What I do not know

I do not have a bunch of answers for the issues that arise from our human limitations while we simultaneously desperately want to believe.  For Christians, we wrestle with the notion that we are created in the image of God. We are taught that we have the capacity to “bring it” - which to me means that when God calls us, we can respond in obedience AND participate in his bigger story.  And I love the story. It’s a story of God’s presence and love for his people. It’s a hope for tomorrow as we wait confidently for God to do his thing.

 

 

I have so very few answers.

 

But I suspect that this “not knowing” can be a beautiful thing, although scary to admit.  It goes back to Brene Brown’s work. She encourages us to be step into vulnerability even as we brave the wilderness of sometimes standing alone for what we believe to be right and true.

 

What is more humbling than “not knowing”?  But we do not know. That is a truth.

 

Historically we can look back and name all the times we did what we thought was right, only to learn that we were wrong.  How many times have well-intentioned men and women tripped up and ended up on the wrong side of history? Too many times to count.

 

Why would we be different?  

 

When we get real about all the things we do not know, could be wrong about, etc. etc., then we are free to get curious.  Lose judgmental opinions. Gain empathy and compassion. Or, experience the very word of God:

 

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.  Hebrews 11:1 NIV

 

We are coming to believe that God loves us and doesn’t leave us; we hope for His work in our world; we are certain that the future is still in process; just because we cannot see and do not know does NOT mean grace is not happening.  How can you get more curious?

 

A prayer for your recovery journey

Lord, grant that I may seek rather to comfort than

To be comforted –

To understand, than to be understood –

To love, than to be loved.

For it is by self-forgetting that one finds.

It is by forgiving that one is forgiven.

It is by dying that one awakens to Eternal Life.

 

Amen

 

May you find a way to comfort, understand, love, set ego aside, and forgive today.  In so doing, may God grant you mercy.  

 

Wholeheartedness

In Brown’s introduction to her book Rising Strong she says, “I define wholehearted living as engaging in our lives from a place of worthiness.  It means cultivating the courage, compassion, and connection to wake up in the morning and think, No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough.  It’s going to bed at night thinking, Yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable and sometimes afraid, but that doesn’t change the truth that I am brave and worthy of love and belonging.”  (p.xix)

 

My friend with the serial adultery issue was the first to acknowledge that her adultery didn’t fit with her core values.  She is a pastor in a large church.  She teaches a course on ethics at the local community college.  She would be mortified if her daughter found out her dirty little secret. In spite of all that acknowledgement, she seemed very reluctant to actually DO anything different.  What was she missing?  Here are some things we can shoot for that might help us walk a path of personal growth, and we can perhaps use them to guide our own insights about what is “missing” in our search for transformation:

 

Courage

Compassion

Connection

 

Change is more likely to happen when we utilize courage, compassion and connection to do our work.  Sadly, I often hear parents lament over their children’s problems.  Having three of my own I have done my fair share of lamenting too.  But I’ve never seen it hurt a situation for those of us who love a struggling person – whether child, spouse, parent or third cousin twice removed – to do our own work of recovery.

 

I hope you have some dreams about what a wholehearted life would look like for you personally.  What foundational actions might you need to take to get the ball rolling in the right direction?  What small first right steps need to be in place so that you can move toward your wholehearted, whole hog life?  Can you find courage, compassion and connection in your own life?  What might have to change in order to access these 3 c’s?