You know your own words will sometimes come back to bite you, right? That’s totally how I feel today after a disastrous evening yesterday. Let’s just say coming to the end of one’s self…pride, abilities, relationships, etc….is no easy feat. It feels like stepping into the ring expecting a win and receiving a knockout in under a minute.
Last night our pastor (my wonderful husband) handed out paper to our small group and asked each of us to write these words across the top:
I am broken because…
And then to finish the sentence. In an instant my face was flush, my pulse racing. WHAT?!!? I couldn’t gather my thoughts. It seemed as if everything in that instant was swirling around me and I’d drown in my own words. Why would you ask me to do this? TO NAME MY BROKENNESS. I thought I was pretty clear in the last post (which, to his credit, he had not read) I don’t like my faults pointed out.
I let perfectionism and control isolate me from people, often including, but not limited to, the church.
There it is. I said it. I was so angry that Anthony, the very man who loves me, protects me, trusts me, would ask me to name what is keeping me from Jesus. I couldn’t see past my husband to my Heavenly Father who was speaking through him.
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
Matthew 11:28-30 MSG
Burnout is real folks! It doesn’t just happen in relationships or careers. It happens anywhere we are spinning our wheels doing things our way. It happens when we are “looking for love in all the wrong places” (thanks Johnny Lee!). Whether that is in money, perfection, career, family, successful ministry, relationships, love, etc. I’m burnt out on trying to be something I don’t have to be – perfect, having it all together.
Do you see where I’m going? Jesus invites us to follow Him and learn the unforced rhythms of His grace. There is no business model. No twelve step plan. No formula to make this happen. It is so simple…follow. Do what He did. Love who He loves. Obey what He commanded. Live by His example.
When it is all said and done and I stand face to face with Jesus, my pitiful perfection is only gonna look like garbage next to Him. He isn’t gonna weigh my good deeds against the bad. Not gonna look at any attendance record. He doesn’t keep score.
Only His blood covering me – the whole of me, the things I can see and the things hidden deep in the secret places of my heart- that’s what matters. He covers it all. Christ carries my burden. No, naming my brokenness, the broken mess of me, isn’t fun. I don’t like it, not even a little. I sure have no desire to put it out there for all of you. Truth is, you can do, or not do, with it whatever you please. As for me, I must follow Him.
Through this world of toil and snares,
If I falter, Lord, who cares?
Who with me my burden shares?
None but Thee, dear Lord, none but Thee.
Just a closer walk with Thee,
Grant it, Jesus, is my plea,
Daily walking close to Thee,
Let it be, dear Lord, let it be.
Oh yeah, that doesn’t mean I can go at this alone. Because of my need for Christ, I need the church too. But that’s another post for another time.