Monday, January 18, 2016

Lessons from the Crash Site

I'm the type of person that usually sees the worst in myself. I see all the times I get things wrong. I see my mistakes, my missteps, my unholiness. I think a lot of this comes from the way I grew up viewing God--that He was disappointed in me regularly because of my actions. Sometimes it's hard for me to see myself in any other way than where I've failed.

I'm thankful for the moments when I can see that God is working in me. Those are the moments I know I'm not seeing myself for myself. I'm seeing Him at work in me, changing my heart, and for that I am hugely grateful. I got a little glimmer of that this weekend when we got into a literal fender bender in the Costco parking lot.

There was an older gentleman who backed his SUV into ours. His was fine, but ours got a nice big dent in the front bumper. As soon as it happened I had this thought of, it's happened, our nice car has been damaged. And I waited for some feelings of anxiety or disappointment to set in.

I used to be a massively appearance-based person. I weighed most of my choices by how I would look, including in the areas of dating relationships, clothes shopping, and activities I would get involved in. It all came down to how I appeared. I thought if I surrounded myself with people and things that looked a certain way, I would subsequently appear how I longed to appear to others.

I wanted to look like I had it all together, like I drew in attractive people and had enviable relationships. I wanted it to look like I had nice things, a sense of style, maybe even some extra money. It's sad how my identity became wrapped up in something so silly as how I appeared to other people, never mind who I was underneath it all.

Thanks to the work of God in my life, I've begun to grow in that area. I've been learning about humility, thankfulness, and identity. But I fully expected--when I looked at the crunched metal of the car I drove regularly--to feel all those feelings of panic and frustration over marred appearances. But it was totally opposite, I didn't care at all. No one was hurt, it was just a thing. It was such a freeing feeling to not let the appearance of something affect me.

I don't know if God let the accident happen for that purpose or for multiple purposes. But I am thankful for the opportunity to see change in myself. I am thankful to continue learning lessons of value and worth, and what really matters. I'm thankful that there's hope to be found in the heart-changing work of Jesus. I'm thankful that He's not done with me yet.

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