The Story that is My Life

My life as it has been and as it continues to unfold is a story. One story made up of many stories. One complex, yet simple story. One sometimes messy, but so beautiful story. One story that I wonder if it might be interesting to be told.

This blog is my attempt to put part, or parts, of that story into words, pictures, or whatever form my mind can wrap itself around or create from within myself to express what it is like to be the one inside Cindy's Story. This is an exploration on my part and on yours in reading, and seeing, and maybe even hearing. It is not necessarily chronological. It might not always make sense, but it is my expression. It is me.

You are invited to see how my story unfolds.....

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Should List

This is the "Should List" that I wrote down on a sheet of notebook paper in the very midst of my depression (in 2004 I believe).  I was trying to go by this list in my life as a Christian in order to live well, but it was really killing me.

The Should List
I should:
  • be a better Christian
  • read my Bible every day
  • pray every day
  • feel a connection with God
  • have joy in worship
  • not question God
  • not doubt God
  • go to church every week
  • be a missionary
  • live every moment to the best of my ability
  • be making a difference for eternity
  • be happy always
  • be thankful always
  • be a leader
  • trust God through all circumstances
  • talk openly about what God is doing in my life
  • always be trying to be more like Christ
  • be helping people
  • be doing something important
  • be strong on my own
  • get excited when others do missions
  • be involved in a Bible study
  • have Christian friends
  • apply the Bible to my life
  • not be jealous of other people
  • not judge other people
  • eat healthy food
  • exercise almost every day
  • have close relationships with my family and friends
  • be in a relationship
  • do everything perfectly
  • want to live 
  • not want to die

I believed that I should be doing all these things in order to be a "good Christian."  Somehow I thought that this would make God happier with me and that I would be happier myself and more at peace if I could do all of these things perfectly.  The problem was that I knew that I couldn't do all the "shoulds".  Even if other people looked at me and thought that I was doing a good job, I knew in my heart that I wasn't doing them (and don't tell, but I didn't even always want to do them).  Therefore, I knew that I was a "bad Christian."  I was a fake.  I was a failure to myself and to God.  I could not be happy.  I could not feel peace as a Christian, even though I "should."

I knew that the blood of Jesus covered my sins, but it took me a long time to realize that Jesus' blood had covered even my inability to do the "shoulds".  He knew the true me.  He knew I couldn't do it.  

Jesus was saying to me, "I'll do it.  I have done it all for you on the cross.  I love you as you are.  You don't need to "should" on yourself.  When God looks at you, He sees Me in my perfection and is satisfied."  

Wow, what a relief that was!  God loved even the messy me, the me that was always falling short.  I could finally be OK with myself because God was OK with me.  I could be free from all the guilt and shame and striving and just rest in Him.  I no longer had to worry about the "shoulds" because God was the one who would work in me to make me the beautiful person He wanted me to be.  He became my peace and rest and the source of a quiet happiness that continues on.

Thank you Jesus.