Thursday, July 30, 2015

Encouraged and Inspired

 
 
It is  faith and brokenness that encourages and inspires us to draw closer to Christ.
 
We think that it is our strength that encourages those who watch us and listen to us. We think that "having it all together" is what inspires. Even though I know that I personally am much more likely to become more critical of myself and discouraged when I compare myself to someone who is strong and courageous and has it "all together", I find myself striving to present an "all together" image so I can encourage others. Ironic, huh?
 
If you visit often, you know that I have been struggling lately. Been hard to put my finger on exactly what it is that has me all sideways, but I received a message today that was like salve for my soul. It was today's devotion on (in)courage. (click to follow link to the devotion) This sweet woman was brutally honest and real and transparent and her words washed over me like...like a healing vapor. It was as though I breathed them in and they calmed my heart.  
 
It wasn't her "togetherness" that soothed me. She didn't encourage me with strength and self- confidence. I was encouraged by her faith in the middle of her weakness and brokenness and by her confidence in her Savior to sustain her. I was inspired by her courage to be real and raw and completely imperfect before me and everyone else who reads her words. I was inspired by her trust in our Father to use her words and her brokenness for His glory...a trust that outweighed her fear of  judgment by her peers and readers.
 
I am encouraged and inspired because I am not alone.
 
I am encouraged because I am not alone in my unraveling. I am not alone in my brokenness. I am not alone in my failures. I am not alone in my regrets. I am not alone in my insecurity.
 
And neither are you alone.
 
We do each other a grave injustice when we "put on a brave face" and hide our brokenness. It takes tremendous courage to be raw and real and transparent. It takes courage to reveal our weakness. It makes us vulnerable. It also makes us dependent on Christ and available to be used by Him.
 
Yes, we should go to Christ with all our cares and worries. Yes, we should trust God to heal, sustain, and restore us. Yes, we need to be pictures of faith in the Jesus. No, we should NOT wallow in our sorrows or be a constant source of gloom and doom. We are to be characterized by Love Joy Peace Patience Kindness Goodness Faithfulness Gentleness and Self-Control. Even so, we are not perfect; our days are not perfect; our families, jobs, friends, and churches are not perfect...and they never will be. It's okay to be broken from time to time. It's okay to have a bad day. It's okay to not be okay sometimes.
 
Sometimes "life" sucks the life out of me. I know that time with my Savior is the cure for that unraveling, broken, beaten down feeling I sometimes find myself in. I know that He will sustain me until I am restored. No person will ever take His place to save me.
 
Even so, it is a precious and cherished moment when He sends someone with words to speak to my heart and encourage me. I am so thankful that she followed His prompting to be transparent. I hope that you are able to give someone the same gift she gave me.