Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Kiddie Ride of Life

There is a phrase that I thought about when I started counseling again in 2012. It was a personal and professional "slogan." I even put it on some business cards at one time. The slogan was:

Embrace Your Brokenness. Pursue Wholeness.

This is a big step for a lot of people. It was for me. I used to avoid "embracing" my brokenness and took it very personally if someone told me I was "broken." It triggered all sorts of anger, shame, insecurity, and feelings of inadequacy and pride - all at the same time. As I have said before on this blog, I called myself, "Mr. Defensive." How embarrassing. My beloved wife put up with a lot for a long time. Very sad. It demonstrates her character, love, perseverance, and faith in God for sure. Many would have recommended that she leave me a long time ago. I am thankful she didn't.

The other side of the slogan is "pursue wholeness." This is an important piece because we don't need to just accept that we are broken and stay there. Acceptance starts the healing process. Pursuing wholeness, particularly in Christ, is where our growth occurs. I don't want to stay "broken," at least not as I was. I will never be whole this side of Heaven, but I want Christ to get me as close as possible in the mean time. I want to experience life to the fullest as a follower of Christ. Spiritual freedom and overflow is possible, even if life circumstances may seem to contradict this truth.

As I seek to grow in Christ, I want to be obedient to His calling and leadership. I mess it up daily and waiver in unbelief and fear quite often; more than I prefer. He keeps carrying me through and sustaining me, which is HUGE to me. There have been days when I thought I couldn't endure much more. Even recently I have been overwhelmed to the point of complete surrender and nearly begging God to give me relief from the "struggle." He is continually showing me more of Himself, increasing my faith in Him, decreasing my dependence on myself and tangible things, and more.

It's a roller coaster ride no doubt. Admittedly, I secretly want to get on the "kiddie ride" since it has less ups and downs, but where would the fun be in that? I would probably get bored or ungrateful if my life and "recovery" (toward thriving) wasn't so challenging and difficult. I don't want God to remove the struggle completely (maybe lighten it a bit). I want Him to increase in me HIS faith, strength, gratitude, hope, courage, joy, boldness, humility, and confidence. I pray that He will continue to amaze me with His love, discipline, character, and goodness.

To my friends here in North MS who have to be around me often, I want to apologize for being so "up and down" emotionally. Some may not notice as much as others, so maybe I am over analyzing it a bit. However, it is a testimony of God's goodness that we have so many dear friends here, throughout the state and beyond that have stuck with us through it all. It's really quite amazing that people have loved us and me - knowing all that I have done. I have a lot of work to do still, but it's a journey that has been God-sized and quite amazing. Dear Lord, "Heal the wounds and leave the scars." 

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