…….I have the weakest body known to man but I will revel in my weakness because Christ’s strength manifests itself gloriously in me.

[exhausted] I will never understand how the CPA exam can make me so tired but lo and behold, here I am, barely awake at 10 o’clock at night, even after building up my deficient sleep reserves over the past month. The tiredness comes about an hour after I finish my exam; I feel the heaviness in my limbs and a weight on my throat and of course, the accompanying cloud in my head. I am utterly exhausted and fervently hoping that I don’t get sick before I leave for vacation. But, PRAISE GOD I’M ALIVE and may I just say that today’s exam was the least brutal part I’ve taken so far. (And for the readers who follow my posts and don’t actually know me in person; I passed the first two parts! I realize I never posted if I passed or not but all my anxiety and worries were for nothing. So much glory to God; He is faithful even when I am doubtful.)

I have two more to go — one if I passed this one and I’m just going to take another leap of faith and say I did. Not because I think I did well on the exam, but because I believe that God already planned this out way in advance. The CPA has been a eight month battle and hopefully by month ten, it will all be over (just in time for new battles to start but eh, I’ll worry about them as they come.)

[rubbish] I am walking around my neighborhood, praying to the Lord when my concentration is broken as a garbage truck comes around. I hastily run to the other side of the street to avoid it and continue on my way, ignoring the clanking sounds of the truck grabbing the plastic bins of trash and dumping it in the back. By the time I can no longer hear the dull roar of the truck as it moves farther away from me, I see another garbage truck appear at the top of the hill on the side of the street I am on. Immediately, with a mild hint of annoyance, I cross to the original side of the street I was on and continue on my way, avidly avoiding looking at the trash truck. This happens a third time sometime later during my walk except this time; I smell it and without meaning to, my face scrunches up in discomfort as I digest the smell and walk a bit faster to get the heck out of the danger zone. I wonder absent-mindedly if the stench will cling to my clothes and skin and quicken my pace even more. When the fourth garbage truck crosses my path, that is when I figuratively throw my hands up in the air and wonder, “seriously, what the heck??” before I suddenly remember Philippians 3:8-9;

What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider the rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ – the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith.

And then I am struck by the sudden urge to cry as I am reminded of how little I can give to the Lord. The best I can offer Him, the most righteous of my righteous happenings; they’re all filth compared to Him, to His righteousness. I become aware of how dirty and stinky I am as I sit before the Lord and ask Him to help me. Yet, instead of pinching His nose, turning away and high tailing it out of there, He leans over me and covers me with His white robes. Then, it is Jesus’s fragrance that adorns me and pleases the King and He tells me; “You are clean.”

“Rubbish,” Paul calls it, all his righteous doings. I have to remind myself daily that my righteousness is Christ. Nothing of my own could ever compare.

[routine] “I want to be worth something,” I spit out in a fit of frustration as I try to express to the Lord what exactly I’m feeling. As I spend my lazy days of summer alternating between studying for the CPA and intermittently watching Netflix, I feel a heavy sense of discontentment and disappointment in myself. Many nights I go to bed, smack myself in the head, and wonder out loud; “Is this it? Isn’t there more to life than this?” I fear that I am doing nothing to contribute to the kingdom of God and with that line of thinking, I sink into a deep pit of self loathing and confusion. The only way I feel “Christian” is if I read the bible, pray, or go to church but even then, I am doing them all half heartedly and apathetically. Thus, I sink even lower in the pit.

In a desperate attempt to quiet myself before the Lord and prayerfully seek Him in prayer, I leaf across the psalms and end up on Psalm 51:16-17.

You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

As I read the verses over and over again, with a deep sigh of my heart, I come slowly to the Lord with weariness and trembling.

“Must I be broken?” I ask the Lord wistfully. “Is that the only way for me to be okay? To not be okay?” I remember the specific times where the Lord has broken me in my life; the sharp pain and the lingering aches…but also the glorious comfort that accompanied them. I remember experiencing pain and suffering and joy (feelings I am lacking at the moment) all at the same time and turn the thought over carefully in my head.

The battle for me is deciding whether I would rather be broken and filled up by Christ or whole and filled up with nothing.