Sunday, July 29, 2012

when your rudder is broken

"If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him."                                                             James 1:5

Over the past few months, I've been feeling really empty. Physically tired and always out of energy, mentally drained of creative thoughts and ideas. Overwhelmed, undermotivated, and generally burned out. And spiritually, I feel dry and distant and just plain weary. I'm worn down from carrying too many burdens. I'm tired of striving and failing in the same ways again and again. I'm battling a spirit of depression and a mind full of doubts about God's goodness, faithfulness, and providence.

And I'm ashamed of it all.

I hate the disorder in my life, in my home, and in my spirit. I hate that my three-year-old still won't poop in the toilet. I can't stand my squishy, roly-poly body and the fact that I just keep feeding it junk and parking it on the couch. I'm embarrassed by how unfinished and messy and disorganized my home is. I'm disgusted by so many dysfunctional habits and patterns that have persisted in my life for years. And when I look at everyone around me, all I see is successes - moms who are running fast and cooking amazing meals and looking adorable and writing beautiful blogs and speaking calmly to their children and crafting their crafty little butts off. In this Facebook and Pinterest world, everyone is doing incredible things at all hours of the day.

I can't even find the energy and focus to print some pictures off at Costco.

I was never one to hide how I feel, or to ask for help when I needed it. But lately, I've just wanted to keep all the ugly stuff hidden away. I don't want to be vulnerable and raw and honest even with God, much less another person. I feel alone and isolated, craving the fellowship and encouragement of Godly friends, but when I reach for the phone, the enemy whispers, "Nobody wants to hear it. Nobody really cares. Nobody has time for you." So I stay hidden. I slap on some bandaids - a little makeup, a cup of coffee, two or three or seven cookies - and present the best possible version of myself to the world. And then crash into bed at night with the same feelings of sadness and hopelessness and failure.

I hear God calling to me, every day, every hour. "Come to me," he says. "I'm not ashamed of you." But I resist his call, knowing that if I ask him to search me and know me, I am not going to like what he finds.

And so I dragged myself off to church this morning in this same frame of mind. Desperate for an encounter with the Holy Spirit and dreading it at the same time. Then our pastor spoke about Paul and Timothy, and how much we need to seek wisdom, and how our pride and arrogance keep us from seeking it from others. I realized how prideful I've been in not asking for help and advice from other moms who have been where I am now. We are not meant to walk through life alone, even alone with God. We are designed to live in community, learning and gleaning from the experiences of others. Asking for help and wisdom in all of these spaces in my life - parenting and marriage and health and home - does not diminish or belittle me. It turns my inward gaze outward, and it makes me better.

As we stood for worship, I cried tears of relief as I let go of some of my heaviest burdens and rested at the feet of my Savior. Knowing that it's okay to show the world how rudderless my ship has become. There are people who will love me, and come alongside to help me set it straight.