I have been on the struggle bus this week. Not as a passenger but as the driver. It’s been a week of comparison and low self- esteem, bouts of depression, a Friday night emotional binge eating episode (completely out of character for me), mixed with waves of shame, guilt and a weird combination of running and working out.
I know, even now as I read this I think “Who is this person? Why are they sooooo EXTRA??” Well… it’s me and as much as I would LOVE to write how I overcame every thought of “You aren’t doing this right” “You need to quit” “What is your life?” “You did this awful thing so you deserve this awful. EVERYDAY.” I can’t tell you that.
I WANT to tell you that on Friday night when I was feeling low, instead of reaching for that box of cereal again and again while sitting on the couch watching TV, I got up, put on some music, cleaned my house and played with the kids.
I SHOULD tell you that ALLL the times this week that I was in the car or at the gym or on the running trail or at the store where I had a thought of “Why can’t I be like her? Or her? Or HER?” that I said to myself “Stop it Gena. You are you. You are enough.” But I can’t tell you any of those things.
I succumbed to every thought, feeling and idea that I had. Right, wrong, dumb, stupid, I had it and I did nothing to fight it or combat it. Like I said, it was a low week for me. A. Very. Low. Week.
And I can’t tell you what triggered it. I don’t think it matters. I think that at times in our lives we all have those really low moments and we try to focus so much on WHY we have them so that we don’t have them again. Trying to create this perfect world of us not ever feeling or thinking like we are failures. Looking for the triggers looking for the things that make our thoughts spin out of control. Trying to control it all. Perfecting our surroundings, perfecting who we are, perfecting how we think, act, and respond.
PERFECT. I can’t. I can’t be that word, will never be that word and neither will you. Sorry, I’m not trying to be a downer or make you feel like I did this past week. No, we can’t be perfect. All we can be is faithful. Faithful? Yes, faithful. Many times we mistake faithfulness for perfectionism and that is a horrible and crippling thought and we can never live up to it.
Proverbs 24:16 “For though the righteous fall SEVEN times they rise again.” That’s the NIV version. The Message says “ No matter how many times you trip them up, God-Loyal people don’t stay down long; Soon they’re up on their feet again”
Notice it said RIGHTEOUS and GOD-LOYAL people fall but they GET UP? That’s being faithful.
I am reminding myself this morning that I am faithful. A faithful person is not someone who doesn’t fall. A faithful person is someone who falls but is FAITHFUL to get up. I am not perfect EXCEPT at falling, and getting up, over and over again.