Behold, I make all things new.
Anyone who is in Christ is a new creation. The old is gone.
God uses things and people that are broken.
I’ve been doing some reading about brokenness and humility. Recently, someone suggested that I needed to be more humble. My first response was one of incredulity. How could I be more broken, more humbled? I felt like my life had been pulverized. I felt less than useless. I had squandered my purpose. God could no longer have a plan for me.
I had been an achiever. I was driven to produce and to perfection. Failure was unacceptable and yet I made choices that resulted in the loss of my position. I went way beyond disappointing people. I betrayed trust. I behaved in a manner that was despicable. The only thing I deserved was rejection and to live a life of despair.
In spite of my self-loathing, people continued to care about me. People wanted to hear what I had to say. They supported and encouraged me. They told me that God wasn’t done with me. I wanted to believe them but kept running into walls and barriers. And this woman, and an unbeliever at that, had the nerve to tell me I needed to be more humble? I didn’t get it…then. But I think I’m starting to now.
I think what this woman detected in me was a devaluing of my present circumstances. We had moved to a new county, a new region of the state. This resulted in my “starting over” in my probation. Things are different in the new location, stricter. Things that I took for granted as “rights” were being taken away. I was finding that I was sinking deeper and deeper into despair with each loss.
I decided to consider the invitation to delve into brokenness and humility as one from God (it makes me smile to imagine how this woman might feel to be described as an unwitting tool for God). I started by finding a definition for humility. I read somewhere (I thought it was dictionary.com, but I can’t find what I know I read.) that humility involved the willingness to give up one’s rights. That was a direct slap upside the head and invitation to an attitude check.
I had not been “appreciating” my situation. I was rebelling against it. Instead of coming to Jesus in my weariness and confusion to learn from him, to find his gentleness, I was trying to carry the burden alone. And, not only did I try to carry it all alone, but I was proclaiming the unfairness of the burden to anyone who would listen. I felt thoroughly checked in my spirit.
I had lived a life so full of myself. I worked to earn approval from everyone—including God. I proclaimed a message to others that I hadn’t fully taken into my own life. I was willing to admit that I was imperfect. I didn’t like it, but God said he would even use a “cracked pot.” What he was doing now was grinding the pieces into powder.
I kept asking how I was going to put the pieces back together. At some level I hoped to return to life as I knew it. I imagined that the process of healing would result in a restoration, a giving back so that I could move past what had happened and get on with my life and living out my purpose for God.
God had, has, very different plans. There will be a restoring of sorts, but his greater desire is to recreate me. That means I have to give up control. That means I have to truly trust him. That means what was, won’t be again. That brings tears to my eyes right now because I really don’t know what that means, or how it will look. What I do know is that I think I’m coming to the place where I’m willing to accept it and to open myself fully to it.