I was thinking today...I don't like feeling fragile. It struck me as something I should think about more...and usually my best thinking is done by writing. I have planned to write each week, and week after month has gone by This sentence. Me feeling fragile...what do You say about that? I am thinking out loud here with you, so we'll see what comes out. Of course I titled this "resiliency" because somewhere in my mind I think my fragile self should be more resilient. Hm. Anyone else feeling fragile these days?
I stepped funny on the kitchen floor mat this morning and pain shot through my right knee. The FLOOR MAT!!! 🤦🏽♀️ Yesterday I had the strength and determination to clean out two sheds that have stood as they are with boxes of jars and cobwebs and trash and...well, just a mess, since we moved in here 15 months ago. They have been on my "list" for many months and they finally got cleaned out yesterday! Victory! AND by 6pm I was limping, back aching, legs cramping, ready for bed...merciful heavens. I even went on Amazon and ordered extra support and softness slippers for myself...wow.
Week before last I was completely upside down with the election. I don't think that is all unusual or odd...these are critical elections and times for our country. It deeply matters to my heart, all of it. But I was honestly paralyzed. Talk about not attentive to lists...I didn't even look at them. I did finally turn off the news and go outside and let myself do something joyful...I built a bird bath! :). Oh happiness. I love birds...today when I finish my "office" time I'm going outside to dig around it so I can plant tulip bulbs. Spring will be amazing! There's a lot of hope in bulbs...maybe I'll wait to send this after I'm finished working and I'll add a picture for you.
I'm also anticipating the holiday's with Covid to deal with...and said this sentence in my head just an hour ago, "What if the kids can't come home for Thanksgiving and Christmas." After which I immediately started to cry. Fragile. My heart tips into tears VERY easily. I cry over something in Madame Secretary every night...my one Netflix show. It is not an emotional show...I am an emotional watcher! Fragile...and also tender.
I think a lot of us feel more fragile than resilient these days. Maybe your moments of hurt, pain, sadness and uncertainty...are about bigger heartaches than mine. It's important not to compare. Feeling fragile is feeling fragile, period. Some of us have also likely been shamed (internally or by others) about how as people of faith we should be more strong and courageous. After all, God's leaders need to be that, not crumbling all over the place, right? Isn't it interesting how quick we are to quote Joshua 1 and to skip past 2 Corinthians... "But He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.'" Whaaaaaat?
I mean really think about that for a minute or two, or five. Earlier in chapter 2 vs 4 Paul says, "For out of an extremely troubled and anguished heart I wrote to you with many tears--not that you should be hurt, but that you should know the abundant love I have for you." That's a pretty emotional and even fragile statement isn't it? And Paul was THE leader...a critical chosen vessel of God as He started His church. I don't tend to think of Paul as weak and fragile and emotional...but he didn't hide any of that in the Holy Spirit breathed Scriptures that came from his pen.
So, yes, I am aging and not physically who I used to be...I cry a lot...I need to regroup emotionally, often...and I feel on edge, the edge, and fragile...pretty much daily. I think what happens next, after we notice and own our weaknesses and such, depends greatly on the narrative we have chosen about who God is...and what He expects of us. My theory is we either move toward denial and self-sufficiency and religiously seeking strength (like memorizing verses), finding ways to feel more in control and strong...or we move toward Him with all our needs and imperfections and pour our hearts out to Him honestly. Deeper intimacy with the Creator of our souls...our authentic selves raw and fragile before Him. And then we wait...what would You say to us here Lord? Listening...being still.... The goal isn't to figure out how to be strong enough to stop feeling fragile. The goal is to be closer to Him. His love, His wisdom, His power. Power is perfected in weakness...such a fascinating and counter cultural statement.
As much as I may repel from my fragile self, He actually moves toward me...closer to the broken hearted, a very present help in times of trouble. I find more of Him in the midst of feeling my deepest needs...not in spite of them. I guess what I want to say to us, you and me, is let's be who we are, feel what we feel, all of it...and pour it all out to the one who LOVES us. Maybe this is where resiliency happens...in the reality of everyday struggles drawing closer to Jesus. Hmmm....
And also maybe don't forget to do some things that help your soul....