I have discovered something today that I think is profound. At least it is profound for me. I am broken. I know it is a shocker. For many of you I’m sure you could have told me this a long time ago however it has taken a long time for me to figure this out.
I’m broken, I don’t know what perfect is or if what I do is the right thing. All I know is that I keep trying. I keep pressing on to try and figure out what this life is suppose to look like. It is an odd feeling to admit that I may not know what I’m doing. To know that what I have thought is right and good really is just another way for me to hide my sin. To hide my true identity, really a place for me to be good. Looking back I can see how many mistakes I have made. Mistakes that at the time I thought were the right things.
I remember when I was just starting college I had an opportunity to allow a family who deeply cared about me and supported me to show their support but I allowed my own pride and self-righteous attitude get in the way of seeing their deep love and care for me. It almost cost me a friendship over it. And yet I remember feeling so strongly that I was right and they were wrong. I wish I could take that back.
I once felt so arrogant that I knew how to care for a student in crisis that I just ran over their deep feelings. As a result they didn’t trust that I cared or listened to them, the end product was a family that became torn apart. All of this happened because I knew what was right, I was right.
I have made so many decisions that have impacted hundreds of people and I find myself wondering how many of those decisions were right, I wonder if I really have helped or if I have just added to their confusion and frustration.
Here is the reality, I have made wrong decisions, I have done these things and will probably do things wrong in the future. Doesn’t sound very comforting, except for the reality that it really isn’t about me at all. If it was about me then I think we are all screwed. It is about God’s Kingdom and how I am just along for the ride. If I truly believe that I am in the process of being restored to what God designed from the beginning then I have to accept the fact that I am flawed, that I am broken. I don’t always know the right answers or have the best ideas and to even think that way is so arrogant no wonder I fail. I can say that without the experiences that I have had over the years I could not have done half of the things I have done this year. I would not be where I am today in my relationship with God. I would not be in the place that I am, I would not feel God the way I feel Him right now. There is no possible way that I could have learned this without going through the pain, the mistakes, the failures. But, I tend to forget that, I tend to not allow myself the reality that I will fall, and the result is a false life, a life full of expectation that I just can’t live up to. Throw in the guilt and shame that comes from not living up to those standards and you have a depressed and ineffective person.
Here is the good news, I am growing. I am learning from where God has brought me and I truly feel like I am starting to figure it out. Unfortunately it is still a process and while I have put a lot of the pieces together I still don’t have them all yet. The result is that I will continue to screw some things up from time to time. I will make decisions that are going to cause others pain. I recognize that there may be some relationships that I won’t be able to restore because the frustration or pain runs to deep. I want to apologize to those of you who feel that frustration, I wish that I could take it away or do something to make it better. All I can do is continue to move forward, continue to press into Jesus and ask for your patience. Hopefully you feel some of what I’m going through and will journey with me. It will be messy, it will be hard, it will be amazing…
PS. Read the comments, I think Mike brings up a great point and hopefully my response below helps to clarify a bit about the difference between self loathing and compassion.