I see the #blessed hashtag everywhere. If I’m really honest, it makes me incredibly angry most of the time. It’s used for (what I consider) trite, stupid things.
Is that my call to make? No. But that’s how it feels right now.
I’m using Cynthia Heald’s Becoming a Woman of Strength (afflink) with my mom in our one on one Bible study. This week we talked about strength in our weakness, specifically God’s strength.
Lately I feel very on edge about doing things the right way. We’ve had some really bad weeks, with more to come as a consequence of them, and my inner control freak kicks in at these moments to keep everything I can in line.
- Clean the house.
- Vacuum like there’s no tomorrow.
- Then fall apart.
The other night I sat on the couch and sobbed to Sam about what a disaster our life is. Again. And really – it is. I wish I could be more specific (it’s preventing me from writing more on here because I have so many “can’t be told’s”) but we are waiting to see the outcome of some of this before I make it public.
I feel trapped. Left out. Foreign. I watch everyone gather a circle of Christian girlfriends and I’m pushing mine away because I just can’t deal with anyone. I feel like anyone that is left around me, checking in, is just biding their time for another mess. As if they’re saying, “Let’s not ask/invite/include her – she’s a disaster. It’s just one thing after another.” It’s probably not true, but it’s how I feel. I feel judged and isolated on my (very different) walk with Jesus, and what happened wasn’t even something I did. But it’s still my life.
So I’m reading the study with my mom and this past week we read a verse that struck me:
“We are cracked and chipped from our afflictions on all sides, but we are not crushed by them. We are bewildered at times, but we do not give in to despair. We are persecuted, but we have not been abandoned. We have been knocked down, but we are not destroyed. We always carry around in our bodies the reality of the brutal death and suffering of Jesus. As a result, His resurrection life rises and reveals its wondrous power in our bodies as well.” 2 Corinthians 4:8-10 (The VOICE)
Here’s what I struggle to believe: that in this mess, in my weakness, in the times I am so tired of my life full of sorrow and drama – there is God waiting to make it right. He’s using me and this. I can’t see it, I can’t feel it. I wallow in my sadness too long, harden my heart too often, throw up my hands in impatience and anger at what I perceive is unfair, but He’s still working.
My weakness during these hard days is when God is allowed to shine the brightest. It’s not that everyone is crowding around me saying, “Wow Diana, you really are just a beacon of light and hope! Yay!”
No – it’s the opposite but my prayer is that in my time of selfishness and bitterness, I will allow God to work in me still. To weave through the broken mess I’ve made so that others can look at me and know Christ is there.
Because there can’t be any other explanation.
Paul talks about boasting in his weakness. I’m not Paul – really my weakness makes me want to smack someone or thing pretty hard. Then clean my house. But I’m learning that my need to keep things tightly controlled and to myself isn’t allowing God to work through me. It’s when I can admit, “I’m a mess” and “I don’t know how to get through today” that suddenly God can show up and help. Otherwise I don’t leave room for him. It’s just me – struggling along in my humanity.
“and finally He said to me, ‘My grace is enough to cover and sustain you. My power is made perfect in weakness.’ So ask me about my thorn, inquire about my weaknesses, and I will gladly go on and on—I would rather stake my claim in these and have the power of the Anointed One at home within me.”
Now that, and only that, is something I can truly write #blessed about.