I keep trying to find a life
On my own, apart from You
I am the king of excuses
I’ve got one for every selfish thing I do
The disease of self runs through my blood
It’s a cancer fatal to my soul
Every attempt on my behalf has failed
To bring this sickness under control
Tell me, what’s going on inside of me?
I despise my own behavior
This only serves to confirm my suspicions
That I’m still a man in need of a Savior
I wanna be in the Light
As You are in the Light
I wanna shine like the stars in the heavens
Oh, Lord be my Light and be my salvation
Cause all I want is to be in the Light
All I want is to be in the Light
Honesty becomes me
(There’s nothing left to lose)
The secrets that did run me
(In Your presence are defused)
Pride has no position
(And riches have no worth)
The fame that once did cover me
(Has been sentenced to this Earth)
Has been sentenced to this Earth
~”In the Light”by DC Talk
This song seems to be the one…that song that will continuously stick in my mind on repeat, because the message this song carries is convicting, haunting. Lately I’ve thought of this song’s lyrics a great deal more, because yes…they are more applicable in my life than I would care to admit.
As an idealist, I hold those around me to an ideal standard. And I myself am not exempt. I’ve been disappointed in myself so much more and I try to push past the thorns of my stubbornness and pride. The past few years especially have been a struggle, as I try to seek patience, as I try to push God away and then reach for Him when I’m hurting. I have seen this struggle affect my character, my own ethical standards for truth and integrity, and my relationships. It’s not pretty. And lately I’ve been battling in this war more intensely than before, feeling the merciless tug-of-war between my self and the part of me (the craving for God in every human) that reaches for the Light. It doesn’t really come down to which denomination I belong to–despite the fact I’ve been writing about that topic lately. Not that discerning where I belong in the church doesn’t matter. It does so much! But right now, I’m afraid it could get in the way of my relationship with God.
Well…saying that is to assume that there was nothing in the way already…
And there is. Like I mentioned earlier, pride and stubbornness relentlessly dictate my actions and oftentimes what I say. It doesn’t help that I tend to be impulsive and pretty reckless. I am trying to deepen my prayer life and trust that God will heal my wounds from this war–this clash of my will with His omniscient, incomprehensible will.
But the comforting fact is that…God wins every time. Somehow, He shepherds me back to His presence even when I try to run away. I can’t deny this. And every time I go to church, He is speaking to me, moving in me, trying to shake me out of this dark sleep.
When I was seven, I asked my parents if I could be baptized. So, on my seventh birthday, June 26, 2003, at Valley Creek Church, I was baptized in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, by my dad! Back then, I was so ready to put my trust in God, to completely surrender to Him. I evangelized everywhere I went–at the hospital after my boat accident, in doctor offices, in my neighborhood…inviting my friends to church, even though a lot of times the answer was “nah…”
But lately, I feel like that little girl is gone. I don’t want that to be so. I want to have the strong childlike faith I knew back then. I was so sure, so certain, and so in love with the Lord.
It’s so easy to write off this regret, so easy to tell myself, “I can’t go back now. What’s the use of trying to get close to God? He feels so far away anyways.”
It’s so easy to believe you’ve messed up too much to ever deserve His forgiveness. Or that you can take care of yourself, you don’t need Him. All of this bombards my mind.
The fact is, I’m human. And it’s a given that as a human, I’ve been born into a fallen world with sin, passed on from generation to generation since Eden, ingrained in my soul. (And reading Paradise Lost has been a breathtaking and beautiful and terrifying reminder of this. In spite of Milton’s sometimes faulty theology).
I know that even the noblest act I could possibly do is nothing more than a filthy rag next to God’s perfection.
“For all of us have become like one who is unclean, And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment; And all of us wither like a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.”-Isaiah 64:6
But even though it has been so hard to comprehend the sacrifice He made for us all in the midst of this state of uncertainty and doubt…I want so badly to understand, to be transformed by the Passion of Jesus Christ. Lately, I’ve been reminded more than ever that He is waging a war for our souls, that He is pursuing us relentlessly because of His incredible love for us all. So this is me saying that I want to surrender, that this is where I am. I want Him to transform me from the inside out.