I see you. I know you. I hear you. I was you. Blinded by the way I was. Going through life feeling the way I did, doing the things I did. Thinking I was a good person, I was going somewhere. People liked me and if they didn’t I tried so hard to know why. And try. Try to fit in to whatever it was that would ensure they would like me. It didn’t matter what it was. I was always striving. Striving to say enough, talk enough, do enough, be enough. And yet, it never came. Enough never came. It was that carrot dangling in front of my tear-stricken eyes, juicy, sweet, perfect. Out of reach. And so on I pressed. Doing whatever it took to even try to reach it. To look good at trying to reach it. Ladders, hands and knees, whatever clever and inventive way I could think of to reach it at the end of that string that was always tied to me. That string that when I traced it back to its beginning was stuck to me. It was not just tethered, it.WAS.me. And yet I could do nothing. Again. Just like always, nothing was good enough. I wasn’t thin enough. I wasn’t pretty enough. Smart enough. Intelligent enough. Driven enough. Tough enough. Enough enough.
I was met head on with the realization one day. Smack dab in my face, in my ears, my mind, that I was NEVER going to be enough. It just wasn’t going to happen. Nothing I was going to do in my life was ever going to be good enough to ensure I would be loved. Because you see, deep down, that’s what the carrot was. Or what I thought it was. Love. True, unadulterated, unwavering, unconditional love. It’s what I wanted more than anything in this entire life and I would do anything to get it. I would be anybody, say anything, drink anything, wink at anything, if I thought they would give it to me. It’s all my soul was searching for. I yearned for it, there was a void in my being, in my heart, from the top of my head to the bottom of my feet, there was nothing there. Just that carrot that mocked me. Lied to me. Filled my head with abominations. Made me want to die if it meant reaching that stupid, fat, sweet, juicy, perfect root.
I realized it was the wrong Root.
I met Him in the shower. Tear stricken, body convulsing, heaving from crying out all my pain, all my worthlessness, all my doubts, my fears, all my nothingness that was inside me. I heard Him. He whispered to me. He said to me “Are you done now?” “I know you’re tired. And weary. I know how much you want love” “I know where you’ve sought it. Who you’ve sought it with” “I’ve seen every one of your efforts, your attempts, your reachings. All of them.” “I know you didn’t hear Me when I whispered before, even after every time I intervened.” “I was calling you, but you wouldn’t listen.” “Are you ready now?”
How could I respond? My life flashed before my eyes, every choice I’d made. Every decision, action. I thought back to everything I had ever done. The things I had said. The things I had DONE. The words I’d spoken. The people I was with. The places I’d gone. The things I’d watched and read. The thoughts in my head. The thoughts I had thought for so many years. Every single thing I had ever done…Shame doesn’t even define what I felt. Regret. Unclean. Dirty. Evil. Demented. Sinful…Unworthy. I knew it. I finally allowed my entire body to feel what I knew I was all along. Worthless. Undeserving of love. A total waste of space. Waste of air. A meat suit with nothing on the inside. Just old bones. Dead man’s bones. Living dead man’s bones. Nothingness. Wandering around in a bunch of nothingness, with a whole lot of other dead men. “Stop.” “You’re not a waste of air. I created air for you.” “You know what I did for you, and yet you don’t.” “You know My Story intellectually, but not personally.” “I’m here now. To make it personal, since you’re finally ready.”
I sank to the floor, a heap of sobbing rubbish. I told Him, I said I have nothing…Nothing to give You. I’m naked, ashamed, exhausted, unworthy, there’s absolutely nothing I have that You could want. He told me, “I want you.” “Right where you’re at.” I wailed, LORD forgive me PLEASE for everything I’ve said and done. Every utterance of my mouth, every thought in my head has always ever been disgusting. You were there. At every bad decision. You watched me make them. The things You’ve seen me do, listen to, say. LORD the things I’ve done….to You. I’m sorry. Please…PLEASE help me. I’ve got no place else to go. I’ve got no one. I have kids and a husband and they mean everything to me. But I don’t deserve them. I’m just waiting for them to leave. Once they realize what an abomination I am. A trainwreck. A basketcase. I don’t blame them LORD. I would leave me too. I’ve tried. To leave. Me. To finally end my pain. My hurting. Tried. But I can’t even do that right. It didn’t work. He said, “I know. I was there.”
I started to beg Him to forgive me. I finally told Him I would do anything to have Him in my life. To have Him with me always. Someone to love me. To love me when I’m unlovable which would mean every second I had left. All He said was, “Ask.” So I did.
I asked Him into my life. I asked Him to save me. I would do anything for Him. Anything.
And that’s when it happened. He wrapped me in His arms, kissed away my tears, and broke away the chains that were all over my body…the carrot dropped in front of the drain and I watched it dissolve in front of my eyes as it sank through the grate. It was like I had just been born. My lungs had never been so full of precious air. I could breathe. I could see like I had never seen before. It was as if I had scales on my eyes and they suddenly fell off.
When I tried to bring up all the wrong I had done. All the sins I had confessed earlier, and my unworthiness….He smiled at me and said, “It is finished.”
That was the first day of the rest of my life. I was new. Like a brand new baby. Free. Vulnerable. Helpless. But I finally belonged to Someone. I finally felt a love so pure and complete. So unconditional. I knew I would never have to worry about carrots again.
So yes, I see you. I know how you feel. You have things. Things you’ve never told anyone. You’re unworthy. Like I am. But somehow your sins are worse than mine. There’s no way anyone would ever be able to forgive the things you’ve done. You’re too far gone. Unforgivable. You’ve done things for people or to people that no human being should have to do. And you liked it. Or maybe you didn’t. Or maybe you’ve had things done to you that no human being should ever have done to them. And you liked it. Or maybe you didn’t.
Or you. I hear you. You’re a good person. You treat people right, provide for your family. You’re not a sinner. You haven’t murdered anyone. Or stolen anything. Or lied…too bad. You haven’t cheated on your taxes, or not left a tip when you should have, or cursed someone under your breath, or thought nasty thoughts about the hot guy who walked by earlier, or watched a porno in your room with no one around (it is your house, you can do what you like in it!), or had an abortion because hey you’ve got dreams and that does NOT include a kid right now (women’s choice!), or smacked your kid a little too hard because they were acting up (kids nowadays!), or had too much to drink because it’s 5 o’clock somewhere and it’s FRIDAY!! (start the weekend off right!!), or went out Saturday night with the girls and your skirt was a bit too short because you really do want guys to look at you because your husband really hasn’t been paying attention (we all have needs), or flirted with someone because you just wanted to feel butterflies in your stomach one more time, or slept with someone because you’ve gotta make it up that ladder somehow (us girls have to fight for our equality in the workplace!), or slept with a lot of people because you’re young and just livin’ the dream!!! (we’re only young once right, get it girl!!), or told a little white lie to your kids because you just really don’t want to play with them right now (we are busy ALL day!! Just relax!), or on and on and on and on….you’re a good person. You run your OWN life. No one’s gonna tell you how to live your life, you know how to be good. You don’t need a sky fairy to tell you how to live a good and decent life. People who do are just hopeless, pathetic, archaic thinkers who aren’t intelligent. They think this God person created the whole universe in 6 days, LITERAL DAYS people, how stupid do you think I am????? I have 6 degrees, 2 homes, a 6-figure prestigious career, kids, cars, a beautiful spouse (happy wife happy life right?), I treat people right, donate to charity, as long as I’m not hurting anybody, IT’S NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS how I live my life! I have one question for you. How’s that carrot treatin’ ya?
I know. I was you. I AM you. Just me. Different. Saved by grace. I’ve done nothing to deserve saving. Nothing. I just wanted to share my story in the hopes that someone might be tired of chasing that carrot. Just stop. Listen. And answer. Because I guarantee He’s knocking.