i’ve never liked the idea of being weak, inadequate, not good at a certain thing, etc etc etc. i’m competitive. i like being able to do things on my own. i like helping people. i like for people to think that i’m strong. i don’t like being less than the best, i don’t like asking for help, and i hate when i’m not able to help people. and it drives other people crazy when i beat myself up about not being what people need me to be. and worse than anything, i hate letting people see how much i’m hurting.
but God is working on me. several recent things going on have been teaching me.
lauren and i were talking a while ago, and she mentioned 2 corinthians 12:9. it’s talking about how paul rejoiced when he was weak, because God uses weak people and glorifies Himself through them. God doesn’t want perfect people, people who have everything it takes to do a certain job. He’s strong where we’re weak. He wants people who know where they need to trust Him.
now, the thoughts that led to this post. two weeks ago i had written a post titled “beth, what can i do?”(you know, like the song from glee) venting about how hard it’s been for me. but i waited and put it away in my drafts for a while, and then the next week, God got to me. so this next is kind of a tweaked and nice-ified version of what i had originally written.
i’m fixing to be brutally honest. i’m done with being fake and pretending like this is easy.
i hate my church. i hate the emptiness i feel as soon as i walk in. i hate the ugly, picture-less walls. i hate how nothing is the same anymore. as much as i feel like God wants me to help put the youth group back together, my heart is not in this. nothing is changing. things aren’t getting easier or better. i haven’t gone a single sunday without crying. usually i make it until i’m back in my room, but two weeks ago i got up in the middle of jay’s lesson, went in the bathroom, curled up in the shower, and sobbed for twenty minutes. i told God i couldn’t do this anymore. and i heard no answer, so i had no idea whether or not that was cool with Him. but i didn’t know how to tell elizabeth, so i decided to come one more time last week. when youth group was over, i ran outside, sat on a swing, and cried, asking God why it’s so hard for me, why exactly He wants me to do this, why He would choose me when i have nothing left in me, why i can’t let go of the way things used to be, and why it’s so hard for me to hide how much i’m still hurting over this.
His answer shocked me so much i almost fell off my swing. actually it wasn’t quite an answer. like usual, he gave me a song.
“are we happy plastic people, under shiny plastic steeples, with walls around our weakness, and smiles that hide our pain? well if the invitation’s open to every heart that has been broken, maybe then we’ll close the curtain on our stained glass masquerade.”
i played stupid and tried to act like i didn’t know what he was saying to me, but that never lasts long.
it’s ok to be weak. it’s ok to hurt, and it’s ok to cry(because, as much as i hate it, that’s just how i am). and as much as i fought it, i realized too that it’s ok to let people see that i’m weak and hurting. i shouldn’t have to go in every week and try to look happy. because that isn’t what the church is for. they’re there to help me. it doesn’t matter that everyone else is fine with this and no one understands what beth meant to me. they still need me to be real.
and it doesn’t matter if i can’t fill the space beth left behind. i’m not supposed to. more wisdom from lauren: “you don’t have to try to fill beth’s shoes. you can let God use you in your own shoes!” so basically, i need to stop trying to do what i can’t. true, it’ll never be the same. but it can still be good. we have to make it work with what we have. just like camp without britnie reid.
i’ve been here, done that, bought the t-shirt. i should be used to this. why, with every drastic change in my life, does it get harder to let go, not easier?
again, it’s ok. God doesn’t expect me to heal right away. i’m not sure that He minds if i complain a little. as long as i’m not trying to deal with it on my own anymore.
final ps to beth: if you read this, none of this is directed at you. i love you and i’m on your side.