Balm and Battles

Do you ever feel a wee bit trapped inside yourself?

The body you own is not functioning properly and you’re beginning to wonder if God loving you despite this issue means He just made you broken. He wants me to stay this way, you think. Sorry. Deal with it.

You’d make a worse mess by giving up on your health, your circumstances and changes, or your personal growth. You’re stuck. Sorry. Deal with it.

Your prayers start getting a little too honest for comfort.

Do You just like watching me squirm every time I do something stupid or life doesn’t work out right?

Am I some kind of reality show to You?

You say You’ll finish the good work You began, but where’s the good part?

You know you’re just angry, but….don’t you ever look up at God at least once in your life and go, “What the actual heck?”

This is your hand of cards. Sorry. Deal with it.

Sometimes you get a good card: a kind friend reaches out, or you have freetime to do something you like. But then that’s done and what’re you left with? The rest of your crappy cards.

I’ve gotten some crappy cards and been fist-shaking at God about how to deal through relationships, continued pain, and the hurt I’m watching friends go through. Lately I’ve been annoyed by people more easily than I like to admit. I don’t like how my emotions and hormones treat me.

I feel trapped in a broken personality.

Balms and Battles pic.jpg

I command myself to be neat and nice to everyone else who rubs me the wrong way. I fail to quiet my unkind thoughts and attitudes even if my tongue is bit hard. I grow tired of how imperfect, emotional, and illogical I can be. I grow tired of how God calls me to pursue hard things even if I have every right to walk away. I’m tired of relinquishing my rights.

Maybe you are too. Maybe your honest prayers have finally gotten their ugliest. You tell God to “chop chop and get to it” (maybe hidden in flowery words), wait, get disappointed, and finally give up on this incompetent God. You know God wants you to bring your needs to Him, but He isn’t answering how you want Him to.

So why am I still doing this?

In my own limited visibility, I miss out on the truth and pull out whatever I can find to fill emptiness. I assume God’s not really interested in my good and that He left it up to me to figure out what my happiness looks like.

I fail to ask God to let His will be done; to express my desires, hopes, terrors, and then just relinquish them into His hands. I fail to wait on what He’ll do with the things I give Him.

That’s gotten me to a rotten place because I often find happiness in fragile or unhealthy things. My life is always changing and yet I think permanency is where happiness lies. But every earthly thing eventually fades and any earthly thing can become an idol.

God, why give it if You only take it away?

Life is not about God giving you a hand of cards and saying “figure it out.”

God is never sorry about what He brings upon you. He has no reason to be.

God is never reveling in our confusion, frustration, or failures. God did not create you to be a broken being. That’s the fault of the Fall, not God.

No. God is a healer.

Why don’t we trust God with the “essentials” of our lives then?

Why don’t we let go of control on how our prayers will be answered, when asking for good relationships, a home, emotional stability, health, or even sturdy faith in Him?

When you start to wonder if God intended you to always live broken or in need, I want you to take a few of these small things for the journey. They’re things I’ve needed God’s help to carry.

For those frustrated with who they are or the sins they're wrestling with:

Sometimes in the body of Christ you’re an eye and not a leg. There is grace for both. There is healing and molding for both. The mission God’s given you is not a mistake just because you don’t see how it fits yet.

Eyes are more sensitive because of the way they were made and legs are more muscly so as to carry the body farther. You couldn’t run on an eye and you certainly wouldn’t be able to take in much visual detail with only a leg.

Maybe you feel you’re missing an eye or leg in your life. You try making yourself run on an injury, you try being braver, you try everything to fix your broken body. You know you need accountability or someone to encourage you. But you then read dozens of books and never seek help, or you put on a brave face and say you can love yourself. You force friendships or worship the ones you have.

You might even say you’re done and just give up on life.

How about entrusting all those parts to the one who made the body?

If God made the body and personalities, then it’s okay if you’re different. But as a believer, that means your personality now fits into a bigger picture. You’re not figuring out some puzzle–God is fitting things together like broken pottery. He knows the shape it was intended to have. Your piece matters and He knows the way it’s intended to fit. Let Him change what’s sinful His way, let Him purify your unique purpose in the body of Christ, and know that Christ Himself carries a testimony of being broken and resurrected by the Father.

For those who can't see any point to the pain:

Let there be light where your eyes are too dark to know anything other than the dark.

God is not destroying all you find happiness in just because He thinks it’s funny.

He’s sanctifying you and showing you where you’ll find real belonging, healing, and hope.

Explore how you fit with other broken pieces. As the Church we’re not headed nowhere. We’re heading for Kingdom come, frens. Your pain is part of the process of being more who you were intended to be when you were created.

God is coming back for you.

God is actually coming back for you and me and all His Church.

Prepare for kingdom come, walk alongside other pieces of the clay pot, and keep going.

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For those who feel unheard or uncared for by God:

Prayers are never neglected by God’s ear. He just doesn’t always answer the way we expect.

Bring your most honest needs to Him and leave them there in His hands.

Look at prayer as refreshment and submission all at once. Prayer is a place where you’re admitting you need help and acknowledging this is the only place–right there with God, on your knees–that you’ll find peace. You’re talking with your Heavenly Dad about everything ripping you up. And You’re trusting He’ll mend it, even if it’s not how you think He will.

Be broken. Admit that; know the source of brokenness was never God.

Be healed. Accept that; get on your knees and make war against lies that healing’s not coming.

Seek the love God’s always offered you. Open your Bible to a passage that’s been gnawing at you a while. Seek out other believers and be honest about how your heart’s been lately.

Let the Holy Spirit show you who you were created to be–not who you think that is, who people around you think that is, or who Satan tells you that is. Allow your circumstances to change into what God wants them to be. Not the Fall version of things, but the After-Death-of-Christ version of things. The version looking forward to redemption and seeing His face.

This isn’t a band-aid over a bullet-wound. That’s the last thing I want to communicate and my words just feel insufficient lately [this post took some heavy editing].

This is me preaching to myself just as much that things will be okay even if my earthly time doesn’t feel like it.

Extra Encouragement

  • God Only Knows” by For King and Country (This video is amazing and I keep looping this song to no end. DISCLAIMER: it depicts someone considering suicide. If you’re struggling with despairing, violent thoughts, it’s probably better to just listen to the audio (the lyrics are encouraging and the video does end happily, but just for those who might be triggered). There’s also help hotline number at the end.)
  • This quote from Jackie Hill Perry:

“I don’t think sanctification removes or does away with our personality.

If anything, sanctification purifies our personalities.”

  • Miracle or Not” by Alisa Turner and a video telling her story (I got curious about how wonderfully she manages to express worship amid grief. Her story was a great comfort.)
  • A quote from Lori Roeleveld’s Running From a Crazy Man:

“Close your eyes and imagine Jesus removing the spear that has pierced you through. He places His hands on the wound, and you are healed. He’s not done yet, though. He places the spear in your hands now, and it is transformed by His touch. It’s a shepherd’s staff with which you can guide His people. Or it’s a pen with which you can write His message. Or perhaps it’s a microphone you use to proclaim His kingdom come.”

  • Psalm 13 (Never gonna get tired of this passage.)
  • Job 9 (Listening to this book on an audio Bible while I work. I forget how human his prayers are. I forget how incredibly big God is shown to be.)

Thank you to Rosalie, my parents, Charis, and Lila. You all reminded me of hope in different ways the past few weeks.

(And shoutout to my brother Patrick for helping me edit this. He’s got a good eye for detail.)

There are hard things in front of me now and potentially to come. Most of them I need to have a change of perspective about. Most of them I feel called to work through. Everything is calling for me to pray about it instead of my tendency to pout about it. I’m finding balm and battles on my knees.

This is not in vain, frens.



One Comment Add yours

  1. Oh, Heidi.

    This post. It makes my heart ache that all these words come from personal experience, and it makes my heart happy and proud that you are fighting the lies and the hurt and the confusion with the truth of Jesus. I cannot wait to see the greater joy, the greater glory given you by our Savior.

    Keep going, my friend. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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