Do you ever wonder: What would people think if they saw my family as it really is? Would they say, Jay Jones is a good mom. if they could do life with me, as if they, too, lived in my skin? Within my intentions and decisions..? All most people really see (and use to judge you and me) is what you tell them and what you post on your social media.
I should have said: People do not use this information solely to judge you and me; they use it to judge themselves – to decide what they’re doing wrong and how they’re failing. My mom taught me this: It’s no good at all – comparing your insides to people’s outsides. And this was before Facebook and Instagram.
Comparing… Judging… The devil loves to use this behavior to discourage us and make us give up on ourselves. While we look at other people’s lives, finding flaws with our own or, wishing that we could trade; we miss out. Sometimes there’s only a little good to find in a day or a week or a circumstance, but we need to be looking – searching for it.
At night, when the devil in darkness stirs up the silt of regret and anxiety in my soul, I wake up. I try to see the truth through the lies I’ve dreamed in my nightmares. But I’ve noticed that darkness makes it hard to believe that lies are lies. Darkness makes it hard to have peace about the truth of God – that we are new and have different hearts. That we are alive to God and dead to sin… But I did this, I want to say. But I feel that, I argue against the truth. Appreciation and knowing how to locate Jesus are the only cure for life – for hardship, for insecurity, for fear.
Sometimes the glass is not half full. Sometimes there are only a few drops of good in the glass. But we need to appreciate them. If we can be grateful for what we have – in our circumstances, in our relationships and within our own experience, we can have some peace in this life. Peace in the midst of brokenness – like the calm in the eye of the storm.
Most nights I wake up, heart pounding with anxiety and regret. Sometimes I feel quite evil, if I’m honest. I sit up until dreams recede enough to be sure I’m fully awake. Then I might make notes to self – to do things that I’ve seen my friends doing and to try methods I’ve read about about. Sometimes I write – blog posts and Bible study thoughts. And sometimes I walk the halls and check my babies and wish I had or hadn’t done this or that. I kiss their mouths and foreheads. I rub their cheeks and hold their hands.
But there’s no going back and no perfection – even with the best notes to self and guilt-driven, comparison-induced resolutions. All any of us can do is 1) locate Jesus and, 2) trust Him.