Life is hard, friends. And, I think we make it harder sometimes.
How many times have we been hurt by life’s twists and turns? How many times have we tried really hard but not measured up? How many times have we just been flat out disappointed.
Disappointment is a part of life. We’re human. Our expectations that we set are not in line with reality sometimes. No matter what society tells us we cannot always get whatever we want.
Sometimes we find ourselves at a place where we’re just broken, in all the ways.
If you are weary from carrying heavy burdens, come to me and I will give you rest. Matt 11:28 (contemp English version)
What burdens are you carrying right now? If you’re anything like me, you’re carrying several.
Perfectionism is one burden that I frequently carry around for a while. I have had this perfect picture of my life. But, I’m so many ways it can never match that picture. It never really has, and yet, I keep pursuing that image of perfection.
The cost of that burden is discontentment with life. This is not the way my life was supposed to look. (I think you’ve seen me write that a time or 20). Every time I think I’ve gotten something starting to turn down a path I like, it goes careening of the cliff or comes to a dead standstill in the middle of the road.
Of course that’s just another burden, the burden of needing to be in control of all the things. I’m a planner. I plan. And if my day, week, whatever does not continue down the course I set, I get frustrated. I plan time for all the things required to make me appear successful in whatever venture I am in: life, work, whatever. If reality deviates from the path, I feel like I’ve failed. I’ve failed to maintain control of any situations.
There are so many other smaller burdens. And how do I carry them? The same way I carry groceries. I mean literally when I go to the store and come back, I pick up as much out of my car as humanly possible and then add a few, so I only have to make one trip. And if anyone ever asked, I’m good. I’ve got this. (Even though my arthritic knees are screaming for mercy, I can barely make it up the steps, and I’ve dropped 4 things on the way that I’m going to have to go back for). That’s how I carry my life burdens too. No I’m good. Stumble. Nope, I can take some more. Drop a few. It’s good. I’ll get that later. Hoping it doesn’t all crash to the ground.
I am tired…in all the ways. And God promises me rest, but I know in order to embrace that promise, I have to lay down control (and perfectionism). Those are so hard for me to lay down. They always have been.
We all have burdens, and we’re all broken by our burdens and by life. It’s what we do with that brokenness that matters.
Do we try to hide our brokenness from everyone? I know I do a lot of times. But I’m being challenged to allow some people to see my brokenness because in that healing can be found. Do I want to run around with my broken hanging out all over the place? Um, no. But God has placed people in my life that I should trust enough to let them into even the imperfect parts that no one sees. To let them pray over them and help me glue it all back together.
This year has left me with scars. Some of them are actual tangible scars. Those scars are healed, but nonetheless still present. It’s the emotional scars that I wasn’t ready for. Those are the ones that rip open from time to time. Those are the ones that need a little more than spiritual neosporin and a bandaid. Those are the wounds that just won’t heal, yet. (And those are the ones I hide the most.)
It’s funny, if you cut your leg, like really cut it, you don’t just slap some tape on it and say “oh it’s fine. I’m good. No problem” and everyone goes about their business, as the blood pours out on the ground. I’m not sure why we do that with internal wounds. “Oh this? My heart that’s broken in a million pieces? All the tears I cry alone? It’s good. I’m good. Carry on” and we do. But only until we break in the middle of something stupid and the crazy gets loose. That’s where the emotional wounds go. But, I run from those like I’d run from the plague.
We’re all broken.
We’re not all broken in the same ways. But we all have something. Why do we not think someone else can help or care for our brokenness? I know I would bend over backwards to help mend a friends’ broken heart, and yet I have trouble even letting anyone into mine.
I feel like this is kind of rambling, but that’s how it is. And maybe my broken crazy is showing, but I’m not sure I’m gonna tuck it back in, yet.
If this is you. If you’re broken like me, find someone to let into your brokenness. I promise I’ll do the same. Will it be scary? Oh, yes. In all the ways. Will it be worth it? Oh, yes. In all the ways.