I enjoy sharing my life with others, but I especially prefer to give account of the good stuff. I mean when something wonderful happens who doesn’t want to shout it from the rooftops. Hallelujah! God’s so good! I’m so blessed!
Accomplishments, promotions, areas where life is going really good; that’s the stuff I like to promote. So what happens when something unravels and falls apart? Usually I sit silently in my own discord and disappointment, I feel a measure of shame perhaps, and I definitely don’t point out the own egg on my face for sure.
It’s not that I don’t expect hardship, struggles, or setbacks. I do. And I know life isn’t perfect. I shouldn’t strive for perfection, but maybe just the desire for excellence in my day-to-day. Yet when things don’t work out you usually won’t know about it. Sound familiar?
You’ll know all about my two year old conquering potty training in a week, but you might not hear how she completely reverted back to peeing her pants this week. I’ll spill to all my friends about that literary agent interested in furthering my writing career, but I’ll hold the disappointment close to my chest when he doesn’t call or return my emails. Some of the really great stuff I might even fear mentioning at all. After all, what if it doesn’t work out?!
It’s true; I get pretty excited about victories in my life, but I grow sheepishly silent over the failures. In my weakness I suffer in solitude and silence, and you may never know the inner turmoil of which I suffer.
And I guess that’s fine. People want to celebrate with one another, and keeping the less celebratory items to oneself is just kind of a natural response. But where I really can mess up is in my own response to setbacks and mishaps. For in my apparent weakness I just feel weak.
2 Corinthians 12.9
But he said to me, Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
I suppose it seems rather foreign to celebrate where we fall short, or to brag about where our vulnerabilities lie, but God’s word always has a tendency to turn our thought processes away from what seems natural in this world. And because of our inability to accept weakness as the opportunity for Christ to shine in our lives we erroneously believe that we suffer through these issues alone. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
First off the woman whose life appears practically perfect in every way has her own struggles. She just keeps them close like all the rest of us. So what you end up seeing on Facebook as you hurriedly scroll are beautiful pictures and plenty of good news. And while that’s all well and fine it’s not the entire picture of the flawed lives that exist in this world.
I mess up daily, and plans fall through. I yell at my kids too much, and I cheat on my Paleo diet at least once a week. I have a permanent baby pooch, and some days I want to strangle my child when we’re “trying” to do homeschool. I fear the decisions I make are the wrong ones, and many times I question if I’m hearing God right. I recently used a photo app that took my wrinkles away, and then I wondered in shame who all could tell the difference. And in that moment I realized my face and my life were quite wrinkled and worn, but that was okay. I wanted the wrinkles!
It’s in the ugly stuff that occurs, the disappointments, and the situations that don’t go as planned where God can scoop in and most definitively show us His grace. In our brokenness we open our eyes to His majesty, and finally see what a work He’s been capable of all along. And that’s really what’s worth bragging about. That’s what’s really boast-worthy, and with that in mind we really should be talking about our weaknesses a little bit more.
But the most important part is that we’re not alone in weakness. We’re certainly not alone among our peers as each of us falls short every day, but of biggest mention is that even if we do feel alone we are not. The Lord is always there. Always.
So hey, weak woman, I’m there too! I’m right there with you in all our lovely imperfection, and I’m right there too with my own beautiful mess.