Monday, March 21, 2011

An Honest Place

It occurred to me today that the name of this blog is 'my MERRY heart' and I'm not exactly sure how merry my posts have been. By nature I am analytical and a bit melancholy so it only make since that my posts lean on the pensive side. I wouldn't say they've been negative...just not...merry. Joyous. Celebratory. Merry.

I don't want to feign emotions I don't feel, or write something I think I'm supposed to write. I'm committed to being sincere, authentic, and honest. My writing becomes ridiculous contrived and not worth reading when I try to write from any other place than an honest one. A writer said once... that writing is cutting open a vein and bleeding on the page. I have to agree with him. Why would I want to write it if it's not really of me? And why one Earth would anyone want to read it?

So what to do? This blog is the journey to a goal--a merry heart. But I keep getting stuck in the ruts. And sometimes I just want to smack my head against something--where is the joy, where is the celebration? Because even if all else is mediocre, I still have one thing to always celebrate--Grace.

Immeasurable grace. Grace I could never pay back, could never even begin to put a down payment on. Grace like sinking into a deep feather bed. Grace like a long drink of cool water. Grace like a being held in safe and loving arms upon coming home. Grace indescribable, unfathomable, unbelievable.

Grace. I tell people my favorite word is believe but that's not really true. Because the word which liberates me, the word that sets my heart on wings like eagles, the word that picks up me up when I've fallen, and fuels me when I'm all burned Grace. Amazing grace. Sweet grace. Undeserved grace.

Grace, as my grandmother defines it is, God Revealed At Christ's Expense. G-R-A-C-E. Christ gave all that He had so that I don't have to waste away in this life and spend all of eternally separated from the Creator of Goodness and Love. Grace redeemed me from my brokeness and mess. Grace made me new, gave me hope, gave me a reason to keep going. Inconceivable grace.

Grace is what allowed Paul and Silas to sing while in a Roman jail. Grace is what sustained John in his exile on the Island of Patmos. Grace is what brought many saints and believers through the desert land of disappointment or despair. Grace.

I have to be honest with you...writing this...I'm not feeling it. I'm wrestling with that honest place. Because the honest place is feeling depressed but I know that's not truly me. That's just my emotions' way of dealing with what has been an immensely stressful last few days. And oddly enough, it's always the first good day that opens the floodgates. When the adrenaline subsides every emotion that was being kept at bay comes flowing in. And I don't want to indulge that. I want to combat it with joy. With insisting that I choose freedom in Christ, rather than bondage in my emotions. Emotions. They can be so good and they can be so bad. Fickle as they are.

I'm writing this to remind myself that I have much to celebrate. Even when my day-to-day facts of life are mediocre, stressful, or a let down. Even when I'm feeling stalled out and that I can't do with my life what I want. Even when I'm feeling that my gifts would be best used elsewhere...I have a reason to embrace and insist upon joy. Because the bi-product of grace must always be joy or I am simply taking it for granted. I don't have to pretend to be happy and blow sunshine and bubbles out of my ears. But I do have to wade in the undercurrent of joy or I've forgotten the magnitude of GRACE (God Revealed At Christ's Expense).

And I'm writing this so you can hold me accountable. I have a propensity for negativity and a predisposition for depression/anxiety. I'm much more likely to indulge in a good pity party--balloons and noisemakers and confetti--than to celebrate Christ.

So what to do with 'my merry heart'? Fill it with the confessions of an honest person wrestling with fickle emotions and confused dreams, but always and forever return to the reality of grace and celebrate Christ. The psalmists were real in the anger, sorrow, and strife but always and forever returned to the goodness of God. They praised Him anyway. I love that idea. Praise Him anyway. Even when I just want to feel sorry for myself, I will choose to praise Him anyway. Praise Him for Grace, for what He chose to do for me. If Jesus chose to die for me, the least I can do is choose to celebrate the Life I've been given. I can't promise to keep all sadness and sorrow from these pages--that would be inauthentic--but I can promise to always praise Him anyway and forever celebrate Grace. And maybe in the end, that's the way to a merry heart.

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