If I’m being honest, I should say that I have always struggled with being a good friend. Each friendship that I have lost is due in large part to my own negligence.
If I’m being honest, I should say that I’m a little bit self-centered. Okay, maybe a lot.
If I’m being honest, I should say that I’d rather sit inside all day than go outside to do anything, even lounge on the beach, climb a mountain, or go for a swim.
If I’m being honest, I should say that I littered today.
If I’m being honest, I should say that I hate to exert myself during physical activity. When I start to sweat, I dial it back a little.
If I’m being honest, I should say that I’m way too critical of everything around me. I often look at myself as a cause of the problem only after I’ve blamed everything – or everyone – else to some extent.
If I’m being honest, I should say that I look less like this on a regular basis:
And more like this:
In the other picture I had had several glasses of wine.
If I’m being honest, I should say that I look forward to when my kids go to bed every night.
If I’m being honest, I should say that I feel like being a wife and a parent is exhausting and I think of what my life would be like if I hadn’t been married or had children. I let those thoughts settle in and I don’t feel bad about them.
If I’m being honest, I think that is a horrible thing to think about.
If I’m being honest, I should say that I regret moving away from home, even though when I moved away I said that I couldn’t wait to leave and never return.
But I’m often not as honest as I should be. I present my more photogenic side to the camera, the nicest and most nurturing side of my personality to whoever I’m talking to and the calm side to the world when inside my heart is beating like a squirrel hopped up on caffeine.
Often, the real side of me, the ugly, mean one, is prominently featured when dealing with my family, those who love me the most, and who I love the most too.
I am flawed. Human. I make mistakes. Big ones.
But I have learned to apologize, to confront the wrongs I have done. Knowing God and nurturing a relationship with him has taught me this. I have learned to ask God for forgiveness when I cringe about the nasty side that escaped for just a minute when I let my guard down.
And he has forgiven me, and he gives me the strength I need to face the consequences. And I learn how to do better, to lean on him for wisdom and to wait for the right moment to try and repair the damage I’ve done. I pray for him to heal the wounds I have inflicted. I pray for him to change my heart, my mind, my actions. And he does, ever so slowly, so as not to give me whiplash.
And I am thankful.
But I still will probably NOT help you paint. Not anytime soon, anyway.
Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sin is put out of sight! Yes, what joy for those whose record the Lord has cleared of guilt, whose lives are lived in complete honesty! When I refused to confess my sin, my body wasted away, and I groaned all day long. Psalm 32:1-3 (NLT)