Grand Canyon Gap
There is a Grand Canyon-sized gap between who I wish I was and who I really am. I first heard that analogy from Tyler Staton in a sermon on doubt and it’s become one of my most go-to phrases because it hits home so hard. If you relate to anything I say in this blog, I dare you to listen to that sermon. The actuality of this gigantic gap is painfully legitimate.
I wish I loved others like I love myself. Jesus said all the law and prophets hang on that commandment (Matthew 22:37-40). I wish I didn’t love money. The word promises godliness with contentment is great gain (1 Timothy 6:6). I wish I didn’t overeat Oreos literally at least once a month every month of my life. The fruit of the spirit includes SELF-CONTROL (Galatians 5:23). I wish I assumed the best in people’s intentions. Love always hopes and perseveres (1 Corinthians 13:7). I wish I didn’t overthink things I can’t understand and never questioned God. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding,” says Proverbs 3:5. I wish I felt confident in parenting. I wish I was more organized. I wish I didn’t struggle with alcohol. I wish I was never jealous. I wish I could do a strict pull-up. I wish I wasn’t so judgy in my inner dialogue– maybe I made up the word “judgy” but you get my point.
HOWEVER the truth of my ACTUAL REALITY is none of these wishes have come true. Spare me a to-do list of how to best achieve these things by following a structured plan in a 3-point sermon. That type of striving makes me gag. No tutorials please. I CAN’T EVEN. The gap struggle is intense. Can you relate?
It’s an impossibility to truly become my “wish come true” ideal self. Regardless of that, I find myself striving to appear like I’m nailing it. It’s exhausting.
So why tell on myself?
Light and Humility
“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another and the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:7-9
The first time I sought biblical counseling, one of my assignments was to write down “concerns” in a journal. Let me elaborate: a concern is anything your mind drifts to when you’re not working or busy. It took me months to even comply. The things my mind would land on were embarrassing and shameful. I WISHED it would land on wisdom, scripture, and fantasize about doing good deeds. Except it was mulling over bitter unforgiveness, thinking about how lame I think certain people are on social media, and daydreaming about material possessions. Grand Canyon gap at its finest!
When I FINALLY wrote the concerns down, it got them out of the darkness in my mind and into the light OUT LOUD. I could finally begin experiencing freedom from the concerns if I got over myself and confessed them. It was life changing! In his song, Shame, Andy Mineo says:
“…my struggles were in private
Only started tasting freedom when I’m being honest
And I learn that when I am weak is when I’m seeing God the strongest
I know some people gon’ be quick to throw stones
But I’ll take all of those hits so you know that you not alone
And after  years of life, I decided
Everybody’s crooked, some just do a better job of hiding it…”
My pride tells me to make sure everybody sees only my good deeds and my good side. Look at all my strengths, world. I rock. See my happy Instagram highlights. Like and comment and pat me on the back. Don’t you dare expose your dirt or struggles, Maddie. But humility is getting over myself and acknowledging my brokenness then pointing toward JESUS’ perfection, grace, and mercy.
Eyes on Jesus
If you go back and count, I said the word “I” over 30 times in the first two paragraphs of this post…annnd that’s about 30 times too many.
“He must become greater; I must become less.” John 3:30
Although introspection and confession are necessary, they can become a trap if all I do is think about me, myself, my wishes, I, and the 1,792 ways I fall short. Jesus > me.
“Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith…” Hebrews 12:1-2
This blog post is by me and also to me. I NEED TO FIX MY EYES ON JESUS. Yes, there are gaps. Jesus fully knows how massive they are. Who He is and what He’s doing has 0% to do with my gaps and everything to do with His power.
Paul pleaded with the LORD and begged him to take away the “thorn in his flesh” – his biggest gap, I’m sure. But Jesus said to him: “My grace is sufficient for you, my power is made perfect in weakness.” So Paul boasted GLADLY about his weaknesses, so that Christ’s power could rest on him. He said he actually delighted in his weaknesses because when he was weak, he was actually strong. (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)
Jesus closes the gap. Jesus, please help me take my eyes off the gap and place them on You so you can close it. “LORD, hear my prayer, listen to my cry for mercy; in your faithfulness and righteousness come to my relief.”(Psalm 143:1) AMEN