little just the same.
Not because I'm someone more special than anyone else. But because I'm a child of God, an heir of Christ, and because of Luke 15:10. "I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
You know my choice, because I'm here. Mask off, hair mussed, words flowing, tears dripping, here. And if you're here too, reading, accompanying me in this journey, I am blessed and honored and grateful.
I'm still recovering. One step at a time. But I'm walking - moving, progressing - down this path of Life, blood dripping, limping, hip sore from wrestling with God.
One. Step. At. A. Time.
Death in the rearview.
Only a filter of light ahead.
But He is going to make this path straight.
Walk with me?