“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”
- C. S. Lewis
To say that I have learned things this summer is an understatement. More like put me into a blender, poured in the craziest circumstances and turning the dial past puree. But through all the twists and turns this summer has taken, I’ve been realizing some things.
#1. God is constant. And He is waiting ever so patiently, whispering my name, beckoning His Beloved to come forward and see that despite the circumstances, He remains in control of my future. If only I could remember that more consistently.
#2. I have a problem. A sin problem. Big time. Like many, I like to have an appearance of success and worth and unfortunately I seem to compare worth and success against America’s standards instead of the Lord’s most days. I have taken this to the extreme in so many ways. For example, even though I am one of the most enthusiastic, energetic people, I become like a turtle about anything I want to tuck away and only the very closest of people know, which is usually only my parents and maybe a trusted friend. I like to keep those deep, dark secrets hidden. Fear of exposure makes me do crazy things like stretch the truth, tell flat out lies and smile widely when my heart is breaking into a million pieces. I like to think that it is bravery, that I’m being strong and “mature” by handling it on my own. But who am I kidding?
This summer there has been an elephant in the room that I have worked so hard at tip-toeing around. Fact is, I failed my licensing exam for Occupational Therapy. Yep, you heard it right. Spent 6 years to get my Masters degree and I took the $500 exam that lasted 4 hours and I failed. By three points.
I’ve never been a good test taker and probably won’t ever be. I hate that I have such high expectations of myself and I hold myself up to perfection. I hate feeling like I am being judged and I hate the struggle and anxiety that I battle in every single test I take. I hide it well, for those of you who know me and are shocked at hearing this. I also didn’t tell you that I got kicked out of the OT program and fought tooth and nail to get back in. I am a failure. I am a sinner. But I am a child of God. And because of that, I am loved. I am WORTHY. I am SIGNIFICANT. I am SUCCESSFUL.
As I am working on becoming more vulnerable and honest and open, the more I realize that this exactly where Jesus wants to meet me. He wants me to come to him broken and helpless, in complete and total need of his goodness, even in my shame. Admitting it brings a strange sense of freedom. By taking the risk and bearing my heart to the Lord and other trusted brothers and sisters in Christ, I can love better and accept love better. Its scary, yes. But so needed.
Last week, I found myself telling the Lord that He truly is the Lord of my life and that after I checked my score, He would still reign and that the course of action after seeing the score would be firmly in His hands, regardless of which way it went. And I was beginning to realize that my worth isn’t in my score. It isn’t even in how good of an Occupational Therapist I am. It is in my status as a daughter of the King. And nothing, NOTHING, will ever change that.