Every week the members of this online community receive an email that contains a piece of my heart. Often it’s a what I like to call a “faith peptalk” other times it’s proposing a new challenge or ecourse.
But every once in a while, I spill my guts. I expose my broken heart.
We all have those; the broken heart times, the less than fabulous situations, and even circumstances we may have helped create.
I get it. Life can be rough. But something else I get is the tendency to stuff it, fake it, slap a smile on it and call yourself strong enough to handle it.
Until we can’t “handle it” anymore.
I gave this community of sisters a peek inside my personal journal the other day, and I’d like to share it with you, too.
This is a little uncomfortable for me, but I know that what I feel and go through is nothing new under the sun. What I walk through, others do too. What I think, others have thought. What I wrestle with, others need to hear so they might wrestle well within themselves, too.
So here goes. I pray it meets you exactly where you’re at:
When our Strength becomes our Weakness
“You know where I do a lot of crying? Where it feels safe enough to let the tears escape and drip their way off my chin?
The car. When I’m driving those few minutes alone from one appointment to the next.
It’s dangerous, really. In a reckless sort of way. My eyes blur and I can’t see the road very well. But it feels safe. Just me, with liquid pain streaming down my face. Worship music plays in hopes I might catch a little splash of healing through the airwaves.
I drag my coat sleeves across my face and see clearly for a few brief seconds before it all starts over again.
Occasionally I’ve received a concerned looks from women in the next car over at the stoplight. And I’d like to assume its because they’ve been in my seat before, bawling their eyes out over life.
Other times I’ve marched my red-rimmed eyes through Wal-Mart and dodged the gaze of concerned cashiers. They don’t know me. But they know pain when they see it. The grocery store cashiers do too, but they dare not ask.
Because, you know, they are on the job and all. But I’d like to believe off the premises they would gladly offer a shoulder I could cry on.
But I like my car. Alone. Where it’s safe.
There’s an oxygen there that has given me strength for a long time. The kind of refreshment a soul gets from crying the ugly cry before the Lord and a stoplight.
And then it turns green and life goes on.
It’s what us strong ones do. We go on. We do the next thing. We don’t dare celebrate our weakness…our brokenness… at the expense of another’s time or dry shoulder.
And, you know? Maybe that is our weakness – our strength.
Our ability to stand courageous becomes our demise. Our flaw. Our breaking point.
We’ve held it together. We’ve been the solid, sure, steady pillar. We stand when everyone else is in shambles.
And you know what? Sometimes it would feel good to lean. To tilt. Maybe even topple over and join the brokenness all around us.
But that’s not safe. What if someone other than the lady in the next car over saw us?
But what if our strength really is our weakness? Could our breaking then become our healing?
Could our scattered heart pieces start bringing us wholeness?” (end of journal entry)
Friend, I have no answers just yet, but I think my answer to these are, “yes, my strength has become my weakness.”
So today I lay my pieces at the Father’s feet, one by one…
Here’s the portion from my teens, Lord… help me with that.
Over here is that childhood trauma and shame… how do I even?
And this… our marriage… help our hurt.
And that… the parenting thing… I have so many regrets.
The friendships that fell dormant…
The family relationships that are strained…
The deaths too hard…
the wanderer far…
the fires that scar…
I offer you, Lord, my one broken heart. Re-align my pieces and cover them with the balm of your grace. Catch the tears that drip from my face. And remind me to put a box of kleenex in my car. I’m going to need those the next time You and I go for a drive. Love, Your daughter.
Dear friend, have you been strong too long? Afraid to fall? Scared you might get a few strange looks from somebody who sees you struggling at this hard crossroad in your life?
You know? Maybe the best thing that could happen would be for you to drop the facade. Not just for you, but for her, too. Make it okay for her to do it, too. Maybe she’s been strong too long as well.
Just fall apart. Break into pieces right into the Father’s hands. He promises to catch you.
He’s strong enough to handle your burdens. He’s kind enough to hold your hand. And He’s gentle enough to hold your heart.
Oh, and those tears? Yeah. Scripture says He collects those a His bottles (Psalm 56:8 NLT), and I like to think He doesn’t just put them on a shelf somewhere. I like to think He uses them uses them to water new growth in us.
Here is a free downloadable PDF of Bible Verses for when you feel Burdened. Please note, that when you request this download this you will also begin receiving our weekly Monday “faith peptalks” similar to what you just read. In those emails there is also a “Monday Freebie” section. Just a small token of my gratitude for your presence here. 🙂