Tuesday, November 30, 2010

My New Friend

It's been a while.  I have no excuse for this recent hiatus from blogging other than that I just haven't felt like writing.  Thoughts and ideas circulate in my head but they never reach a point of culmination necessary to even begin a post.  Maybe this is because my musings of late have been heavy, deeper than usual, and thus, harder to articulate.  Maybe I am wrestling with some lingering insecurity over the impressions I leave on my readership.  Maybe I am just lazy and inconsistent.  Regardless, I am moving on.

I recently made a new friend.  This friend has been around for a long time and although I have always known about her, I had yet, in all my 30 years, to acknowledge her as a friend.  In fact, I have fostered quite a bit of animosity toward her throughout my life and it wasn't until these past few weeks as I was so burdened my the weight of my hatred that I decided I would try to relinquish my ill-feelings and embrace this ever-faithful, never changing, with-you-'till-you-die kind of friend.  Her name is Brokenness.  She sticks close.

As an enemy, Brokenness brings a huge burden of shame and remorse.  I know this very well.  There is an inevitable cyclical pattern to my life that starts with a season of unabated effort to stake victory over my enemy followed closely by the crushing disappointment of yet another defeat.  I am trapped.  Longing to feel good about myself, my actions, my decisions, my being, my pride seeks hard after conquest of the habitual fleshliness that follows me everywhere I go.  Functioning under the self-inflicted pressure to overcome it is exhausting.  As a perfectionist, I often have a firm, all-or-nothing approach to things in my life and it serves to forcefully perpetuate this cycle.  I end up saying to myself, (not out loud or even consciously), 'If I cant overcome my character flaws, then why even try?  Useless.'  And down goes the spiral until something leads me again to the delusion that I can change myself.

So, as the saying goes "if you cant beat 'em, join 'em.   And so I will align myself on the same side as Brokenness and see where that leads.

As a friend, Brokenness ushers me into a true humility - one that accepts grace and allows me to see others through it's lens.  There is tremendous freedom and weightlessness.  I sort of flail around in the 5 stages of grief as I attempt to deal with my flaws and imperfections.  I deny their existence, I become angry, I try to bargain with God to just take them away so I can feel 'normal', sometimes I become depressed for a time until whatever ailment is no longer so fresh in my mind, but I never seem to come to a place of true acceptance.  Embracing my own brokenness is a huge step in that direction.  It seems so counterintuitive to accept something for what it is, to just let it be and call that progress yet no more so than the notion that to truly live, one must first die, and that in serving lies a greater reward than in being served.

I am looking forward to exploring more the idea that our weakness can be our greatest strength.  I am curious to know what that really looks like in my life with Brokenness as a friend.  I have always believed that God is more that able to bring good from even the worst in me and even though I know in my head it is not limited to this, I usually tend to see and expect that 'good' to come in the form of relief, removal, complete acquittal, 180 degree change.  Once again, my expectations prove false and I am left with none.  Yet, I am hopeful that my journey with my new friend will be an exciting one.

Have you begun this journey yet?  Do you have stories to share?

Until next time......