Thanks, Cheryl. ;)
I got my chops busted today for not blogging in a while. I've told you all this before, but when I blog it's really personal and usually sort of emotional for me. Anything I write about you can bet I'm living at that moment....happy, sad, good, or bad. I'm a work in progress for sure, and as hard as writing is sometimes, I have to admit it helps...so here goes...
A wise man once told me (this morning) that a wise man once told him (a long time ago) that a scared dog never gets the bone.
Do you know what that word means? It may be one of the scariest words in the English language...
/ˈvʌlnərəbəl/ [vuhl-ner-uh-buhl] adjective
1. capable of or susceptible to being physically or emotionally wounded or hurt
2. open to moral attack, criticism, temptation
3. open to assault; difficult to defend
Mmmm...sounds like a ton of fun, eh?
So many of us have been wounded in our lifetime. And if you haven't yet, it will come. And I'm not talking about losing a dog or even your grandmother passing. I'm talking about the kinds of wounds that alter a soul and change your life. Wounds that cut to the quick and leave you questioning everything you thought you knew...
Wounds that come from a blow.
It could be the untimely loss of someone. It could be the end of a career. It could be a terrible diagnosis. It could be the severing of what was believed to be a forever friendship. It could be years of abuse or neglect. It could be a house burning or a child dying...but it tears you apart in such a way that you truly wonder if you can continue to breathe in and out and put one foot in front of the other.
All these years I have been telling you to choose life in your tragedies. To glean the wisdom and other treasures that can be found ONLY in the darkness. To choose better over bitter when life hands you a blow...
It's a great message. An important message. But it isn't the end of the story...
Whether or not we choose better over bitter in our own tragedies, the fact remains that wounds leave scars. They don't just disappear and never affect us again. Those wounds and scars shape us and our decisions and perspectives for a lifetime. So...I have been asking myself some tough questions lately about just that, and one of the first realizations I had in the midst of it was that it has been a very long time since I have allowed myself to be in a position to be hurt. I mean...it has been a loooong time since I have made a direct decision that has placed me in a situation that had the ability to profoundly wound me. And as in long time, I mean since Chad died.
It's called self-protection.
It isn't healthy.
Now, maybe that doesn't sound like a big deal to you, but it's really blown me away. If you had asked me a year ago if I was doing this, I would have said no way...but God has revealed to me differently. Ways that I would have thought I had been risking pain or loss, really lost the abilty to hurt me any more a long time ago. And, as always, He's right...I had put myself in a comfortable corner, covering my wounds. And, here's the deal...if you're avoiding the risk of being hurt, you got a trust problem.
A trust in God problem.
So, true to form, God has placed me in a position of vulnerability to show me this trust problem. To remind me that my fate, my future, and my heart, is in no one's hands but His own. Mind you...the only completely trustworthy hands this old world has to offer. And I'm in them! In that place, fear loses it's power over me...
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
-1 John 4:8
If I can wrap my pea brain around how much God loves me...that HE IS LOVE...and that His love is complete perfection, never waivers, and is NOT based on my perfection or my good works, then I begin too understand that His plans for me and His thoughts towards me, whatever they may be, are good, and perfect....and lovely.
Even the wounds.
I want so much to be brave despite my wounds. I do. I want to have courage to do great things for God...if only Marti didn't always seem to be getting in the way. I want to fight to win even when it hurts. I don't want to cower in a corner with my hands over my scars, afraid for the next blow. And I don't want to walk away from a battle. I want to be in the middle of what MATTERS and make a difference. I want to be a warrior...
But a scared dog never gets the bone.
Don't you think it's amazing how your heart can actually ache? Let me tell you, when my heart begins to ache, even just a little...I hope someone can relate to this...I start to panic. I'm not saying this to make you feel sorry for me, but my heart ached for the 2 years and 7 months my big brother was sick...constantly. And it ached for a solid 3 years after he died. And now? A little heartache makes it mighty hard to breathe, and takes me to a bad bad place...
It's called self-protection.
It's isn't healthy.
And I want the bone. You know what I'm saying?
Wouldn't I rather be wounded again and it matter for something, than sit on the sidelines and be good for nothing? Wouldn't I rather my heart ache for a reason, than let my heart go numb? Wouldn't I rather go into battle and lose, than never even put up fight? Wouldn't I rather be vulnerable in the battle, than worthless on the sidelines?
Wouldn't I rather fight for that bone, than settle for a lifetime of nothing special?
The ultimate victory is already His...and I am His. I will choose to trust Him today, and then again tomorrow and the next day and the next day...vulnerability and fear don't exist there.
Let's do the hard thing.
Let's get a bone.