Private thoughts: 001

Face me I face you.jpg

My posts to you are polished. Private, but polished for civilised consumption.

My thoughts however, I tend to keep to myself. They are uncensored. They often keep me up at night. They’re the ones I’m thinking about when someone asks ‘What are you thinking about?’ and I lie and say ‘nothing’.

Many of these thoughts lead to neat and tidy posts. The vast majority of them do not—but that doesn’t mean they might not be valuable to you. I figure that if you’re a new Christian or exploring the faith, you might be harboring similar thoughts.

Let me be awkward for you! Each week(ish), I will allow my words to flow without fear of judgment. You can hide behind my skirts while I reveal the intimate nature of my struggles, confusion, weaknesses and vulnerability as I navigate life as a new Christian.

Private thoughts: 001

Praying aloud makes me feel a bit weird. I’m still too nervous to say a prayer in a group: I feel embarrassed. I pray that no one is going to ask me to lead the prayer.

Praying in my head also feels strange. I talk to Jesus as much as I can, but I feel like it is completely nonsensical, my thoughts are in no coherent order and I laugh at myself and start again. It still feels like I’m talking to myself. And then I laugh again because He knows what I’m going through and as if I can hide anything from Him.

Speaking of which, I don’t know whether to feel absolute liberation or terror at the thought that Jesus knows everything I think and know and do. I don’t think I’m ready to dwell on this one yet.

I feel ashamed at how many times in a day I put myself front and centre of my life. Or how I give trivial things such importance.

I’m reminding myself daily that I am a mere custodian of my material possessions. The Lord has entrusted me to do good with what I have, and not selfishly use everything for myself. I can feel a shift in my thinking because of this reminder. I do, however, have a very long way to go.

There is no checklist. But I love checklists. I can’t do anything to earn my way into His Kingdom. To think that I can is an insult: that I could possibly sacrifice something bigger than Jesus dying for our sins. I know this, yet I still feel the pull of approval.

I’m reading loads of great books about Christianity. I need to remember they are not a substitute for the Bible; they are merely (delicious) icing. Le sigh. I am so easily swayed by bright and shiny. I will write book recommendations but I need to maintain perspective.

I don’t feel deserving because I’m not. Yet I am still saved. I think this is the definition of grace.

You know when babies do that laugh-cry thing when they are exhausted? Being a new Christian feels a bit like that. I’m laughing in delight at how much Jesus loves me but I’m crying at how much I keep hurting Him. Trying to make sense of it is exhausting.

I need a nap.