Skip to content

Right Now

December 28, 2008

If you came to my school last week and slipped in quietly during our special Christmas assembly, you might have seen a stressed-out mom holding a three-year-old in the back row.  She was wearing jeans and an old gray shirt.  If you watched long enough, you would have seen her wiping her eyes with a nasty kleenex as she tried to control her daughter.  Her daughter, dressed in a cute Christmas dress, periodically said things like “I don’t like these songs, Mommy.”

You would have looked around at the teachers, sitting quietly with their students.  The teachers were all dressed in beautiful red, green, or gold shirts – complete with matching accessories and cute jeans or black dress pants.  It would not have occurred to you that the woman in the back row was a teacher, too.  She looked like someone who raced in late to assembly and who had nothing in her life together.

I don’t have anything together – at all.  My nerves are shot from dealing with a surprise visit from my in-laws, an extremely messy house, and a three-hour discussion with Hugh about church. (Side note: if anyone living in Charlotte can recommend a good church… uh, one I’ve never attended… that would be great. Thanks.)

I am exhausted.

Last night, I wearily tried to clean the kitchen.  I figured that if I could just tidy up a little, I might feel better.  As I cleaned, Hugh started talking to me about the things I still needed to get done over the next few days.

I snapped.  I started yelling at Hugh and told him to leave the kitchen. He stormed away, saying he’d be back in a minute.

As he left, I started shaking.  I could physically feel myself losing control.  My stupid gray shirt from last week’s assembly, my tiredness, our church situation… I began to feel hopelessness build up inside me, and I decided to blast Hugh with all my emotions when he came back in the room.

Suddenly God spoke straight into my brain.  “The love of Christ controls you.”

I was stunned.  How could God be talking to me right now?  I was ready to throw my husband through the front window – I did not deserve to be hearing from God.

Then I thought, “Maybe it’s not God.”

So I asked, “God, is that you? Are you talking to me right now?”

“Jess,” came the immediate voice of the Holy Spirit, “I am with you right now in this moment.  The love of Jesus controls you, daughter.  Do not yell at Hugh.  Stop cleaning.  Breathe.  I love you.”

I put down the washcloth and sat on the floor, breathing deeply.  “He loves me right now,” I thought.  “He is with me right now.  His grace is going to help me right now. ”

Sometimes I think becoming closer to God means making fewer mistakes, praying more, having less-difficult days, or having some kind of successful ministry.

Maybe I am measuring my life with God incorrectly.  If I want be closer to God, then I simply have to listen and obey when I hear Him speak.  I can begin to acknowledge that He is with me when I cry in the back row in my ugly shirt, when I want to yell at Hugh, and when I feel like I’ll never get it all together.

He loves me.  He is with me.

Right now.

12 Comments leave one →
  1. Creekwader permalink
    December 28, 2008 9:03 am


    You are WAY too hard on yourself. Why? Let go of your negative thoughts and concentrate on all of the wonderful qualities that God gave you. You do not give yourself enough credit for the great things you do and say. Take a deep breath and relax! You are “good enough” exactly the way you are — without striving for more. None of us are perfect and never will be!

    BTW, come on over to Southbrook. We love it.

  2. December 28, 2008 9:43 am

    Hi Jess,

    You don’t know me. I just started reading your blog a few weeks ago. Can’t remember how I stumbled across it but was captivated by your honesty.

    I pray you find a rhythm of grace in your faith walk that is the unburdened way of Christ.

    I used to live in Charlotte and still have strong ties there. If I lived there now, I would go to Renovatus.

    I don’t know your denominational leanings so this might not be a valid suggestion. I love their focus on spiritual formation and justice.

  3. Special K permalink
    December 28, 2008 2:22 pm

    We just started going to Elevation about 6 months ago and really love it. You will love the passion, I could totally see you there, Jess. Email me if you want to check it out.

  4. December 28, 2008 2:58 pm

    “Sometimes I think becoming closer to God means making fewer mistakes, praying more, having less-difficult days, or having some kind of successful ministry.”

    I was just talking to a friend of mine about how I have felt like such a phony Christian lately because I don’t have it all together…or even anywhere near kind of together. And she quickly told me that I’m not a phony, I’m just human. I am still learning how to accept and rest in His grace.

    I know He sees our hearts for Him, Jess. If only we could truly see His heart for us.
    Love you…and would so invite you to my church if I lived anywhere near Charlotte.
    K 🙂

  5. Faux Fall permalink
    December 28, 2008 5:17 pm

    Have you ever heard of All Nations? It might be right up your alley. (((hugs)))

  6. Karen permalink
    December 28, 2008 6:04 pm

    (((HUGS))). Hang in there, sweetie. Super Woman doesn’t exist. Stop pressuring yourself to be one.

    And remember His grace IS sufficient.

  7. December 28, 2008 9:21 pm

    Just want you to know that I’m praying for you.

  8. December 28, 2008 10:32 pm

    He doesn’t call the equipped, He equips His called. He’ll carry you through- even through the holiday seasons and all their awfulness.

  9. taylor k permalink
    December 29, 2008 9:50 am

    as always, this is such a touching post.

    my husband and i argue over simular things too. your blog always touches me!

    i hope you have an awesome day. 🙂

  10. December 30, 2008 12:06 pm

    i totally had to pray through the nastiness of wanting to blast my husband just the other day… amazing that it works, huh?

    praying for you to find a fab new church that feels like home. wish you were near here… I would know just the place…

  11. December 30, 2008 4:58 pm

    Oh, Jess, how is it that this was posted two days ago and I’m just now reading it? THIS post, this one right here? this is why I keep coming back to your blog.. I continually need to be reminded that God loves us, you & me, IN our brokenneess.. I don’t know HOW that works, or why, I’m just grateful for it.. Thanks!

  12. December 31, 2008 12:13 am

    You can make the most serious things…funny! I need to come to your house and “pimp” your closet, you should see mine, polka dots, ribbion, pillows, corkboards…it is a lovely dwelling place. Just tell me when and I’ll be there;-) I will bring my ribbon and chalk board paint! I love how you can be so transparent and real in some of the most difficult situations…thanks! PS…I’m serious about the closet, I will email you pics of mine, it’s DARLING!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: