Broken Hallelujahs & Battered Postulations
Life as of late...
“I'm just trying to recover from last night. It was one of those nights where you start off stepping in quicksand and end up with a sixteen-ton anvil landing on your head.” ~ Lorelei- Gilmore Girls
I find myself this evening feeling an immense amount of trepidation. This, the day where we celebrate all that we are thankful for. That is not to say that I’m not grateful. I could count my blessings from now until next year. We never really run out of God’s blessings. Do we? So why am I so, so anxious?
I firmly believe that God absolutely leads us if we choose to follow him. A year ago He led me to a new position at work that I, in my wildest dreams, would never have imagined for myself. For an introverted woman who does not initiate small talk or even talk on the phone or answer the door, I find it rather amusing that a large part of my job entails just that. I can easily look back on events in my life that not only equipped me for what I was in for, it led me directly to this spot...God’s purpose for my life.
I am still in awe of just how God orchestrated all of it...a full life speckled with some deep hurt, failure, and regret that should have left me damaged and/or scarred. My life is a testament to God’s mercy and grace. He has shown me over and over that he uses anyone willing to serve. Even me.
God bestowed on me a front row seat to watch Him at work in each of the lives of those I have the pleasure of working with. It has been one of the biggest blessings of my life. How many of us can say that we would happily do our jobs for free?
So, why on earth am I feeling like I have the weight of the entire world on my shoulders?
You see, this front row seat, with its many blessings, includes witnessing real suffering...broken, bleeding, and shattered suffering. And most days I feel overwhelmingly ill-equipped, crushed under the burden I feel for those who are desperate for help or who have lost more than I could ever fathom, who are looking to me for solutions. I’ve been struggling to come to terms of the loss of my best friend earlier this year. I haven’t even given myself the time to process my loss. I’ve been struggling with very real health issues. But, I don’t have time for myself. People are counting on me.
*Questions to God on constant rotation in my head:
Why them, Lord?
You want me to do what?!
How does one talk about how awesome You are to another who has nothing left?
Are you crazy?
No, seriously Lord, are you crazy?!
But, Lord, what about my own struggles? I am drowning here!
Some days I don’t even have it in me to vocalize a prayer. Last week I remember driving in a daze knowing it was my usual prayer time and having nothing to say. I can muster a smile and some positive energy for those I work with/for, but just enough.
Some days I’m barely hanging on. I have always been one to step up and do what needs to be done. I’m great in a crisis, but when the crisis is averted it will and does catch up to me.
It is easy to write and speak words of encouragement to others, compartmentalizing my own struggles, fear, anxiety, and hurt. I genuinely do strive to put others first (sometimes to my own detriment). I believe in everything I’m saying. It is simply easier to have faith for others’ outcomes than my own at times.
Feelings of inadequacy, compounded by mental and physical exhaustion, and the pressure I put on myself to single-handedly save the world have quite honestly broken me.
I have nothing left to give save for a wordless and broken hallelujah or two.
The first time I heard the song ‘Broken Hallelujah’ by the Afters it spoke to my heart. It has played five times just today. It is never an accident. Here are a bit of the lyrics.
“I try to find the words to pray.
I don't always know what to say,
But you're the one that can hear my heart.
Even though I don't know what your plan is,
I know you make beauty from these ashes.”
“I've seen joy and I've seen pain.
On my knees, I call your name.
Here's my broken hallelujah.
With nothing left to hold onto,
I raise these empty hands to you.
Here's my broken, here's my broken, hallelujah.” ~The Afters
Thank our Heavenly Father that this isn’t the end of my story. In all of my anxiousness, grief, fear, worry, and trepidation God reminds me that this world is His alone and that although He uses me He never has or will expect me to do it on my own. In fact, He wants me to lean on Him, watch, and learn. How exhausting is it attempting to do God’s job for Him? I’ll tell you. It leaves you with nothing left for yourself.
I’m writing this with tears and solace because the answers to my questions have been there all along.
Even Jesus questioned God after being nailed to the cross. He asked his father why God had forsaken him. He knows our questions and doubts before we ourselves know them. He simply patiently waits for us to catch up. He welcomes our questions with answers at the ready...in His own time and in His own way.
He loves us enough to accept our flawed, misguided questions and wordless prayers of praise.
Even the broken and battered ones.