6 10 2011

As I sit down today to pen my weekly parable in the paper, I ask myself a cutting question that is sticking me to the core where it genuinely hurts! How vulnerable do I really allow myself to be? How naked with my soul am I willing to get? I have lived with this chain for almost 50 something years and the not sharing it- I mean really sharing it- hasn’t brought me any consolation, so is now the time to get it off my chest? Is today the day I need to confess my biggest obstacle to my ability to actually be able to totally live free, without the wear and tear of the care that I am consumed by literally 24/7? God, what do you want me to do?

I hate myself! There, I said it! I do not like me! I especially detest the packaging, the tent, the body that God has chosen for me to house my true identity within! This blemished abode of my soul has served more like a prison cell than a launching pad to me through the years. I can’t count the number of days I have lost because I have been betrayed by my own flesh and blood which almost seems to have a mind of its own in choosing to work against me when all I humbly desire is to finally break free and soar above it all and go for it! But I constantly get stuck in the muck of the mess of who I am! I look in the mirror and I feel no different about my reflection than I did in the 7th grade when I said the very same thing, “Rudy Sheptock, you are the ugliest piece of crap that I have ever seen!” And in gazing intently at that portrait staring back at me- I lose the drive to live and a paralyzing anxiety overwhelms me and I am rendered useless and end up looking for a bunker to hide in rather than a beacon to shine in!

Now please don’t preach me a sermon for I have preached them all myself. I know the truth! I know the verses! I have met blessed individuals who were born with so many more apparent disabilities than me and by their actions- I see them and all they do and who they have become and I am put to shame! I have been to counselors, retreats, dermatologists, and prayer meetings to beg God for a sweet and miraculous healing and a victorious release- but I am still here. I am 52 years old and I am still being daily beaten by what beat me up as an adolescent all those years ago and I don’t know what to do! I hate it! I call it, “my thorn in the gut,” but I would much rather to not call it at all anymore. I want to change my number and not give it any forwarding address. Simply put, I just want to get up each day and not have to worry that what I look like will prevent me from applying what I fervently long to be like! So many of you have never seen the best of me because I am locked up and I want to have God lovingly and graciously break these chains from my heart once and for all!

Why am I sharing this? I have no idea. I did feel God prompting my heart to share this part of me. Maybe to encourage someone out there who feels like I do? So many people think that they know you, but what do they really know? Who do they really know? Don’t we realize that they only see you in part and only you see more and only God sees the whole? It is funny, when I was younger I thought that once my teenage years were over that this would go the way of puberty- but I’m not getting any younger and my days are feeling very numbered and I am starting to wonder is this the best that it is going to be this side of heaven? Is it always going to be hard? Is there ever going to be a finish line to what has turned out to be a never-ending race? Am I going to live to see a graduation day- lesson learned- now let’s move on moment? Or is this part of my legacy and history that God in His crazy and clueless to me ways has helped shape who I am? Don’t know much about geometry- don’t know any trigonometry- I couldn’t use a slide rule to save my life- but I do know what I am longing for and I haven’t found that yet! What knucklehead invented mirrors anyway? Does he or she know the tragedy that this product has brought me?

I have no answers or conclusions to this presentation. I am just opening up my personal closet to let it all air out! If the moths have gotten the assumption that I like them eating away at the garments of my sprit- they are most definitely mistaken! I know God loves me and it has been that fact, even when I don’t feel it, which has kept me from quitting! I know I am loved by my wife and my family and my friends and I know I love them- probably more than they know- because there have been too many days this barrier has blocked me in from the privilege I would have had to show it! But I will not be satisfied until this dagger has been destroyed- and I long for it to happen before it might destroy me! It has come close to causing my soul to shipwreck- but the lighthouse of the Lord’s unchanging compassion has always led me back to shore! So here are the verses that are hung on the wall of inside Rudy! Here is God’s word that I cling to and claim and know that somewhere down the road- I will experience for myself! 2 Corinthians 4:16-18,

“16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”



3 responses

6 10 2011
Kerrie Bemis Seger

You are not alone. There are many people in the world who feel exactly as you do.
1st. Allow me to say that what is remarkable is how well you deal with this. How many people hate themselves in some shape or form, be it physical, mental, or emotional and turn to substance abuse or self harm? You don’t. You somehow put that aside, and I think to some degree allow it to help you empathize with others.
2nd Did it ever occur to you that you don’t see yourself the way others do? That your perception is skewed by your own emotions? How many anorexics lose weight but still see a fat person in the mirror? Because those of us who SEE you think you are beautiful inside and out….you must not be looking with the right perception.
Thank you for sharing. Maybe my reflection isn’t as bad as I think it is either.

6 10 2011
Brenda Reitz

I have lived with some of those fears too Rudy, especially as I am getting older also I am 53, and there are times I dont like what I see in the mirrow, But I do know one thing, and I hope this helps, it is NOT what is on the outside that makes the person who you are. It is the person inside that makes the person who you are, your kind words, your caring, your messages, your guiding ways, your love for family, friends, and strangers, that all comes from wtihin. So it really does not matter how you look on the outside, you will still be the same inside, the loving, caring , person that GOD wants you to be. The outside is just a shell, the inside is your spirit that GOD I believe loves, and what makes you , you…I am learning this lesson late in my years, I was always a thin girl in high school,and growing up, but as us women go through the change of life, our bodies change and there is nothing we can do about it. So as I try to remember, you are loved for the person you are on the inside, that is where love lives, and comes from..hope this helped, With love to my friend , Brenda (Candygirl)

11 10 2011
Diane T.

I thought I was the only one with those same morbid thoughts of myself. I loathe myself-but then maybe that is exactly what the enemy wants-eyes off Him and on myself. I just wish I could stop being my own worse enemy-pull myself through and instead the pit gets deeper darker and inertia sets in… I’d rather hunker down and hide…but while we were yet sinners Christ died for us…and I wonder if this is the struggle of Paul in Romans. Somehow God does not allow me to stay there-He seeks me out and HE finds me and He pulls me to safety and He reminds me again that He created me to be His workmanship created in Christ Jesus to do His work. He says I am worthy because He made me worthy through Jesus Christ and His blood shed for me. “Nothing but the blood of Jesus”…for which I am grateful to be His and not my own….He turns my face to His and I remember who I am.

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