Julgustishness: It’s a Long One!

August 31, 2023

Merciful Heavens! I cannot keep up with my personal self. The days fly by even when they slog along. What’s that about? I think it’s called age. I didn’t used to be so slow to get things done while accomplishing what seemed to be a lot. Now the time flies by and I still accomplish what needs to be done, but it seems to be not much. Maybe my priorities have changed. I know for a fact that cleaning house is no longer at the top of my list. It’s so pointless to spend precious time on dirt that keeps coming back.

That doesn’t explain my lack of writing, though. That’s pure laziness. It’s much easier to knit and read and play fetch for treats with Loosie the bloodhound than to write. I like writing. I do. I just don’t like sitting down and actually getting started. It’s easier to ignore the quiet voice in my head that snarks at me when I think about writing. Once I finally decide to snark back and just do it, however, watch out! I’m liable to write way more than anyone wants to read, especially after two months of silence.

This Doodle will be a bit of a cheater, because I’m going to copy something I found in my Bible recently that was written about twenty years ago. I think someone at church, maybe the pastor, was encouraging us to think about our “Life Verses,” the Bible verses that have impacted us the most. I immediately knew what mine were and I wrote this to keep in my Bible:

“2 Timothy 1:7–“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love, and of self discipline” (NIV). This is a verse from my teen years that still helps me today. I’m genetically wired as a timid introvert. I don’t remember ever not being afraid to talk to people, to be in groups, to try new things. My parents were different shades of shy. It is who I am, and it has over-shadowed every part of my entire life. I hated myself for decades, felt worthless, unloveable, awkward, and trapped in my own head. God was my only sanctuary and He was my only source of peace. But still, I always thought I could never please Him or do anything to serve Him without changing this painful and loathsome part of my personality.

“I tried and tried to be “normal”, to be socially competent, to talk to more than one person at a time, to be free of this huge hindrance that I just knew was holding me back from bringing any glory to God. I prayed and prayed for God to change me, so I could count for Him. There were times when He did give me the power to overcome my shynes in situations where I knew He wanted me to work (VBS, PTO officer, and mommy buisness.)

“So yes, I have changed and grown, mostly through being a mom, but my basic personality remains the same. Through this past decade of my 40’s I have finally learned to accept myself the way I am. God has spoken to me over and over through books, sermons, Bible studies, chance encounters, and personal revelations with Him over the last ten years. These include visiting the Mark Twain House in Hartford, Connecticut, where he raised three daughters and wrote great books, a revival speaker talking about the desires of our heart being there because God wants us to use them, not to be frustrated by them, and a pastor’s analogy of a rabbit trying out for a swim team.

“The greatest awakening I ever had was in 2004 when we were going through The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren in Sunday School. Oh, how I hated that book! It is all about our purpose on earth—telling others about Jesus. I couldn’t even bring myself to make a comment in class, much less go around talking about Jesus to strangers. About two thirds the way through the book, Rick Warren quoted Ephesians 2:10–‘We are God’s workmanship created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” I read that verse many times, some versions say ‘masterpiece’ instead of ‘workmanship’ and I certainly never felt like a masterpiece.

But then Rick Warren wrote the most amazing thing I have ever heard. He said the Greek word translated ‘workmanship’ literally means poem. POEM!!! God hit me in the head with that one fabulous word and literally knocked me off the bed! At that time in my life I was writing lots of poetry, trying out all kinds of forms and entering contests. In one fell swoop, I finally saw myself as God’s work in progress, one of His masterpieces. He is writing my life to be a great poem that speaks to those He brings into my life. I am His one of a kind work of art. He is working on me every day because great poetry takes much thought, revision, and study. Sometimes He changes a word or two, sometimes He adds or subtracts a line. Now and then whole verses are added or taken out as He works to perfect my rhythm, rhyme and depth of meaning.

Through all of His writing and revising in my life, He is creating me to look more like Jesus and to draw others closer to Him. I may not be an epic poem that goes on and on and attracts people who like really wordy poems, but my short, concise, quirky verse will speak to those who like that sort of thing. And that’s His whole purpose in writing me the way He is—not to reach the whole world with His truth, but to reach the microcosm in which He has placed me.

God has given me the freedom to be me, because He made me this way for a purpose, I don’t have to fight against myself anymore. I just need to do my best to listen to him and follow His direction in becoming the best introverted me I can be. He will be able to use me to make a difference in the lives of those He has chosen me to touch.

God is the Author; I am the Poem!