We drove halfway up the mountain in an argument and it didn’t get much better once we arrived. I can’t even remember what it was about. But most likely it was precipitated by a lack of time together lately, the stresses of finances, and the myriad of responsibilities on both of our shoulders.
When we arrived, there was unpacking and organizing and dinner to be made. There were kids to manage and beds to get ready. And we worked together in the thick tenseness, amidst the formal politeness of our tone.
And how is it possible to know someone the most intimately on the planet, be in the same space, and yet feel so far away?
That day, I had cycled through it all.
I stuffed it all down early in the day, building a barrier that couldn’t be seen. Then I stock-piled rocks, and saved them as the ammunition I would need. I tallied infarctions and stowed them in my mind … until the explosions came … the frustration and the blaming and the assuming—with the certainty that my view was the “right” view. And then came the shame and all my disappointment with my unglued-ness.
Had I not learned anything over these weeks of reading Unglued?
How is it I can manage to go through all four Unglued styles in the course of a few hours and take steps backward in my pursuit of imperfect progress?? (emphasis on imperfect!) Ugh!
We got the kids in bed, and I retreated to my room–me, my journal, and my Bible. I put on my David Nevue-Pandora channel and began to read, and write, and pray. My brokenness had drawn me there. And my emptiness necessitated a filling.
And I think that night, I experienced the truth of Lysa’s parting words…
It’s in brokenness we are emptied out,
and that emptiness is the perfect spot for grace to grow. [Tweet that]
And brokenness and emptiness are the perfect bridges to connect again with Him and be drawn to His way, instead of our own.
Oh how often we reach beyond the limits of our self-control, and beyond the boundaries of our disciplined hearts, to that familiar unglued place. The failure engulfs us again and the brokenness overwhelms and spills us out all over the floor, until there’s nothing left …
Nothing left but turning to Him to get filled all the way up again.
Filled with grace and goodness,
Mercy and kindness,
And His deep love that never runs dry.
This is the plight of imperfect progress, and with each emptying and filling cycle, we are made more and more beautiful in His time.
He fills us, remakes us, and molds us, as we surrender to Him in our broken and empty places.
And He promises to be near to our broken-hearts and close by in the thick of the unglued storm.
His mercy is new in every moment, and His grace grows best in our emptiness.
He is faithful.
And His strength is perfect when our strength is gone.
1 Corinthians 12:9-10 (NIV)
I walked to the living room and sat down on the couch. My hand met his, and the grace began to flow in both directions. It was as if the waiting had made it grow all the more powerful and strong, and the touch had signaled it to begin to flow between us.
Only in my broken-emptiness was there room for grace.
And if my slow-as-molasses imperfect progress propels me to Him, there is good in that—and it’s just like Him to take my failure and make it good in His time.
So friend, know today you’re not alone in your unglued-ness … not alone in your broken-emptiness. And rest in knowing that our failure is not in vain. We can do better, and we can be stronger, with His strength.
And when our inevitable unglued moments come, know He is right there … rooting you on, loving you wildly, and longing for you to run to Him, so He can fill you again.
How has this studying Unglued changed you?
What is the most helpful thing you learned?