No more white-wash

This blogging thing is quite amazing. Theoretically, I control the topics. And yet, I sit to write and I am overwhelmed with the urge to bare my soul. Perhaps it’s the lack of consistent adult interaction throughout the day. I also must take into account the fact that I am a woman and have a quota of words each day. But maybe it means that I am finally learning that it’s alright to be me. And part of being me means not having perfect children, not always having the perfect thing to say and not being perfect. Sometimes I wear white after Labor Day. (That is not an exhaustive list of my imperfections.)

I have spent a great deal of my life striving for perfection. The careful application of white wash is a difficult habit to break. Somewhere I got the message that striving to be like Jesus meant striving to be perfect. But along the path to perfection, I trampled over the lessons of learning to love others more than myself, learning not to worry about tomorrow, and remembering that God’s ways are not my ways.

What I thought was perfection was really a heap of ugliness with a shiny outward coating of white wash. The real issues, the heart issues, had been ignored for the appearance of holiness. When you give God permission, He goes after the white-wash. Sometimes He gently scrapes small pieces at a time but other times it feels like He douses it all with a highly flammable substance and transforms it into one giant ball of fire. I have frequently disagreed with His methods. Don’t worry. I’ve been very honest with Him about that. But then He reminds me that His methods are not my business. I gave Him permission. And it is without question that His motives and His means reach exceedingly beyond my understanding.

God is not a vandal. He is not sadistic in His enjoyment of watching the white-wash go up in a mass of flames. His goal is not to destroy me. He understands, far better than I, how detrimental the white wash is. It keeps me so focused on me that I am unable to truly love others. His goal is for me to learn to love others the way He loves them. The way He loves me.

“My dear, dear friends, if God loved us like this, we certainly ought to love each other. No one has seen God, ever. But if we love one another, God dwells deeply within us, and his love becomes complete in us—perfect love!” I John 4:11-12

 


5 Responses to “No more white-wash”

  • Judi Gavia Says:

    Beautifully said Rebecca! I have often marveled at the lengths to which I will go to circumvent what is underneath the white wash. Not because I want to avoid God in my life, but because I want to avoid truly seeing the debris that only God can remove, and the inevitable discomfort with that removal process. Thank you for the reminder that shiny on the outside is not what God promises to deliver!

  • Teddi Deppner Says:

    Amen! Not only does the white wash come between us and others, but it comes between us and God Himself. How can we receive healing where we have walled ourselves away from HIs touch?

    Every doctor knows that sometimes surgery is required to remove dead tissue or tough scar tissue that is hindering proper function. It may be painful (or at times, we might have the anesthetic of good friends to lessen the pain), but healing can only start once the interfering layers have been stripped away.

    Thank you for this reminder. May God wash us clean of even the white wash, so that His pure Spirit can flow through us and touch the hearts of those around us!

  • Carolyn Zinno Says:

    I think wearing of white after Labor Day is fine, but I don’t care what time of year it is please, PLEASE NEVER EVER wear white polyester pants like Grandma did!!! LOL

  • Janet Hanson Says:

    What I thought was perfection was really a heap of ugliness–I can so relate to that. Thank you, Rebecca for these words of invitation!

  • Linda Sommerville Says:

    Goodness, gracious, great balls of fire! (Yes, I am running around with my hair on fire – but it’s all good.) Thank you for helping me remember that the flames produce something beautiful, so long as I don’t try to quench the fire. It’s a good kind of “ouch.”

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