So, guys? The act is up.
There always comes a time when you have to take a step back and re-evaluate things. Sometimes you can choose the time for it to happen, and sometimes the cosmos whack you on the head and insist that you take a break, giving you little to no say in the matter.
I wrote last week about how I have been learning to give myself some grace. It’s not something that comes naturally for this performance-driven perfectionist. The more comfortable thing for me to do is to assault myself with self-berating thoughts, bombarding my own heart with lies and unrealistic expectations that I would never, ever place on anyone else. That way of living is not fun, really, but it’s what I’ve always done. It’s what I’m good at.
But it can’t last forever. Because sometimes your eyes are bigger than your calendar, and your expectations of what is really possible far outweigh the limitations of your finite mind and human flesh. Sometimes things come up. Life happens. Things don’t quite go as planned, and as you sit and look at the pile of debris scattered around in the floor you have nothing else to say but, “Well……that didn’t work, did it?”
I committed myself to write a 31-day series. That, in and of itself, is do-able. Ambitious, yes, but do-able.
But when that 31-day series falls in the same month as a five-day jaunt out of the country and a four-day conference out of town and your semi-annual (if you’re lucky) bout with bronchitis…..that becomes a problem.
See, each of those things is like a ball thrown up in the air. It’s manageable on its own, but when the others are up there, too, and you’re being asked to catch – nay, juggle – them all? That’s entirely different. When that happens, things don’t look nearly as put-together as you had hoped they would.
Under those circumstances, things start to happen. Like….the blog series? The one that was supposed to go for 31 consecutive days? It gets neglected for a week or so, right in the middle. And you’ll accidentally post a very ugly rough draft that was not supposed to be read by anyone….and all of your blog subscribers will think you’ve lost your mind because of the nonsensical gibberish they discovered in their inbox. Or maybe you sit down to write, only to realize that in your cold medicine-induced stupor you left your laptop at home. Perhaps your dreams are inhabited by strange creatures actually called Blogs that are taking over the world and everything in it….which, whether it’s the product of your own stress or the cold medicine you took to help you sleep, it’s just weird. You begin to feel guilty for spending time with your daughter or taking a nap (because you’re sick, after all) instead of writing…..and then you realize that this? It’s not okay. And something has to give.
You see, I want very much for y’all to like me. I want you to visit this space – my little domain on the vast inter webs – and like what you see here. I want you to look at me and think I have what it takes to do whatever this is that I’m trying to do.
That is important to me. It’s more important than I am proud to admit, and when things start to unravel I am tempted to just curl up in a ball and hide rather than let all of you see the mess in progress. As important as that is to me, though, I want even more than that to show you Christ. I want to show you how He is enough…how He eliminates striving and the necessity of a perfect performance. I want to show you how He changes people and how He helps me to see that I am okay the way I am but that He has something more planned for me than I could ever plan for myself. I want to show you how in my imperfections and my over-ambitiousness, I am loved beyond measure, and that in whatever your own flaws are, you are beloved, too.
And to do that, I have to give up my guise of being put together. I can’t simultaneously show you God’s grace in Christ and my own flawless demeanor. It is through the cracked and broken places that His light breaks through. If we pretend the cracks aren’t there…..well, that’s like saying we don’t need any help from Him. Like we have enough light of our own. Like we can stand no improvement. If I present myself as being totally okay, I leave no room for Him to shine through.
So here I am today, friends. Here I am, now – here – in the middle of my storm. I will not wait until the storm has passed to talk about it. I am okay – this is not one of the valleys of depression with which I am far too familiar. This is something different, and I am and will be okay. I do plan to continue and finish my series, and I will be writing as I can, when I can.
For now, though, I think it’s important to show you that I tried to do too much, and it caught up with me. I am human – oh, so very human – and I need Jesus today and every day. He is carrying me today, and that is enough.