The other day someone referenced me as a woman who ‘has their s*%! together.’
For a moment I was flattered. Then I felt a little weird. Then I was a little crushed.
I do my best to be transparent. I tell everyone who will listen that I am a wreck of a new creation, riddled with doubt and insecurity. When people don’t believe me, I get scared. What happens when they find out how messed up I really am? What happens if I start to listen to them?
I remind you that I’m messed up, because I need you to remind me that I’m messed up. I remind you that my spiritual gifts are all God because I need you to remind me that my spiritual gifts are all God.
The lie that any of us have our stuff together is toxic to the soul, and terrifyingly easy for Christian leaders to believe. I’ve listened to lies that I am ‘doing pretty well’ before, and learning just how false those words are was too painful a lesson for me to forget.
So, just to clear up any misconceptions: I’m not. I’m not doing well.
God is using me because I’m a wreck. If He’s using me more these days, it’s because I’m more of a wreck. In my weakness He really is flexing His muscles.
I don’t have all the answers. Honestly, the answers I do have are mostly just theory in my life. Just because I know what’s true, it doesn’t mean I believe it. Exhibit A: this morning I sent a text to a friend explaining how much I wanted a hug:
“I just want to feel known and safe. Connected and wanted.”
I know that these feelings are a gift to drive me to God. I know that. I’ve written blogs about it. Last week I worked on a new curriculum that talks specifically about how our desire to be known cannot be satisfied by an earthly mate.
But you know what? I’m pretty sure a hug would fix all my problems right now. Today – I really am not sure I have the endurance in me to wait for the day I get to see Jesus. Today, I want arms wrapped around me that are tangible and real.
I feel like that a lot. I just don’t write posts about it because this blog doesn’t exist to just tell you how I feel. This blog is my desperate attempt to remind myself of what is true. It’s my desperate attempt to remind you of what is true.
Here’s what’s true: everyone wants to feel known and safe and connected and wanted. Everyone thinks the perfect hug from the perfect person will fix that. But if everyone feels that way, no matter what stage of life they’re in, then it must mean that no stage of life can satisfy that desire.
I can’t imagine being single forever, but as my married pal reminds me: she can’t imagine being married to her husband forever. No matter how we feel, there really is no earthly fix for an eternal longing.
That’s what is true, even when I don’t believe it.
Don’t be deceived. I am not a coach, standing on the sidelines telling you how to play a game that I can see more clearly from my viewpoint. I’m in the game. I’m getting beat up and bloddied along with the rest of you. I’m weary too. I’m trying so hard to be the team member who yells out to everyone else: guys! we can do this! But my throat is dry, and there really aren’t words and I honestly can’t even tell if I care if we all make it through.
But when I feel that way, I hear a voice coming out of me that isn’t even mine. He uses my mute and empty heart to speak. He loves us that much.