I’m an Illusionist

Last Sunday Derwin and I went to North Point Community Church in the Atlanta area. We heard Part One of a message called “Illusions.”

The pastor, Jeff Henderson, laid out a pretty simple message on being fake. I suppose many or most of us are fake about something, that’s not a new story. I guess this one felt different because it took a different tack. It wasn’t so much the typical, “Hey, we need to be authentic” message. It was the “here’s the ways you’re being fake and you’re sitting in your own crap” thing. God put his finger on my issue in a strange church in a strange city. I freakin’ hate crying in front of people!

So now I shall confess: I have created an illusion that I’m a happy person who’s growing closer to God daily. The truth is, I beat myself up nearly every day. I don’t like myself, and I feel like I’m failing those I love the most. I know intellectually that God loves me and is nearby, but I don’t feel Him. I miss Him terribly, and I feel like I’m too far gone for Him to have any further dealings with me. I know that sounds fairly cheap, but … well, it goes pretty deep and it feels pretty crappy. And I don’t talk about it to anyone. Not anyone. Not even my husband. Because I don’t think anyone will understand, and I don’t want to hear a bunch of crappy platitudes like, “Buck up! Of course God loves you!” or “Where’s your faith!”

Gag.

So just to clarify, I’m not looking for sympathy. I’m just letting go of the imagined safety of the illusion.

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6 thoughts on “I’m an Illusionist

  1. mike says:

    traci,dont think your’e the only illusionist out there,youre not alone in how you feel.

  2. mike says:

    youre not alone in how you feel. i beat myself up daily for my failings in life and especially to God. I just celebrated my 47th birthday and I should be at a better place with God by now. I look back and regret the things I could have done to grow with Freedom House over the last 5 years to be more involved and become a leader. I lost my leadership at work about 2 years ago and still struggle with that.these feelings of insecurity hurt my family and hinder me having close relationships with others. I love your honest blogs-thanks for being REAL.all im going to say to boost us up is to not give up through all the ups and especially “downs” of life-there is a father who loves us no matter what-FATHER GOD. We need to remember he might not seem like he’s near to us, but he always is, we just need to reach out for him and embrace his safety net!

  3. Tracie says:

    Hey Mike, thanks for that comment. Isn’t it funny how we can beat ourselves up, but it feels terrible to us when we hear someone else is doing it! I want to encourage you so much and tell you to keep looking forward, that of course God doesn’t want you to condemn yourself … but who am I to talk! 😉

    You’re right, of course. I am working hard to focus on what the Bible says, and what the Holy Spirit has said, about God’s love for me. It’s a hard road to change one’s thinking. But I know we need to start down that road if we ever hope to get to the end of it!

    See you soon, Mike. Thanks again.

  4. pennymaxwell says:

    Tracie, I think we all beat ourselves up at times. Especially those of us who grew up with others beating us up all of the time. It has just become second nature it feels. I know for me getting blamed or beat up for something growing up was an every day occurrence. It caused me to grow up and do what had been done to me my whole life.

    I am reading this great book by Larry Crabb called The Pressure’s Off. It is helping me to grab a hold of it.

    Tracie, don’t ever believe that you are the only one to feel the things you do. You are not alone.

    As for you Mike, not sure which Mike you are but it is not too late to work on leadership either. It is never too late.

  5. mylifeinorange says:

    I know you posted this last year, but I’ll just say I can appreciate your honesty and I love you for it.

  6. Tracie says:

    🙂 Thanks!

    You know, reading that post again helped me realize I still use the illusion as a comfortable hiding place. Looking forward to getting past it.

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