Anyone else feel like their brain might actually be a flat, grooved disk? A broken record, playing the same old lies and traps on a loop? And the happier and more hopeful you grow, the louder the volume cranks? That it picks up bass and soars to a crescendo as you lie in bed with your what ifs?
And then you add your own backup vocals to the record:
I’m supposed to be over this.
I thought I was stronger.
Why can’t the past stay in the past?
I can’t believe I fell down again.
And isn’t that the strongest disappointment? When you realize you’re not quite as ‘arrived’ as you’d hoped? That as soon as you seem to have silenced one lie, a new one howls in the void? And then you squash that one and it’s back to the first?
I’m right there with you, pulling some late nights this week, doing some serious battle. Beating back some serious fear. And in a rare moment of stillness, some words from one of my new favorite worship songs leaked through:
…I am a sinner if it’s not one thing it’s another. Caught up in words, tangled in lies…
And I felt that undertow, the tug of despair. If it’s not one thing it’s another. And it just felt so never-ending, so wearying, so futile. Yet, in the very next breath, a new perspective slipped in – cool and merciful.
I am a sinner. I AM. This is being human, this is my lot, this is why it’s so hard. It’s not brazen failure, it’s existence. And there is a strange freedom in that, isn’t there? In simply knowing the lay of the land. And if these never-ending re-battles were where my story ended, it certainly would be futile. But there’s a second part to my rescue and a second lyric to that song:
BUT YOU ARE A SAVIOR and you take brokenness aside and make it beautiful.
My lies will probably always keep me up at night, that broken record in my head. I will never truly arrive. My darkness will never be truly behind me. We were born into a fight, but I find small haven in the reminder that it’s not my job to arrive or to be whole or to be strong.
I’m not the Savior in this story.
It’s my job to be a human being, broken and imperfect. Because His power shines brighter in my weakness. It’s my job to remember that. And that’s what I’ve started singing above that relentless soundtrack to my sleepless nights. That’s what I tell my lies:
You’re right. I am weak, I am broken, I fell down.
…But I belong to a bigger story, a bigger person. And look at Him. Goodness, Grace, Mercy and Power. Look what He’s done with me so far. And just watch what He’s going to do.
And I do my best to go ahead and accept that He is God and I am me and I try to hum a different tune, maybe something like this:
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases.
His mercies never come to an end.
They are new every morning, new every morning.
Great is Thy faithfulness, O Lord, Great is thy faithfulness.
And sleep comes slowly and my tomorrows are never perfect, but He is and all I can do is my broken best.
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