Monday, November 21, 2011

In Christ Alone

I think I have another post titled that, so hopefully this doesn't confuse anyone. I had to use it, since it is the perfect summation of what this post will be about.

Anyway, here goes.

It all started with a bad class picture. I teach the preschool class at our homeschooling co-op, and a couple Fridays ago they took class pictures. I was not prepared for them to take teachers' pictures, or to be in the picture of the whole class. Needless to say, I opted for comfy rather than stylish, clothing that day, and my hair was...well, let's just say less-than-perfect. I shrugged it off, though. Smile. Flash. Done.

Fast-forward two weeks later when the pictures arrived. A few of the thoughts that ran through my mind when I first saw them: "Gross." "Yuck." "Ew." "I am ugly."

Not a happy day. After laughing (but mostly crying) about the pictures, my sister and mom attempted to make me feel pretty by showing me some less-unflattering pictures of myself. Yet, I was in such a low spot that I found flaws in all of them. I never claimed to be photogenic, and these new horrible class pictures proved it (in my mind). Plus, I was freaking out because I still haven't taken senior pictures yet--and I had already been anxious about how they would turn out, without more proof that my face doesn't like cameras.

Anyway, I got through the day by fixing my hair and doing my make-up. I felt better, but really was just distracted. All morning on Saturday I was in a funk about it, without realizing it. I found myself crying on my bed, thinking that no one would ever want to marry me; I'm ugly, not funny, not creative, not artistic, not musical, blah blah blah. So I went downstairs and started talking with my beautiful, wise mother.

I wish I could remember every word of the conversation, but I can't. I told her that I didn't understand why I had so many sweet friends, and my fear of no one marrying me. I couldn't understand why anyone would really like being around me. (I'll just interject here that I don't usually let a bad picture do this to me, but the Lord knew what I needed--just wait.) In her gentle, motherly way, she helped me see that this wasn't true, and told me that she was my #1 fan. "I don't think anyone can love you as much as I do," she said.

We proceeded to talk about what the real problem was, why I was crying. Then I realized something so big, that my throat seized up in that really uncomfortable crying thing.

"Mom, I think I'm fighting to believe that I really am fearfully and wonderfully made. Satan and my own flesh are telling me that I'm not--but God doesn't make mistakes. I am beautiful, because He made me and I am His."

Okay, so I didn't say it that clearly. I was crying so it sounded all froggy and it was choppy and not as eloquent. But those words were what I was feeling.

That was thing #1 that I realized.

Thing #2 was that Christ is All. I'll explain.

As I was telling my mom that I didn't understand why people would like me, she said, basically, that I wasn't supposed to know. He is the one who works every good thing in me, so I cannot make a list of "Katie's Good Qualities"--then my life would become trying to live up to the list and make it longer, instead of just abiding in Christ and living in Him. In Christ alone my hope is found. He is my life, my strength, my song.

Oh, how sweet it was to remember that I am not my own! That I am merely a fallen sinner, saved by His incredible grace; a faithless woman loved by an ever faithful Savior. Apart from Him, I can do nothing.

Thing #3:

My mom graciously and sweetly reminded me that God does not withhold any good thing from His children. If giving me a husband is what is good for me, the Lord will give one to me. If He doesn't give one to me, it is best.

Well, that's about all I have time for for now. Chemistry class calls. I'm sure I will fall back into those same questions and feeling down about myself, but He is always faithful, and will bring me back to this place of contentment and satisfaction in Him.

Hallelujah! All I have is Christ! (I'll post the rest of the lyrics to that song later :)