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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.'"
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."