I haven't written in a while. Life has not felt like a pretty story, or a story worth telling at all lately. It has been real.
The kind of real that makes you hold your breath and clinch your teeth while you lift weights you know good and well are too heavy for you at the gym. You misjudged because you were feeling ambitious and also because you watched THAT person breeze through their workout with those same dumbbells without ever breaking a sweat.
Newsflash: you are not THAT person.
No, you are the person who hasn't been to the gym in months, loves carbs to the core and somehow landed here on a Friday because you got off work early and you have vacation coming up in three weeks. You know you're in waaaayy too deep, but your pride won't let you quit before doing at least three reps with those dumbbells. (Okay maybe two slow reps.)
That kind of real.
My weights are too heavy.
It is #allofthethings. The car we finally gave up after all the money we spent on repairs because it just wouldn't act right. The rain leaking into the closet in five different places. The oldest kids' transition into the new class with the teacher I can't quite figure out. The baby not sleeping. The business deals that didn't deliver on what was agreed. The groceries that don't buy themselves. The guilt. The weight. The missed deadlines. The debt. The anxiety. The tears.
Then there is God's faithfulness. Oh friend, there is God's faithfulness. He is the friend in the gym who hasn't seen you in a while but recognizes you and comes over to start a conversation. Suddenly, the attention is diverted away from you, the dumbbells and your lack of upper body strength. He is the reason you can stop killing your self while also saving face, just because He's standing there beside you.
I see Him in #allofthethings. The cash in savings for the new car. (Somebody say amen!) The insurance coverage for the leaky roof, which turned out to be the flashing because insurance won't cover an aging roof but they will cover damaged flashing. (#tellmehewontdoit) The baby who still won't sleep through the night but is healthy, happy and also the cutest choco taco on the block. The business deals that weren't "fair" but taught me so many lessons for the next go round. The husband that is out buying the groceries as I type (true story). The Bible's promise that there is no condemnation in Christ Jesus. Leggings. Grace. Progress. Hope. Tears of (dare I say) joy.
I won't even try to fool you into believing I have it even halfway together. I am breaking y'all. I am falling all the way apart at every moment, crumbling under the pressure of these weights. I am humbled and in a constant state of unraveling. I am feeling my way in the dark and fighting to trust.
And God is meeting me. In the car when I am ugly crying and in the stolen moments I take to write the same plea for help in my journal every other week and in songs and Scriptures and sermons and friends and healing words spoken in exactly the right moments.
He is the glue that is holding my life's experiment together. He is the hope I have in this season when the weights are far too heavy and I am far too weak. It's all Him plus no me. I couldn't lift these dumbbells by myself even if I wanted to. (Clearly, these weights were meant for someone with MUCH more upper body strength.)
Maybe you've been carrying weights too? Maybe you've been feeling heavy or discouraged or like life is just hard?
Say hello to my friend at the gym. Let Him save you the embarrassment of proving how incapable you are. Then go tell the world how incredible He is.