So…I lost my #*@! with my brother last week. My brother, and actually my sister in law too. Okay, also my husband - all at once. I won’t get into the details but will just say that what started as a genuine ask for my help and a genuine willingness to help, resulted in a couple of hours of either yelling, or crying or digging up bones from the past. In the end, everyone lost.
The drive home from my brother’s house was awful. I was trapped in my head, feeling betrayed by my husband and misunderstood by people that I loved dearly. When you suffer from anxiety, as I do, being trapped in your head is absolutely a nightmare. When you are 18 months sober and can’t turn to a glass of wine (or 3) for comfort or numbness, being trapped in your head is absolutely a nightmare. When you feel like you were making progress on becoming a better person, falling backwards this hard is an absolute nightmare.
See, Sisters, I felt broken. Certain elements of my childhood, and my long time companion Mr. Low Self Worth, were playing ping pong in my brain. I went home and for the next few days fell into a depression, which presented a new problem.
See, the fight happened on Saturday and I’ve been given the blessing to lead a Wednesday Bible study on turning to God when you crave comfort. Three days had passed, and I hadn’t spoken to my brother and sister in law and my text to them had gone unanswered. So that Wednesday morning I woke up with Mr. Low Self Worth whispering in my ear that today was the day I could be the phony hypocrite I always knew myself to be.
For how could I possibly lead the amazing group of women that study with me in a discussion about the power of God and the importance of living a life of obedience and healthy living, when I had just a few days before given in to anger? Not to mention pride, selfishness and disrespect, shame and frustration. How could God use me if I was so broken?
The study went great, but I’ve spent the last few days wrestling with that question. Sitting here alone in a hotel room on a work trip, God guided me to pick up my laptop and figure out the answer. I had no idea where to start, so I did what I normally do, I opened up Google and I typed in the question “How can God use me if I’m broken?” God’s Spirit led me to Psalms 34:18–20:
“The Lord is close to the broken hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. The righteous man may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all; he protects his bones; not one of them will be broken”
Say what? Did you read that? Come closer, Mr Low Self Worth, so we can look at this together. I can be RIGHTEOUS and have TROUBLES. I can be CRUSHED IN SPIRIT and the Lord will be CLOSE TO ME. The Lord, will deliver me and protect my bones, they will NOT BE BROKEN.
I have spent so many years of my life bearing the label “Broken.” Have you? Did you know our God doesn’t see it that way? That we can be righteous despite having troubles or crushed spirits?
I finally get it - “broken” implies an inability to function as intended, but God has put in each of us what it takes to fulfill his perfect plan. He has promised us he will deliver and protect us as we live out that plan. Our abilities were God-breathed into us when he created us, and cannot be broken! We can have a horrible night or series of nights that trouble us and crush our spirit; but through our faith in God, he will maintain in us our ability to serve him and others.
The hotel I’m writing this in overlooks Camden field and this analogy comes to mind: If we are playing shortstop and Satan hits a hard line drive to us and we miss (or, heck, dive out of the way), the Lord is right behind us to catch the ball and throw Satan out at first. We may have messed up and missed big time, but through God’s protection, we are able to dust ourselves off and be ready for the next batter. If we stay in the game and keep practicing our faith, we will become better and more confident the next time the ball comes our way. A shortstop who misses a critical catch isn’t immediately put on the disabled list and labeled broken; the error is noted and the game goes on. However, unlike real baseball games where the errors are a statistic that remains with the player forever, through confession ours are wiped away!
Tonight, God has revealed that yes, I missed the ball that Saturday night- it was hit too hard and coming at me too fast. But I admitted my failure, asked for forgiveness and got back into position. The reason I was able to lead the study was not because I faked my way through it, or was a hypocrite or phony, it was because God fulfilled his promise to protect my bones, caught the ball and saved me.
Jenn will be the opening comedy act before each lounge session at this weeks, Style Speaks V
Style Speaks V: Dare to Dream
Interactive Faith & Fashion Conference
LOUNGE SESSIONS - POP UP SHOPS - FASHION SHOW
Presented by Created Woman & Events Unleashed
Dare to to pursue your dreams, live faithfully and overcome your fears at every stage of life at Style Speaks V: Dare to Dream fashion show and interactive conference.
Entrepreneurs, dreamers, philanthropist & fashionistas, will come together for a day packed with power lounge session featuring speakers from every generation sharing tools and life experiences on how to step out of your comfort zone, dream big, and give back.