Thursday, February 23, 2017

The Broken Way

"Trust Him in all this brokenness. It is a gift."

I have slowly been working my way through Ann Voskamp's latest book, The Broken Way. She writes poetically, with beautiful language I need to savor in order to fully absorb. Her perspective about growing and changing through difficult seasons is timely.

This year has not been off to an easy start. We have weathered a lot of storms as a family and alongside friends. I kept trying to be a Pollyanna of sorts, looking only at the positive and seeking simple blessings each time I felt overwhelmed. I have a journal full of notations about baby giggles, bubbles on a February afternoon, walks with friends, Makenna's surgical recovery, Ty's endless chatter and many more. But the truth of the matter is, as much as I only wanted to focus on those daily gifts, the reality is that I am being broken.

The broken journey will mold me and grow me and rather than dig my head in the sand, I need to embrace the pain too. There aren't enough bubbles in February to eliminate the pain of watching a friend make her own funeral arrangements. I can't take away the angst a child feels. I can't fathom how a young friend of Erin's can endure a double mastectomy and we are all supposed to be okay with that. Toss in a few broken appliances and a friendly visit from our local fire department for a smoldering water heater and I was literally shaking last night. Enough is enough. This is hard. This season is difficult and I need to be honest about that.

I finally told my bible study partner I couldn't continue working through the book of Job. It has always been the one book in the bible I have wrestled with and this season wasn't leaving me feeling very gracious toward my quiet time. God is big enough to take my critical questioning but it wasn't productive or helpful. I became the whiny child pointing out how unfair Job's story is rather than seeking the deeper meaning and growth. The truth is I saw my friend in Job and I want to fix this for her. I have no such power and the control freak in me isn't managing that well.

My plate is full, my heart is heavy and my body aches. I don't have a quick fix but I do have hope that there is a purpose for these challenges. I know I don't have to look far to see how much worse it can be and that has always been my go-to mantra for coping but I sense God wants me to be in this moment right now. Yes it is difficult and yes I want to fix it all but all I can really do is lean on Him and allow him to carry me for a bit. I am trying to be too many things for too many people and falling short anyway.

"Be patient with God's patient work in you."

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