Wednesday, November 30, 2016

A Shattered Paradox

Those dear friends in my listening circle already know I've been walking through the desert lately. Life seems to stretch as an empty wasteland of fatigue and frustration and insecurities. I feet stumble with trepidation. Even though I know I'm not alone, I can echo David's lament in Psalm 102:6-7.

In a fit of anger, my child ripped his paper hearts off the door and shredded my tokens of affection for him. Another child screams in my face and declares his hatred over me. I feel this bombardment of guilt and the sting of not-good-enough.

I've been told "Don't take it personally." But, how can I not? They are my persons. Therefore, in the words of Meg Ryan (You've Got Mail), "What's so wrong with being personal, anyway? Whatever else anything is, it ought to begin by being personal."

Now before you start saying, "Well, that's just stupid. You can't make everyone's business personal to you." I know. Thus, the fatigue. Even so, I need to carry this burden and find ways to help those who are burdened around me. I want to care without carrying the care of complete repair (the care of God).  Does that make sense?

I fluctuate between this overwhelmed sense of my emotional attachment and this refusal to express anything but resentful anger (a protective mechanism?). Dumbfounded, I wonder over the irony of my current state of affairs; I'm writing a book on the influence of emotions, weighed on the scale of biblical understanding and human design. We live in this paradoxical tension of falling in head first or abandoning the waters all together.

And I keep hearing this word: broken. It reverberates in my soul and mocks through the shattered pieces surrounding me. Relationships fracture and my emotions crumble into shards of sharp glass. I hate it. It's messy; how am I supposed to carry around this broken jumble? How am I supposed to make things better with broken?

I'm on the treadmill, reading these words from a kindred spirit. I'm amazed at the timing of it all: "Never be afraid of being a broken thing. [...] There is no growth without change, no change without surrender, no surrender without wound--no abundance without breaking. Wounds are what break open the soul to plant the seeds of a deeper growth.

"My dad told me this once. For a seed to come fully into its own, it must become wholly undone. The shell must break open, its insides must come out, and everything must change. If you didn't under- stand what life looks like, you might mistake it for complete destruction."

"I whisper to the Farmer, one line that unfolds like willing, cupped hands: 'Brokenness can make abundance.'

"And the weight of hell shifts almost imperceptibly to feel more like the weight of glory, even if I'm not quite sure yet if that greater grace will come" (The Broken Way).

I need to examine the pieces, but I am not going to be the one to pick them up. I am going to let Him do it; it may take longer than feels comfortable and I may find my brokenness more exposed, making me feel all the more unstable and insecure. But, my security can't rest in my wholeness; for I am whole when I am broken and humble before Him--not when I feel put together. He doesn't despise this shattered life like I do (Psalm 51:17). Life a dandelion blow to all corners of the lawn, I will allow the seeds to scatter and trust that He has a plan to redeem this brokenness.

As Ann Voskamp says, "The miracle happens in the breaking."

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