Shaking in my shoes. On anxiety, and achievement.
What is it about life that makes us spend most of our days with our fists and teeth half-clenched, instead of living as if we’re laying back in a hammock, swinging?
Are your muscles tight?
Is your lower face and jaw tense?
Are your thoughts…racing?
Or are you sitting in the (imaginary) sun, taking a deep breath of…heaven?
What is it that makes us anxious?
What, on earth, are we…So.
And, on a related note, do we ever feel “good” enough?
When I was in high school, our Drill Team (women’s halftime dance team, for those not from the South) put on a performance for a few hundred young children. And we dressed up like clowns. It was so much fun.
And I borrowed my Dad’s high-school basketball high tops to wear with my navy blue baggy pants.
It was a great costume. And a fun day.
But my Dad had been a size 15. Men’s. And, while I have big feet for a woman (anywhere from 9 to 11, depending on the shoe), I couldn’t touch that. (A men’s 15 would be a Women’s 17, I’m told. Or something like that). I had to stuff the toes.
And, I wonder, if sometimes I try to fit into my “heavenly” Father’s shoes. You see, He’s quite a visionary. And the “shoes” he gives me to wear, so often feel like they’re..Just. Way. Too. Big.
Speaking of spiritual fathers…
I once had a pastor who preached love and faith. It was awesome. Really.
But, if you talked with him, or worked side-by-side with him, any given day, you realized you…weren’t good enough. Pretty quickly.
And staying in church there was an exercise in anxiety.
The disconnect between the pulpit and the personal was… huge.
A chasm that made you feel you needed a rope swing, and all of Tarzan’s skills, to begin to measure up.
And, if you were a girl, you might as well just forget it.
(No upper body strength–yeah, we know.
Or substitute whatever masculine trait you deem necessary for excellence here…)
And it rubbed off, inevitably, on my relationship with God.
How I saw Him.
Because, (and I seem to say this a lot), God just isn’t like that.
But I didn’t end up there, with that fiercely disapproving spiritual father, because I was anxiety-free, coming in.
A high-achieving little girl, fierce in her determination to finish her calling, I knew I was supposed to be a missionary doctor.
And when your high-expectations, strong-disciplinarian natural father abandons your family right as you enter puberty, it can mess you up. We had to dig those high-top basketball shoes out of storage, because Dad wasn’t around to help us find them.
Because, no matter what else Dad ever said about our family’s divorce, one thing was clear.
I wasn’t enough, for him to stay for.
I don’t blame my Dad. Not anymore.
Or my mom, or anybody else involved.
But I talk about it. Because so many people have been through this.
And it affects us. Even though we pretend it doesn’t.
The Ultimate Father.
You know what? He stayed.
He even died. For me.
I . Was. Enough.
And he doesn’t criticize. Doesn’t condemn. Doesn’t abandon.
And I have a game-changer for you.
You’re good enough. Great, even.
Because (and only because) Jesus has already made you perfect. Righteous. Clean in His eyes.
2 Corinthians 5:17-18 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;
And the shoes God gives you to fill are way beyond your capability.
Even on a good day.
So, it’s time to lay back in the hammock of Grace and the Miraculous.
In an every-day way.
And let the wind of the Spirit blow it, gently.
Unclench your fists. Your jaw.
Still the voice in your head that questions everything. Even yourself.
And let go.
And put on those big, big shoes.
And dance your heart out for the kids.
Because he really is able–to make you able.
And your feet are just fine.
Isaiah 52:7 How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings,that publisheth peace;that bringeth good tidings of good,that publisheth salvation;that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!
Quit trying to be good enough.
You never were.
And live the miracle.
You are. Now. Because of Him.