Saturday, September 30, 2006

The overflow of disorganized thoughts: part 2 cont'd

I have a lot of trouble accepting God’s grace.

I know that I am entirely unworthy of God’s love. I mean, I know everyone is. I just feel like I am TOO unworthy, as if there is a degree of unworthiness that is the cut-off point for God’s love and forgiveness. I know there isn’t. I’m just saying, that’s how I feel. Like I’ve crossed some line.

It is so hard for me to even begin to fathom that Jesus actually loves me, would sacrifice so much for me, that *I* would be worth anything at all to Him. And I feel like God’s love can’t possibly be free. I feel like if I accept it, I owe Him. Like I am in debt to Him, like I need to EARN my forgiveness. And the way to do this is to never sin again, or very minimally. And I can’t. (Yet as obvious as that fact is, I think it comes as a surprise to me).

When I made the decision a few years ago to ask God into my heart, I think I expected things to become easier. I think I expected life to somehow become all rosy, and for God to somewhat instantaneously make me a “good person” with all my stuff together, at least most of the time. I think I subconsciously thought I could begin repaying God - by following a set of rules, by using some step-by-step this-is-how-to-live-your-life formula, with will-power and self-discipline, with a set of behaviours. I WANTED to do this for God, I wanted Him to be happy with me, and I wanted to earn forgiveness and love. But honestly, I am still struggling with the same things...REALLY struggling with some things. And I am still selfish. I still suck at loving other people. Life is still difficult. And though I want to and try so hard to live differently and to BE different than I was, I CONTINUALLY and CONSISTANTLY fail at my moral efforts. It doesn’t matter how hard I try. I suck. Period. End of story. And I ask God for help, I ask God to change me, and yet He mostly seems far away. So logically, I conclude that the problem is with me, and my stubborn refusal to actually accept His grace and give my life over to Him. There is a difference between asking God to give me this and that in order for me to live my life how I think I should live (no matter how noble my ideals) and me accepting grace and giving God my life in order for Him to use it how He wants.

And sometimes I think about things so backwards and I feel like if I accept anything freely from God I will somehow send Jesus to the cross all over again. I need to remember that He was ALREADY crucified there, and that by refusing to accept God’s grace I am almost making Jesus' sacrifice pointless. I just, well I feel so GUILTY sometimes. I don’t know about you, but I don't want to picture Jesus on the cross with MY sin upon his shoulders. It's too uncomfortable. So if I don’t accept His forgiveness, it becomes Jesus dying on the cross with OTHER PEOPLE’S sin on His shoulders. And I don’t feel as responsible. I don’t feel so much like it was because of me. I don’t feel so much like I need to repay God or earn anything. But there is some small, almost inaudible, voice in me that simply refuses to die, and I can’t deny completely that Jesus died for ME too. And so I go back to feeling guilt and shame over my hopeless inability to deserve any of what is freely offered to me. And I feel like I am constantly failing God. And I end up trying to hide from Him instead.

Sigh.

But I’m stubborn. I realize all of this, and yet I STILL continue refusing grace, refusing love. My mind somehow cannot communicate all of this to my heart.

Sometimes I wonder at how far life drills into our hearts that NOTHING is free, that even love is a commodity that comes with a price. And grace? Well, isn’t part of the very meaning of grace that it is UNDESERVED? That it CAN’T be earned

5 Comments:

At Wednesday, October 04, 2006 7:22:00 PM, Blogger The Bruce said...

wow... thanks Angela. good thoughts. honest thoughts. so thanks... and thanks for the comment on my blog too. for the record, you didn't get a last name because i... forgot how you spell it.. and i didn't want to embarrass myself:P anyway, thanks for thinking deep things, for struggling and for acknowledging those struggles. you are great.

anyway, i forget where you are in school, and i know it's far from TO, but i am working in Toronto and i have a car now and don't mind traveling, so if you're free to hang out sometime, let me know... it could be cool to catch up? take care dude

 
At Thursday, October 05, 2006 12:52:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh my dear friend.

 
At Thursday, October 05, 2006 4:25:00 PM, Blogger katie said...

sooo true. i get it ;)

 
At Thursday, October 05, 2006 6:15:00 PM, Blogger Béthany said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At Thursday, October 05, 2006 6:21:00 PM, Blogger Béthany said...

oops that was meant for Katies blog. sorry

 

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