Dusting off that Shield

Every once in awhile, I succumb to this self-hate spiral, and almost anything - even the most insignificant things - can set it off.

This morning it was having to throw away spoiled food I found in the back of our fridge.

And then thoughts like this start to circulate:

I hate throwing away food, it feels like I just threw away money. Why did we eat out last night? Oh right, because I was too tired to cook. And take out food is so unhealthy. I am going to give my whole family cancer from processed take-out food because I am too lazy to cook dinner. I can't believe I'm making this big of a deal about throwing away food. There's pain in the world that I can't even imagine and I'm letting something that I'm sure happens to everyone drive me crazy. But does it happen to everyone? I'm pretty sure all my friends never have to waste food like this - and if they eat out it's because they're changing lives for Jesus and doing other super-woman type things. 

Anyone else? Just me, then?

During Z's two-hour afternoon nap (glory, hallelujah) I was talking to God about how stupid I felt for letting something like throwing away food send me into a whirl of thoughts about myself that were completely negative. 

And then this verse popped into my head: 

"...in addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one." Ephesians 6.16

Here's the thing, I like to think of myself as a very deep and spiritual and mature person.

But truthfully, I am a person who struggles to even believe that she doesn't have to do everything right to make God love her. And by everything, I mean [[everything]] - like not letting food spoil. 

Man, Christina, that sounds exhausting... and possibly a bit dramatic? 

It is exhausting, and often dramatic; but really, there's deeper issues there that aren't so dramatic as they are damaging if left unattended.

Because maybe the arrow is made of spoiled food or a dirty bathroom or misspoken words, but the fire that they burn with is generally made of such stuff as:

Not enough.
You'll be left alone if you keep messing up. 

On days like today - the hard days - rather than picking up my shield I allow myself to be pelted by these arrows of condemnation, and let me tell you, it's not so much the arrow wounds but the fire that will leave scars. 

So I stopped telling God what a terrible person I was and asked Him: If this shield I'm supposed to be bearing against those arrows is made of faith, and it's all too often left laying at my feet, what am I missing?  

And then I listened, and God spoke.

In that way He does sometimes, when it's not really like speaking as much as Him just... being, because God has this way of answering a lot of questions by giving the fullness of His presence. And it sort of feels like He just passed by and along with a room full of peace, left a sentence or two on my heart.

I love you, Christina. 
Have faith in that. 

And it seems to me, that's the kind of shield worth carrying. 

1 comment:

  1. I love this post. These words are for everyone! At least for all women, I think. And what gets me so mad at myself is that I pretty much recognize that it is Satan's lies at the time, but then still allow those darts to hurt me. Do I somehow like the pain- kinda like "cutting" or self-abuse? Like I feel better having pain since I know I deserve judgement... and I just have trouble accepting the true Grace that I know is right there for me, undeserved? I'm sure that my desire to earn or deserve grace is simply pure pridefulness when what is needed is to humbly accept that I can never ever deserve our amazing God. And that He doesn't even want me to try!