Thursday, June 01, 2006

My Favorite Psalm

I was reading my Bible last night, and came across Psalm 25. I'd
never read it before, but it really spoke to me. I felt as if it had been
written with me in mind. All of it is extremely appropriate for me, but I
especially like the following verses...

Remember not the sins of my youth
and my rebellious ways;
according to your love remember me,
for you are good, O LORD

Psalm 25:7

My eyes are ever on the LORD,
for only he will release my feet from the snare.
Turn to me and be gracious to me,
for I am lonely and afflicted.
The troubles of my heart have multiplied;
free me from my anguish.
Look upon my affliction and my distress
and take away all my sins.

Psalm 25:15-18

I really like those verses because I always felt inferior to those I considered to be "good" people, because of the "bad" things I had done in my life. But it was very comforting that not only does God forget about our past behavior once we accept Jesus as our savior, but that it is through Him that these sins are removed. It's like Ann told me in a previous post, when I keep praying about and asking forgiveness for old behaviors that have already been forgiven, God pretty much says "Bless your little heart! Are you still going on about that? I'd completely forgotten about it. Can we talk about what I'm doing in your life now?"

It's very hard for me to let go of those past burdens, though. I feel like I'm forever going to have to prove, not only to others, but to myself as well that I'm not the messed up girl I was even a year ago. I'm learning and doing so many things, and I'm really committed to my life being through Christ now, and not just blundering along with my own plans. But the old Jennifer still whispers that I'm not good enough, that I'm nothing but a cheap floozy who can never do anything but lay on her back; that's when I get discouraged. That's when I feel like maybe I have a stain on me that the "Godlies" can see, and that's why I'm only approached by men who are after only one thing. Then I realize, this is evil talking, trying to lure me back to my old mistakes. So then I get out my "Touchpoints for Women" and my Bible, and I start reading. And then I start praying, just like I did last night.

Before, I would always pray silently in my head. I felt a little silly talking out loud when God can hear me no matter how I say a prayer. But last night, I was really begging for answers, and beseeching Him that He take care of His children, and I started to pray out loud. I have never "felt" my prayer like I did when I prayed out loud. Before, if I prayed in my head, I would lose track of what I was saying, I felt silly, and I would rush through it before I started reciting my grocery list accidently. But last night, I could actually SEE my prayer. It's so hard to explain. It's like I was able to look in a window on a world I had never seen before. This window opened up in my mind and I could actually see what and for whom I prayed. I felt like I couldn't pray enough. And when I finally finished, I had been praying out loud for 30 minutes and had tears running down my face. I didn't even know that I had been crying. It was a very moving experience for me!

When I was finished and getting ready for bed, I knew one thing for sure: I won't recognize who God has chosen for me until I stop feeling inferior to other people. It's not that I have a stain on me, so to speak, it's that my inferiority complex is broadcast to others. I'm trying very hard not to feel like I'm less than anyone else. Hopefully, soon, when I'm ready and whomever God has chosen for me is ready, we'll recognize each other.

"'I know the plans I have for you,' says the LORD.
'They are plans for good and not for disaster,
to give you a future and a hope'"

Jeremiah 29:11

I don't know what my future holds. I only know I'm praying that others, too, can forget my past and get to know who I am now. I'm praying for someone who can love me and Jamie, I'm praying for more children. But I don't know yet if that's God's will. I guess I shall see.


Suze said...

Do you ever read Anne Lamott? I've read all of her books that aren't fiction, and I think they're all great. She is also a single mother, as well as a recovering alcoholic/drug addict, and she has some really beautiful things to say about recovering one's self-esteem and forgiveness. Maybe you've read her stuff already, but if you haven't, go to a library and check out Travelling Mercies and Plan B. Bird by Bird is also a really good book on writing.

Jenn-Jenn, the Mother Hen said...

Thanks! I've never read any of her stuff, but I'll be sure to check her out (ha, ha - didn't even catch the pun until just now).
I'll also look into the Bird book!

Hope you've managed to get some sleep!

Everett said...

I'll second the Ann Lamott suggestion. I've not read Plan B, but Traveling Mercies was great. There's also a really good one that I think is called Operating Instructions that is a journal of when her son was a newborn.

Two other thoughts, a girl in our High School youth group several years ago wrote a very cool song based on Psalm 25. Also, once a month our church has a 24 hour prayer time where people sign up to come to the church and pray for an hour or two. I like to sign up for the 2-4 or 3-5 a.m. slots. Then I walk around the church and pray and sing out loud, since I'm usually by myself. Those are some of my favorite prayer times. I like to move around when I pray and I like the freedom to pray aloud. Keep it up.

ann said...

i like ann lamott, too. she's one of those "yes, i believe in Jesus becuase i met him, not because you tell me to" people. she's also really funny and makes me want to be a stronger woman. AND she helped me to be okay with my thighs. ha ha and another good book about Jesus is Blue Like Jazz, Non-Religious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality. It's by a guy who doesn't want to call it "christianity" because that word covers so much, including a lot of stuff that isn't really christianity, so he calls it christian spirituality, and it questions why people do some of the stupid religious things they do, and it has some good thoughts about being Christian and single. so i totally agree with susan and everett about Traveling Mercies (everett let me read his copy one year in Gatlinburg), and add to that Blue Like Jazz (which Everett might have recommended to me, too...but i know other people did, too...but he gave me a copy for Christmas so i could lend it to people, but right now it's lent and i'm not sure if the lendee knows it's a loaner and not a gift, so maybe it became a gift...hope she's at least reading it) anyway, time to get my own blog, right?

Jenn-Jenn, the Mother Hen said...

Well, since so many of the people I care about have recommended these books, I shall definitely have to read them!