Have You Taken God’s Job Lately?

By AbbyA

Flashback to 1999.  I am a twenty-two year old first year law student.  If you know anything about becoming a noteworthy law student, you will be a member of a “law review.”  Yes, you can be smart enough to be invited to be a member or you can go through the painstaking task of writing an exceptional article that just might be good enough to get you “written” into the law review.  The latter is me.  Yes, the latter is me, because “good enough” and “perfect” are my middle names.

Flashback to 1988ish, 1993ish, or 1997ish.  It all looks about the same.  Living under the burden of achievement and perfectionism.  One can be fairly successful at achievement and perfectionism until failure hits you smack dab in the face.  And, then it’s time to look into the mirror.

Failure.  My hard work, dedication and brains failed me brutally that first semester of law school.  I didn’t shine, I wasn’t smart.  I was defeated, broken and tired.  My parents raised us to believe that we could do anything, be anything.  That we were equal to others no matter wealth, race, gender, education or religion.  At that time, I saw no equality; I judged myself of lesser value than my classmates.  And, without His permission, in the depths of these crashing waters, I determined that I must have failed Him as well.  I wasn’t sure where I would stand now that I was less than perfect.

In the late fall of 1998, I looked at myself in the mirror of my mom’s bathroom.  I had about 18 inches of notes, case law and articles in my arms – – ready to be reviewed for my write-on to the public interest law review.  I am not sure exactly how it happened.  The Spirit said something to me without words.  He gave me His permission.  My mom had a pretty big wicker garbage can right below me.  I dropped every last paper into the garbage can in one, single shot.  I walked out on perfectionism.  And, the law review too.

Law school was my defining moment.  Not academically, but spiritually.  God put me under circumstances that I could not bear; under pressure that I could not rise out of without Him.  This thread of perfectionism had grown longer and stronger in me over the years.  And while planning, organizing, working hard and achieving are all good qualities; they are minor and inconsequential in comparison to the good work God does in you.  For one, your greatest achievement is God saving you.  Once that rang clear in me, once I breathed in that my very, greatest work was something He did, I then started the journey in getting lost in Him.  Of sinking into His arms.  Of seeing His intervention in my life to make all things happen according to His plan.

A few months ago, I grabbed a book on sale called “The Relief of Imperfection,” by Joan C. Webb.  In some ways, it has taken me back to the garbage can in my mom’s bathroom.  I have the thrilling feeling of that moment tucked away in my spiritual memory.  And the years following, even until now, I have great love for my Savior who has shown up so faithfully for my good.  I recognize, to this day, that He can do all these things without my help.  I don’t need to be Him, I only need to be me.

This is from my heart.  If you are like me, you have a tendency to take God’s standard of excellence, and ring yourself out dry with perfectionism.  God can’t do much with you when you are a dried out rag.  It is your relationship with God that matters.  God “has no unrealistic expectations of you and me.  He just expects us to be the person He designed us to be.”  Joan C. Webb, The Relief of Imperfection.

I will leave you with my “forget” list.  I hope that you will add your own “forgets” to it and get on with your highly anticipated, highly imperfect life of you running the good race with Him as your partner.

Here is my forget list:

  • Forget the appearance of your imperfect marriage, family or kids.  That also means to accept where God has you.  Don’t drool over another’s life or isolate yourself because you think you are different.  You are part of God’s family.  That is enough.
  • Forget where you live and what that says about you.  That also means forget about your beat up car or your Mercedes-Benz – – whichever it is for you.  You have a home (and a ride) in heaven.  That is more than enough.
  • Forget who you want to be.  “. . . As God has distributed to each one, as the Lord has called each one, so let him walk.” 1 Corinthians 7:2.  “For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality.”  Deuteronomy 10:17.  There are no favorites; yet you are His favorite.  That is better than good and far exceeds enough.

Welcome to the Jungle!

By AbbyA

Sex . . . when you are single, all you do is think about the possibility of it.  And, when you are married, all you do is think about when you will have the time, energy and desire to have it!  Ugh.  No wonder Paul said it is better to remain single.  1 Corinthians 7:8.  All of those daydreams of the married life where you were going to wear new lingerie all the time; snuggle in bed all night; have lots of sex, including more than once a day in various places throughout the house.  You were basically, in a very pure way, going to make up for all those years of faithfully treating your body as His temple. 

Well, welcome to the jungle, girls.  Excluding the first year of marriage . . . Okay, I will be generous and extend it to the birth of your first child . . . Excluding your married life without children, you are probably not wearing a whole lot of that sexy stash of lingerie.  Come on, your bootie takes up twice the space it used to and those darn sexy tops have no wire to hold up your breasts that were sucked  dry by your babies.  You are not snuggling all night (or at least I’m not) because your husband gets too hot after the twenty minutes of body touch.  And, more than once a day in various places through the house?  What?  How many nights do you actually get to sleep without any kids finding their way to your room?  Or, better yet, how often can you stay awake once your head hits the darn pillow?  Sex . . . we wanted it so badly while we waited but now that we have a marriage partner we can’t seem to get any, or to even want it at all.

I will admit that Bindu has far more intelligent answers and helpful insight on the whole matter.  So, I am just going to give it to you raw.  Marriage is tough.  And, if you are like me, I carry all of my emotions to the bedroom.  If I am beat up in my marriage relationship, I have no passion for sex.  In fact, at times like these, my Lord hears me praying (or venting really) to Him during sex.  I survive the sex.  And then, honestly, feel really defeated as a wife that I can’t get this area straight.  Really, can’t I just enjoy the physical pleasure regardless of how disappointed I am?  I am not sure that I know any man who needs any more than a glimpse of his wife’s body or even a sexy thought to get his passion fiery.  Just doesn’t work for me.  I need to feel loved, adored, cared for and protected.

So, ladies, here’s where I am at.  My thoughts are two-fold.  On the one hand, pray, pray and pray some more.  It has been the major life-changer in my sexual relationship with my husband.  By no means is it perfect, but God answers my prayers – – granting the desires of my heart; even if He first has to change my heart before blessing me with more passion and peace in my marital relationship.

On the other hand, acknowledge the role that Satan plays in seeking to destroy marriages.  What better way to axe away at a marriage than to take away or diminish the one thing that is exclusive to it?  Acknowledge the devil as a squirmy worm that Jesus has already crushed and pray, pray, pray.  God always shows up for His children who ask for His help.  Just ask; He will show up for you in this area as He shows up for me.

And, as a silly sidenote, don’t worry about the size of your butt or your once perky boobs, (with prayer) test the waters.  Whether it’s a white water rafting adventure God has in mind or a slow canoe ride on the pond, give it a shot.  God never delivers void.  Always victorious, pure, holy and sweet.  Trust Him with your life and He will give you the desires of your heart.

Psalm 37: 3-6

3 Trust in the LORD and do good;
dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
4 Delight yourself in the LORD
and he will give you the desires of your heart.

 5 Commit your way to the LORD;
trust in him and he will do this:
6 He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn,
the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.