We are trying to come up with words, my people and I. Words that define us or words that describe us but maybe words that feel too big or too weighty to adequately fit. Words we want to lean into in the coming year.
I can’t come up with one. So in true fashion whenever I feel like whatever I do come up with won’t be adequate, I asked someone to do it for me. Find me a word.
It’s funny for someone who throws words around all the time, but I had no words. I couldn’t describe myself with any inspirational thoughts. I could find words for others, but for me? No. Life has kicked me a lot lately.
It wasn’t the first word she suggested and it wasn’t the first time I’d leaned into her expecting her to have my word. Of all my people, I just felt like she would pick the one for some reason. As soon as she said it, I knew it was the one. And then I cried because it felt too untrue and too big to carry, but it felt so right too, like I could sense God in it.
And as I sat under the weight of it, feeling so very breakable, so very fragile, I knew I wasn’t. I was wounded. Yes. I was bruised. But I wasn’t broken. I was maybe cracked a little, but I was not broken.
You see I think you can do two things with broken items: you fix them or you discard them. When you fix them they’re usually never the same. When you discard them, they are lost to you forever.
And that was part of the problem. I feel broken and easy to discard, like I’m one crack away from being completely unusable, one chip away from being too much trouble to hassle with. So often I feel so very disposable.
And then someone says, like they did tonight, “you know how truly amazing and special you are, right?” And I think, no. I don’t see that person at all. I see the one who isn’t good enough. I see the one who doesn’t want to be too much for people. I see the one who wants desperately to prove her worth so she’s not thrown aside. The one who desperately needs people but also desperately needs to be needed by people. I see the one who is so worn out from trying to be all the things to all the people. The one who tries to prove she’s good enough to be loved but all the while feeling she isn’t. The one who knows the hurt of losing people and so she pulls away or hangs on too tight. The one who feels broken and unloveable and so very much worn through.
And yet I am unbreakable. True, the ground may be dry and weathered and hard but seedlings of hope still burst through on occasion. Life has thrown some curveballs and continues to but good still shines through. The lessons come in waves, just when I need them to.
And I know deep down that while I may be cracked, bruised and battered by life, I still remain unbroken. God is still molding me, refining me, mending me. As long as I have breath I remain unbroken by the cruelties of life.
It is me who feels defeated when God says I am not. It is me who says I am broken when God says he fixes me. It is me who says I am unloveable when God says he loves me so very much (and people say it too). And it is I who say I am unworthy when God says I am worthy of all the blessings he offers.
So maybe that’s the key, the missing puzzle piece. Stop living like I’m broken and start living like I’m unbreakable. Stop feeling defeated when I can overcome. Stop letting circumstances that are so hard and weighty and difficult steal my joy. Stop waiting for the curse when God wants to send a blessing. To stop becoming unloveable and to start allowing myself to be loved, even if it hurts, even if it leaves room for vulnerability. To love big, to live big, to trust completely, to be fully present.
To embrace fully my big, crazy, messy, hard, UNBREAKABLE life.
To stop breaking myself. To be as strong as I pretend to be. To be as weak as I need to be so I can bend but not break.
To embrace my people and my place in their lives. To feel worthy of their life. To be worthy of their love.
To fully be present and stop putting so much pressure on what the future may or may not look like. To take one day, one hour, one minute, or one second at a time. To do the next right thing and then the next, one step at a time until I’m living and embracing my best life.
To embrace the messy imperfections that are a part of the journey. To accept failure as a means to growth. To look at challenges for what they are and not as insurmountable obstacles.
To grow, to learn, to live each day not in disappointment at where we are. To find joy in the journey.
To truly be UNBREAKABLE!