Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Too Much, and Not Enough

For many years now I've been reading various books by John Eldridge. He focuses a lot on the Heart. He wrote a book with his wife Staci called Captivating that addresses women in particular. They talk about The Message of the Arrows that is used to wound our hearts and keep us powerless. One of the Arrows for women is the idea that you are too much and yet somehow not enough. This idea has stuck with me for several years now, giving shape to a hurt so deep I wish it could have just stayed buried. But I cannot treat buried wounds, so the pain must be dealt with.

Too Much and Not Enough.

Like an angry toddler unable to comprehend anything outside himself, the words accuse me and claw at me. And I am unable to fight back. There are too many places where there is truth. And I've made the mistake of listening and believing.

I say too much. And those who hear misunderstand what I try to say. My words aren't enough to convey what I want too share. And the misunderstanding tells me that I am a failure and have no value or I would have been understood.

So if I can't control my words to share my heart then what's the point of trying? The wound drains my strength and I shut down. I don't want to fight to make myself heard just to be misheard. And I retreat to lick my wounds in my fortress of silence.

And that is also Too Much and Not Enough.

When I first read the description of Too Much and Not Enough, my heart immediately recognized it as the cause of many wounds on my heart. And there was a certain feeling of affirmation and relief found with knowing the Name of the Arrows. It made the pain valid to know there was a real weapon. I wasn't just making it up, or just naturally broken. There was a cause.

But that's where I stopped. I saw the Arrow, there is now a shape to what was only pain before. But I've gone no further...

And I realized today that I failed to find anyway to fight against, or protect myself from this weapon aimed at my vital heart. No defense. No counterattack. Even when you know what it is and that it's coming, there is nothing you can do without those things.


So what is my defense? The fortress of silence, the become shut down to bare minimum functions approach doesn't work too terribly well. It's rather cowardly, actually. How do you counterattack? I make a pitiful attempt and then promptly loose all courage when my attacks lack power, have poor aim, and fall short of anything resembling effective.

I am not well equipped. And never before thought to train nor to equip myself. This is called suck in the victim mentality.


So now I'm trying to find the Ways to fight. I'm tired of shutting down. I'm tired of feeling sorry for myself. I'm tired of cowering in fear...

I'm doing a Bible Study by Beth Moore right now that's called "Believing God." Not "Believing IN God." Believing God. Believing what He says, and Who He is. And who I am...

One of the sections in the study says "I believe I am who God says I am." This is where I get stuck. It's easy to believe God. I believe He is Mighty and Powerful. I believe He is Just and Good. I believe and accept these things about God easily. But I somehow never manage to believe the parts that tell me who I am, as a Child of God. The words never really penetrate my heart.

I am who God says I am.

I am Too Much, and Not Enough.

I am who God says I am.

hmmm... Maybe this is the weapon I was looking for. I think I need to go back and review that section again....

Let the training begin!


Random digression:

I've made some wonderful friends here in Japan. As fellow missionaries, we've been through a lot together. We've fought with, for and against each other often. Wielding clumsy swords, fighting life's battles together (unprepared though we are), we've been injured by friendly fire just as often as enemy fire. But we stick together with bonds that transcend distance and wounds.

I got an e-mail from one of these friends of mine. (does this count as a reply???) I've known her the entire time I've been in Japan. We usually get along well because we both share an appreciation of analogies, usually the kind that make other people squirm. And we both take the Point-And-Shoot approach with Truth. We have a lot in common.

She's been in America visiting some of her sisters who were giving birth. so it was no surprise that she e-mailed me to tell me she's been reading my blogs and wanted to "encourage" me by telling me how my struggles reminded her of childbirth. (She even offered pictured if I wanted some visual help with the analogy. Very kind of her.) I have awesome friends. ;-)

I'm not sure if this is a time of childbirth or perhaps instead a time of skin molting, or cocoon shedding... (changing myself vs producing new life) But in any case, welcome to my hospital room!

Please excuse me if I don't get up right away...

1 comment:

Shanda said...

I love your heart and you have an amazing talent when it comes to writing. I would love to put words together like you do. Keep blogging girl.
You can delete this if you like but I had no other place to put it because I don't know you. But I do know you as I've been reading your blogs. I too was a young single missionary and I feel like I see me in your writings. You are exactly where God wants you right now: in him, in seeking what you are in Him, in serving. I hear your struggles, insecurities and desires. Keep opening up and let God fill that every void in your heart.
Even thought you are a stranger by the world's standards, you are my sister and I want you to know I am praying for you.