Some unexpected and uncomfortable self revelations came up yesterday. Suffice it to say that the Lord is molding me and showing me myself. I think we all know what it feels like to have God show us things about ourselves that are painful and oh, so not what we thought ourselves to be.
In an apt bit of timing, at the same time I was undergoing this revelation, a picture was sent to me on Facebook of myself when I was 17 years old at an end of school year party. The picture was taken by one of my former schoolmates. For some reason - I think shame at the many stupid and wasteful decisions I've made in my life - it was as if someone had punched me in the stomach. I looked at myself and thought two things. The first was how young I was, how my life was ahead of me, how all the possibilities in the world were mine at that moment, long gone - and how I knew what I was about to do for the next five years that I would pay the price for - for the rest of my life. The second was embarrassment at what I could see with my adult eyes of the girl in the picture. Even though there were reasons for who I was at that time, it didn't make it any easier to see such a lovely, yet self-absorbed and selfish girl. I immediately thought of even the body language in the photo - how if I'd only been more involved with others and less inside my own head, how much happier my entire life would have been. Less self and more others.
And so here I am today, a little bruised on the inside, a great deal chastened. The only way to drain some of the pain out was to write the following, and then, hopefully, to move on with new knowledge and hope.
I'm looking for a place to put my heart.
Some top shelf where it won't remind me.
Out of sight, hidden.
It's been about used up
on earthly beauty and youth
and other ephemeral heartbreaking things.
I've let it lead, a foolish act.
It loved too well all that passes,
Itself in the center, crowned and lonely.
A rest from vanity in some forgotten corner,
my mind with my faith awhile to drive
uncharted territory, the noble and selfless.
Thy strength, oh Lord, impart to me
whose shallow frame has wasted life,
to spend what's left as You would will
And not in tears for what might have been
had my heart been safe under Your care
instead of seeking eternity in self.