31 Days...

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Where is Grace? Or is it Merit?

So it's been one of those days...I have to stop and wonder - who have I become? Where did the real Merit go? Have I ever met her in the first place? She seems to have gotten lost somewhere...under all the stuff life is apt to throw at us. I guess some people must have some sort of Teflon exterior and the "stuff" just slides off...not me - I am fairly certain I must have gone through a Velcro factory or something cause I am feeling like everything is STICKING TO ME!
And the stickiness isn't really very attractive. It makes me so many things I DO NOT want to be...cynical, jealous, pessimistic, doubt-filled, impatient...just down right grumpy too. It's not fun.
I had a friend who used to call me "Gracie". I say used to because we are still two people who know each other, but the relationship changed - if you get my drift. I never really understood why this person decided one day - in the oddest of places - Moe's..."Welcome to Moe's" - to call me this - but it stuck. It is certainly a name I strive to live into. Gosh, light bulb moment just this instant...my own name...Merit - now that has a significant meaning too...and it even is part of the definition of grace - unmerited favor, unconditional love. (I realize that already less than 2 paragraphs in I am rambling and all over the place - but stay with me and this might end up somewhere!) So...my name...Merit - it means, according to Merriam-Webster - "a praiseworthy quality; character or conduct deserving reward, honor or esteem". Great - now I feel even worse than I already did tonight. Not living up to either of those names at this moment.
So back to today...I went from feeling somewhat frustrated and helplessly hopeless due to the wonderful budget news regarding the state of my job next year, to this amazing feeling of - HEY GIRL - maybe this is your chance...take that leap of faith you have been avoiding the past 9 months and see what God does. That "you can do it" attitude lasted all of about 1 hour. What gives? Then I find myself being jealous of someone I have absolutely no reason to be jealous of, getting upset with the person I love -and who I know loves me, and diving into my always standing by pity pool party. What a jerk! Grace? Merit? Hardly. I can only ask the question "WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?"
I know one thing - if I were God - and obviously it's a good thing I AM...NOT! - I would say - forget her - she can't get her head in the game or her act together. But thank goodness I am not God - because He IS the source of the grace and merit I long for, long to be, long to live into. Even on my worst days - and right now I am feeling like this one ranks right up there, as I have been negative, hurtful, jealous and self-centered - far from grace filled and of merit - yes, even on my worst days -He is willing to forgive me and to give me another chance tomorrow morning. Can I be like that? Can I dig deep down and let the fear that resides in my soul that drives my need for control, attention, and jealousy go? Why do I allow it to hold me hostage? What am I really afraid of. What are any of us afraid of? Being hurt - again? Not being loved? Being alone?
Within the last few months I have noticed a new verse that has started to follow me around...interestingly enough the title of my blog is part of the verse - and although I am sure I have heard it over the years - I didn't draw from it when I was naming the blog.
The blog name came simply - or not as I am finding - from how I wanted to live my life after the events that occurred in my life during 2008-2010. Bold and courageous.
Here is the verse - Joshua 1:9 - "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go." So this verse has been popping up time after time...this is usually how God works for me...He knows I love a theme and so He works it.
So what happened to the Merit who wanted to be bold/strong and courageous. Did life beat her down? Why do I allow the lies of the Enemy to have control over me? What does this say of my faith in my Savior? After months of theology it says Christ's death on the cross was all for naught if I buy into all this stuff that is sticking to me. I want to take off the Velcro suit.
The crossroads has been building for months now. I truly believe I am standing at the intersection of many different highways. The Velcro will make my path terribly slow and cluttered and sticky...continuing to catch the stuff that flies by, dangerous curves and briers and roadkill. Is this the life I want? Hardly.
I want the Teflon coating - no worrying, no fear, no sticking..because I have a God who, if I chose to trust Him as I know I am called to do, will make my path straight. It won't be without bumps and curves, but it will be a highway with the most magnificent guard rails and safety features you can imagine.
So it seems tonight I am at the precipice of my crossroads. I must choose the highway I am going to follow. I cannot stand in the intersection any longer. My mind, body and spirit have been there long enough. June 1, 2011 is the day.