Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Sipping, Snapping, Surrender

{Listening now} There Is a Light by Great Lake Swimmers on Grooveshark

I poured my last cup of coffee for the day and walked into my dark living room. Hair still tied up in a towel, my legs freshly shaved, and a child in bed, I know well enough to not waste such moments. I dared not turn on a light to break the spell. Slipping slowly onto the couch, I hoped to savor the silence of an apartment post-kid-bedtime. 
Dark. The sound of a city still busy. 
And I closed my eyes to pray.

Yet, instead of prayer, my heart tripped. I'm confused, it said. I thought we knew how to do this better.

Well. Hm. Funny that.
I suppose that's the problem right there. That something in me assumed I could figure it out on my own. 

Yes, that one time I struggled, I needed grace. But needing grace again? Asking for help again? Admitting I can't do it again? That's weak. I should have learned my lesson the first time God gave me a handout of abundant grace, right? Now it's time to muscle up, grow up, whatever up and show God that I don't need his handouts.

Oh, but I do.
I so desperately do.

Even the word feels broken.
Say it. Bro-ken. It's just snapped right in half.

I'm struggling and I'm not sure why more people aren't.
Or if they are, why are they hiding it?
Because, I sometimes feel like this struggle,
this very-aware-of-brokenness-state 
is the very thing that keeps me at the cross.

Because life is not always the most fun thing. 

Parenting for example, is exactly what you imagine and occasionally what you dreamed. No, actually, it has moments of fun, but the majority of the time it's giving, pouring, life-spending work. Parenting will take your selfishness, and pull it out in thin, snapping strings. You know you're breaking. You know it's necessary for these things to die. You know that everyone who pretends it's not hard work is pretending.

Somedays I write out my to-do list and think, "Yeah, that's work. That's a job. That's a to-do list for someone who has 40 dedicated hours at an office, every week." 

And then there are days where the struggle is to remember struggle. To count blessings and gather abundance and remember that we are given much grace to give grace. We are broken and bandaged and we carry the scars to tell others how we were rescued. To point our fractured fingers toward the Man who ripped us out of a dark, snapping shut world.

*sipping coffee*
It's pitch black in this room. The Great Lake Swimmers are singing from the kitchen stereo.
Stop, Listen and Feel.
Stop, Listen and Feel.

Oh heart, I say back. Stop. Listen. Feel.

And I wonder if the reason I've forgotten I needed grace is because I'm so good at keeping my mind full and busy. I never give my heart the opportunity to stare out a window at night and realize that yes, the weight of all this is real. And to feel the weight does more than simply turning up the noise. Because in feeling, I'm admitting.
It's too much.
I'm not capable of muscling through this. 
And I need that sufficiency You spoke of. I need it again and again and again. I'll leave the superheroing to others. Someone else can flex their faith muscles and tell the world how good they are at being a Christian. I'll take my dark night with a grace so rich that I can taste the sweetness on my tongue. I can feel Christ gripping my chin, and the beauty of peace covers this room and settles the noise.

And this is not a pity party. This is not where I wave my "I have a right to sulk" flag. No, no. That is not what wins this fight.

What wins this is surrender, oddly enough.

I will sit in this dark room again tomorrow night, and hopefully, my heart won't ask me what's wrong with us. Can I uncurl these anxiety-fisted hands to say I can't do this without You?
Then, perhaps, struggle becomes victory, small, slowly, somehow. Struggle becomes character, scars, faith. Struggle becomes humility, grace, hope. Somehow.


  1. You are growing dear one.

    When you get to a place of true surrender, knowing full well that with it comes more freedom, love, and joy than you have ever known, then you are walking in wisdom. There is no peace on this earth like the peace of walking in God's grace.----Colleen

  2. this might be one of the best blog posts I"ve ever read. It's so true and honest.... and hopefully should resound with us all. Grace is enough.

    1. grace is enough. always. surprisingly at times. thank you so much for stopping by and leaving a little note :)

  3. Thank you so much - you have no idea how much I needed this.

    1. so glad to hear this. thank you for stopping by :)

  4. Love this ~ so happy to have happened upon your blog.
    Your words rang so true this morning ~ *sips coffee* ~ while the house is still quiet.
    Best wishes ~ CA