Thursday, September 27

No More Whiny Pants

I am moving to California in four days, and I feel like I'm growing up. Two days ago, an eight year old asked me, "Do you think there is still gold on the ground in California?"

I smiled out, "I sure hope so!"

For me, like history's many, going West carries the hopes of a shiny new chapter. I hope the ground is golden there, kiddo.

But I have had numerous freaking-out sessions in the last few weeks. In the old days, I would try to explain these crying-fits and moments of I-am-being-impossible with the phrase, "I am emotionally overwhelmed." But I overused those words so much that they grew really old.

I don't know what to call it. There are moments when I'm just plain freaking out in the inside. I do wonder if that is why my heart has been beating strangely. Certain unknowns (like, "when will my next paycheck be?") have plastered over my waning trust in the Faithful One.

And then, my dear friend Carissa put a book in my hands: Ruthless Trust: The Ragamuffin's Path to God, by Brennan Manning. I'd found it on her shelf. It was tattered. Tattered books always catch my eye. I like them the best.

I'd never read anything by Mr. Manning before, but I'm finding his writing so excellent and refreshing. I've grown so tired of books on God that are rich in content, but terribly written. There are many. And that makes me sad.

But this book is different. Manning is a writer. And as I was about thirty pages into his book, I started crying these good, healing tears. Not the whiny-pants tears, the nice, soul-opening tears. And something like scales fell from my eyes.

"So often what is notoriously missing from the external, mechanized concept of salvation is self-acceptance, an experience that is internally personalized and rooted in the acceptance of Jesus Christ...Self-rejection in any form is a manifest sign of a lack of trust in the total sufficiency of Jesus' saving work. Has he set me free from fear of the Father and dislike of myself, or has he not?" -Brennan Manning

In fresh terms, Pastor Brennan reminds me of how God sees me, in spite of my failure to trust him. And in spite of the unsuspecting self-rejection that has been creeping up on my thoughts lately.


Rachel said...

I discoverd this book in Barnes and Noble last Christmas break, and sat and read the whole thing in one of those awful wooden chairs.

It's a beauty - may we do the crazy thing, and trust. Yikes.

Talk to you soon. : )

(PS. I don't know if the streets are gold in CA, but the light sure is.)

Joy said...

If you like Manning's writing, might I recommend his book The Relentless Tenderness of Jesus. It slightly changed my life as I read most of it from inside my closet last winter. You should check it out.

Jenelle said...

Rachel, I like: when friends have read the same books, accidentally; the sun in California-I just bought my first pair of new sunglasses since I was 17.

I dislike: awful wooden chairs; that the golden gate bridge is putrid orange; all of the insane piles in my bedroom currently.

Jenelle said...

Joy, thanks for the tip. I think I've seen that cover before and the title caught my attention, too. I'll check it out.

Jenelle said...

Joy, p.s. do you have a closet that leads to Narnia?

Sue said...

If Joy has a closet leading to Narnia...the Kleins are visiting her!!
Tip: Kleins will accept you even if you just stuff your piles into a duffle bag and dump them out here. Love you!

Mel said...

I like Brennan Manning. I'm in a similar place too, needing to trust God more. I think I will put this book on my "to read soon" list. Thanks for this post nelly. :)

PPS - And thanks for poking me to get my butt back to posting. I posted today, as I've been meaning to all week! :)

Jenelle said...

I think all of the closets in the Klein house lead to Narnia. Have you looked?

Jenelle said...

You'd probably finish this book in one sitting. Glad to see your post this morning!

Joy said...

My closet didn't lead to Narnia, but it did lead straight to Jesus. I used to live in there with Him alot. And from time to time when I couldn't get up, I would just sleep in there, too. It was fabulous. Sadly, I moved in August. I miss it :(

Whitney said...

Our lesson yesterday was about how we naturally trust doctors, plumbers, mechanics, etc. even though they're human and could make a mistake and yet we struggle in trusting God, the only one who knows everything and doesn't make mistakes. So true...

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