Posts tagged Identity
5 Truths to Remember When You're Feeling Fragile

Have you ever been in a season when you felt incredibly fragile? Or maybe you are in one now. You have higher levels of anxiety or fear or you are just all-around burnt out. You are at your most vulnerable, afraid you will completely fall apart at any given moment.

Maybe the trials keep coming and the earth keeps spinning and you are just trying to put one foot in front of the other. Maybe you sit in your car, pleading with God and trying not to cry. Maybe you wear the mask of having it all together, when in reality it feels like the drumbeats of Jumanji are about to erupt from your heart. Maybe you are about one rude comment away from losing your ever-loving mind and pulling a Britney Spears.

(At the time she went off the deep end and shaved her head, I remember thinking, “Wow. What kind of mad (wo)man does that sort of thing?! She is crazy.” And now I’m like, “Eh. We all have those days. Cut her some slack.” She just cracked a little more clearly than everyone else. Because maybe she isn’t so lucky. And she does just cry, cry, cry in her lonely heart.)

I digress.

I guess my point is this: we have all been through seasons of fragility or we will face them in the future. We are living in the not-yet, and the brokenness is all around us. The brokenness is inside of us. Life can be hard and incredibly Toxic. (Oops…I did it again. Guys, I’m just saying: she has been sending out cries for help ALL ALONG.)


But because of all of the brokenness, it’s easy to react to our fragilities in not-so-Christian ways. Sometimes we play the victim and sometimes we play the martyr. We might take out our pent-up weaknesses out on others, trying to hurt someone else in the ways we are hurting. Or we might just embrace the emotional train wreck in which we are living and little by little—we lose hope. 

Here are 5 truths and Scriptures to remember when you’re feeling fragile (I am preaching to myself here, friends):

1.     When you find yourself anxious and afraid, remember that there is no chaos in God. Anxiety and fear are not fruits of the Spirit. Our God is a God of perfect peace. The more I battle worry and fear, the more I think anxiety is a form of spiritual warfare. Satan feeds on these weak spots and hits us in the pressure points; he wants us to become trapped in his web of lies. We have to re-align our focus on God approximately one million times a day. This is a discipline worth fighting for, over and over again.

You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You because he trusts in You.
—  Isaiah 26:3

2.     You are not a victim; you are a warrior. It’s okay to feel fragile, but it’s not okay to play the victim. You are a part of God’s army and we need you to be who God created you to be. We need you to show up with your beautiful gifts and abilities, taking up the space in the world like only you can. If we are constantly feeling sorry for ourselves and licking our wounds, we are still being self-centered and self-focused. Once again, we must shift our gaze and remember our identity is from the Maker, not from this world.

…yet I will not forget you.  Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands
— Isaiah 49:15-16
True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.
— Rick Warren

3.     When you are deeply hurting, remember that it becomes increasingly easier to hurt others. This is part of the problem and not the solution. We have to get out of this crazy spin cycle. I know we all crave a good revenge story—but while revenge might make us happier in the short run, it is an extremely toxic (I promise that time was inadvertent) way to live. Forgiven people forgive people in this beautiful, upside-down Gospel.

For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
— Matthew 6:14-15
Holding on to anger is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.

4.    You are not alone in this. Dear one, I know it sometimes feels like you are taking on the entire world by yourself. But there are people around you, ready to jump in the game and cheer you on. Ready to speak truths with you and pray over you. If there is no one in your life right now that you feel comfortable sharing the burden with, go out and find someone. In the meantime, I am raising my hand over here. We should not ignore the importance of community. We all need each other more than we know. 

Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
— Galatians 6:2
We sometimes choose the most locked up, dark versions of the story, but what a good friend does is turn on the lights, open the window, and remind us that there are a whole lot of ways to tell the same story.
— Shauna Niequist

5.     When it feels like you’re falling apart, remember that God is in the business of putting pieces back together. This is the best news, isn’t it? No matter how many times we crumble, our Father is there to pick us up off the floor. He sees our mess and loves us still. He wipes our tears and calls us by name. We are deeply known and forgiven and made new, washed by His blood. God’s arms are always open for the brokenhearted. Especially for the brokenhearted.

The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in Spirit.
— Psalm 34:18


I know I'm always looking for podcast, music, and book recommendations, so I thought it might be helpful to share a few of my recent favorites as well (and feel free to send any my way that you've been loving)!

To Watch: Priscilla Shirer's talk at Passion 2018

Turn off Netflix and turn on this. I am so serious, y'all. I was working while I was watching, and I kept stopping what I was doing so I could write down all of the brilliant, Spirit-filled things she was saying. The last ten or so minutes, I could not look away because our sister Priscilla was plain BRINGING IT.

"Yes, come as you are, but don't stay as you are."

"We have sacrificed holiness on the altar of impressing people...You [have to] live for the applause of heaven. You [have to] decide, 'I will not be politically correct before I will choose to be holy.'"

To Read: 12 Ways Your Phone Is Changing You by Tony Reinke

I am finishing up this book, and I'm finding myself talking about it constantly in everyday conversation. We are learning the advantages and disadvantages of this smartphone era, and this Biblical perspective on all things technology is worth the read for anyone who is prone to the Instagram-comparison trap or the occasional Netflix binge. 

“The more we take refuge in distraction, the more habituated we become to mere stimulation and the more desensitized to delight. We lose our capacity to stop and ponder something deeply, to admire something beautiful for its own sake, to lose ourselves in the passion for a game, a story, or a person.”

To Listen: Face to Face by Mat Kearney

All of his new songs have been on repeat over here, but especially this one. 

"I feel your thunder pourin' like rain
Down on the mountains of all my mistakes
Rolling like rivers, running with grace
Into the ocean of your embrace
Your hand of my side, leading the way
Ten thousand horses couldn't pull me away
I hear the music, heaven has made
Oh when we're standing, standing
Face to face."

Twenty Seventeen.

This year I tried to be David. I picked up my slingshot and stones and then aimed at my giants. My slingshot broke apart. The giants kept standing, taunting, confronting me. I backed away... slowly and then all at once. I am not David.

This year I tried to be Noah. I bought the wood and started building my ark. Please, God. Am I doing this right? I don’t want to face the floods. I don’t want to drown. But I threw away my hammer. I am no carpenter.

Then I found myself in the lion’s den, so I tried to be Daniel. Be brave, I thought. Be strong. But I was so scared. I ran away before the lions could attack. I am not Daniel.


Finally, I decided to wear my own heart. I carried it around on my sleeve like a badge of honor, like a beautiful broken trinket I kept bringing to show and tell. It felt strange and wonderful and free.

At some point along the way, an exposed heart becomes even more broken. And all broken hearts need a remedy.

This year I gained a few more scars. I lost a few battles I never even knew I was fighting. I found myself crying to God more than I’d care to admit.

I suppose when He asks us to walk through fire, some of us are bound to come out burned.

But don't scars have the best stories?


I lived in the middle of the ocean this year. Waves pounding. Sea roaring. I lost sight of the lighthouse a few times. But no matter how severe the storms, I never drowned. There was always another breath to take, another glimpse of the light.

It had nothing to do with me and everything to do with Him, holding out a lifesaver when I grew desperate. He has saved me so many times.

He keeps saving me when I stand there stubbornly saying I can fight the waves myself. He waits, patiently, faithfully—because He knows. We are never able to save ourselves.


Thank God. I would make a terrible savior.


I am staring at 2017 in the rearview mirror now. And the truth flashes across the highway pretty obviously: I was never meant to be David or Noah or Daniel. But we do have one thing in common: we are not the heroes in our stories. God is. He keeps saving all of us. No matter how small or insignificant or broken we are. No matter how many times we try to run away.


So I may not consider myself

a poet, a prophet, a king or a priest.

But I will forever attempt to describe

this radical, wonderful grace.

For He keeps rescuing me—

A sinner, offender, the very least. 

To the Quiet Heroes

I want to write to all of you quiet heroes today. I want to tell you how much your life matters and how infinitely loved you are.

You are taking up crosses. Laying down selfishness. Pushing back darkness. Showing up day after day when all you want to do is sit and yell at God for a while. You are remaining faithful to the Lord’s calling in the face of uncertainty. You are grasping grace and then giving it away. 

And your life may feel unnoticed. It may feel unappreciated and mundane. You may not be getting the affirmation or praise you desire to keep on going. You are punching the time clocks, changing the diapers, saying the prayers, taking the notes, folding the laundry. Then you are doing it all over again and again and again.

But you, quiet hero, are inspiring. Your faithfulness in the everyday is important. Don’t ever let someone convince you otherwise.

Because (I’m going to let you in on an encouraging word) …

When an ordinary life is marked by extraordinary grace, it isn’t so ordinary anymore.

So stand up, shake the dust, and keep on going. There is glory in the grittiness. 

We rarely know what God is working on behind the scenes. We don’t know what He might do through a little faith and a brave leap. A gentle word could change someone’s day. A love-filled conversation could change someone’s life.

And I can tell you this, at the very least:

When I look over at you—smiling at the customers, raising the kids, earning the degree, cooking for the loved ones, making the art—I know that God will give me the strength to keep going, too.

You are a glimpse of the real Hero, dear one.

Your faithfulness is far louder than you think. 

And your light shines far brighter than you know. 

Solving Puzzles

Sometimes I think life is just one giant puzzle. I feel like my little life is separated into 1000 pieces and God is slowly and methodically putting all of my pieces together. But He doesn’t always start with the edge pieces, because that would make too much sense. He decides to put a few wonky-shaped pieces together here and there, and I’m left looking at what seems to be parts of a zebra and a racecar, scratching my head and thinking, “What the heck is this going to be?”

If you haven’t noticed, I write a lot. I have a few Word documents that I fill with jumbled thoughts and childhood stories and life anecdotes. Mostly I write about God, because when I’m not thinking about Him, I want to be.

For me, reflection and writing help me put together a few pieces of this giant, confusing puzzle of life. I can look back and see that the most difficult things I’ve faced thus far were so clearly there to bring me closer and closer to Jesus. Dear God, I wish that heartbreak and trials weren’t part of the puzzle. I wish more of the pieces involved singing in the car on fun road trips and taste testing flavors of cake. I wish the pieces that contained loss of friendships or fights with family members were all replaced with happy tears and job promotions.

Yet most of the time, there are just a lot of seemingly-unconnected shapes lying in a mess on my bedroom floor, and I’m left agonizing over the outcome of the completed picture. I won’t see the glimpses of heaven until much later.


But one day I’ll look back and see that God was putting together jigsaw pieces of His glory all along. And I’ll stop trying to connect the pieces myself and trust that He has a plan.

And I might just begin making leaps of faith and forgiving the unforgivable, knowing that God keeps forgiving me. I might sing Hallelujah through the hurt and hand out grace to my least favorite people. And then God will probably draw me to love those same unlikely people, because that’s the kind of wild thing He does.

And I might just smile at the fact that most of the time I have no idea what I’m doing, but I’m confident that God is orchestrating a stunning picture behind the scenes, so I’m okay with the not-knowing at the moment. I’ll look down at my crazy pile of puzzle pieces and be thankful for my weird, wonky, beautiful life. 

Alex FlySeeking, IdentityComment
Between Brokenness & Beauty
Photo by Love Be Photography

If you know me or my family, then you know that I look a lot like my mom. With every year, I am basically morphing into a clone replica of Becky Sager. On a regular basis, strangers will literally come up to me and say, "Oh my gosh. You HAVE to be Becky's daughter!" I smile and nod. I might as well go around wearing a name tag that says as much. I don't mind, because my mom is awesome. If she had a bad reputation or emerged on America's Most Wanted, then I would probably rethink my association. 

But I've been thinking-- what if our lives shone so brightly that people came up to us and said, "Oh my gosh. You HAVE to be a child of the King"? What if we are constantly recognized as followers of Jesus? I crave that association.


I was recently reading 2 Corinthians, and a few verses hit home more than usual. In chapter 3, Paul talks about the hope we have in the new covenant, in Jesus and His ridiculously-amazing sacrifice. He writes about the veil as a symbol of separation from God and the tremendous opportunity of removing that veil when turning to the Lord. In verses 17-18 Paul writes,

“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit” (emphasis added).

You guys, that’s INCREDIBLE! We are being transformed to look more like God. I literally drew an arrow beside that verse and wrote “WOW” at the top of the page while sipping too-hot coffee. It’s more than my mind can comprehend.

In Christ, I’ve always known we are called to purity and holiness, but something about that verse made me think about this transformation in a whole new light. I picture God as a sculptor, chipping away at the rock and dirt of our lives—He’s polishing us and carving us to be more like Him, with more glory and grace than imaginable.

It made me rethink my strategy in presenting the Gospel in my own life. I don’t want to align myself with the Pharisees in all of their pomp and rule-following, but I don’t want to align myself with the unsaved and unrighteous, either. Because the story doesn’t end with mess and rubble and heartache. It ends with Jesus.

As children of light, our storylines should be a progression toward holiness. Is my past part of me? Yes. Am I going to mess up even in my pursuit of Jesus? Definitely. But we are being remade into a new and wonderful thing, a God-shaped and infinitely better thing. We can’t dwell on our brokenness so much that we forget the incredible beauty of transformation.

Our lives should look different than the ungodly because we are different. We have experienced this crazy-good love of Jesus firsthand, and it’s impossible to leave unchanged from that.

So, yes—let’s highlight our sins and shortcomings. Lord knows we aren’t perfect and shouldn’t claim to be. But let’s not expound our offenses without a hand pointed heavenward and the workings of a holy life. 

Hey brave one.

I used to think bravery looked like jumping out of airplanes or scaling the side of a mountain with your bare hands. I thought being brave was this big gesture—a way of taking a blind leap with zero fear. And I still think there’s bravery in the big moments, the getting down on one knee and the staring at a positive pregnancy test, the moving to a new city and taking of a new job—these moments require heaps of bravery.

But I’m starting to see bravery enter in the small, the seemingly inconsequential and ordinary moments.

Now I think bravery looks more like honesty, in showing up, in words and waking up every day. I see bravery in paying attention when you want to push it deep down in your soul and sitting in silence with your thoughts. I see bravery in being your odd self and believing in yourself, in listening to people’s stories and talking to strangers. I see bravery in allowing yourself to feel the tough things, in discussing the uncomfortable while clinging to grace, in having compassion and acting on it. I see bravery in allowing God to pick up the pieces of your broken heart.

I’m starting to see that bravery is like they say: it’s not the absence of fear, but the necessity of it—in all of these weird, in-between moments that make up life. 

It’s a really strange landing place—this befriending of bravery. I feel like we’ve been acquaintances for a while, but I’m just now getting to know her in an uncomfortable way. Like she accidentally walked in on me naked, so there’s no choice but to laugh with her now.

I guess I just recognized the secret truth, that we are all hiding this intense bravery right under the surface, even if we don’t realize that we are actually warriors—that we are all really rockstars brave enough to show up on stage every day.

So I don’t know where you are in life, but I think you’re secretly a fighter. I think you are incredibly courageous, with a lion heart and a chilling roar, even if you feel more like a small turtle too afraid to come out of its shell. I think, underneath it all, you are a superhero. I think you hide your cape under your clothes, ready to battle at a moment’s notice. I think you are capable of the miraculous, of loving on the unlovable and giving grace to every kind of people.  

And you may not feel like it, at this moment in time, but I think you’re a boxer with a nasty right hook. I think we all are. We may be fighting different opponents and battles, but we are all bringing our beating hearts into the arena and giving it all we’ve got. We are showing up full of nerves and mess and apprehension, but we are showing up. And we are fighting.

Alex FlyIdentity, SeekingComment