Weekly “I Want God” Post: “Normal” and the “Stained T Shirt”

“I Want God”, pp. 39-top of 42.

And those few pages are enough, my friends. Oh my goodness. Tears. Really.

“I just want to be a normal person.”

“It’s too hard, pouring my guts onto pages of books and standing on stages being vulnerable about my junk.”

How I have felt this! From the time I was a new believer, I was put in places of influence. God pried me out of a painfully shy shell of a girl (ask me about that story sometime), and plunked me into leadership roles I never sought. But along with that comes the responsibility, the obligation to look out for others, to live godly in Christ Jesus, to be an example of the believer, to put self aside, to be willing to make mistakes and spill your heart out in front of big crowds (Oy!) and sweat and fret over your words and be always aware of how you appear, and the necessary 24/7 availability for others.

smileAnd when all this is done in the flesh because you’ve run out of steam…boy howdy, it can get ugly. So you say you want to be done…but you don’t. You’ve just made yourself so tired on your hamster wheel that you want to cry. Because you’ve forgotten who you serve, and why, and how this service is so deeply engrained that you could never truly be satisfied without it. So, you push past the desire for “normal”…and get a clearer vision for what He wants of you. With His presence, with His love and grace, with His longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, patience…He has in mind for you to be….extraordinary. That means taking the risk of vulnerability. There is no shortage of proud Christians and Sunday smiles. What we need now are courageous women willing to bare their souls and “junk” and show…SHOW what it looks like to fight, and to be victorious.

I had no intention of writing my own “book” on this…but this struck a deep, deep, chord with me that is still resonating in my soul.

“He has made His way to me.”

Oh, my heart. What an image. Can’t you just see the Savior, with eyes intent upon you, gently pushing His way past all the stuff crowding around you? Separating, stepping, pushing aside this idol, gently moving that idea, and with firm grasp, putting our pride (our biggest obstacle) in its place…behind Him.

My people have fallen asleep, Lisa.
I need you in the game.
Get in the game.

I felt the physical force of this when I read it. Because this is me, too. We are looking at a few days away for Spring Break this week. I confess, I looked forward to being “normal”. But God wants that time to be extraordinary. He never desires for us to be on the sidelines. I already sense Him making the way. Wherever we are, whatever we are doing…He needs us in the game. That means we check all plans, ideas, hopes…all of it with Him. What are His purposes? He makes the calls.

“He has romanced me”

I confess, I’ve had a dislike for using this word regarding my relationship with God. It felt…warm and fuzzy, squishy, sappy…too emotional. Today, I checked my understanding. “Too emotional”? My relationship with God is one of the most moving things to have ever come into my life! So I looked up this word “romance”:

“Ardent emotional attachment or involvement between people; love”

Well, yes. That would be it. I think it may still be some time before I can employ that word in this way…but I’m nearer than ever before.

shirt“But at some point this fixing of ourselves has to stop. We have to freefall into trust and not be afraid to just wear the stained T-shirt to the party. We just have to show up.”

What ever happened to “Just As I Am”? Have we forgotten these words:

Nothing in my hand I bring,
Simply to Thy cross I cling.

We are still that person, gloriously saved, but still undone without Him on a daily basis. We can’t forget it. I’m not saying we ought to glory in wearing our “stained T-shirt”…but I am saying wearing that shirt, being vulnerable, candid, just as we are…it helps other folks who also wear a stained T-shirt to see that it is not about the shirt at all. It’s about what is contained inside. When others see through our imperfect-but-devotedly-passionate lives that it’s okay if they don’t have a brand new shirt on (we’ll get a new one…we don’t need it yet), it gives them hope, courage, and a fresh concept of what grace looks like.

“That’s finding the pinnacle of life–the “more” of heaven coming down to earth–while we still live here.”

This is the “more abundantly” we talked about this week. This is what the resurrection made possible…precious swatches, slices, morsels, smatterings of Heaven, realized in our lives today. Beautiful, right?


3 thoughts on “Weekly “I Want God” Post: “Normal” and the “Stained T Shirt”

  1. This has been my favorite read in this book so far. My heart understood completely. I choked up. I wept as I read it. I want God more than anything and it is up to me to surrender everything to attain that.

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