<reading thru some old blogs and this one hit me today…wrote it in 2014…still need it in 2016.>
It’s official. I’m an adult.
As a kiddo, I never ever understood all the hub-bub I heard about how “painful” to holidays could be. I was like, “what the WHAT?” — how can you be sad at Christmas. That’s MESSED UP.
Well…I finally get it. (dang it)
For me, this week has been a crazy preschool-finger-painting-mess of beauty and pain. It always is, kinda…but this year it’s been especially messy. I’ve felt some sadness so deep that it felt like a giant branch sticking out of my gut…always there, and every so often it’d ‘catch’ on something and just about rip me open. Contrasted with the joy of seeing my kids laugh…encourage…and give. Beauty so bright that it can take my breath away.
Anne Lamott put it like this:
“…we are not served by getting away from the grubbiness of suffering. Sometimes we feel that we are barely pulling ourselves forward through a tight tunnel on badly scraped-up elbows. But we do come out the other side, exhausted and changed.”
Exhausted – check. Changed – check.
I found a card written by my sweet friend, Elaine, in 2009. Little did 2009-Elaine know she was also writing to encourage 2013-Kris. Her words were perfectly profound for me:
“I have been pondering the idea that we (believers) are the hands and feet of Christ. Yet Christ’s hands and feet have scars on them where the nails had been. Somehow our lives have to be scarred to be useful…not all wounds do that though. Some seem to leave an open wound. It’s the wounds that we allow Jesus to heal that change us into the servants—His hands and feet.”
I say that often, u know. I prefer the broken people. Clean, perfect lives are boring and shallow (and untrue, too btw). I want the depths. I want to have the scars, not just the wounds. That’s the kicker. How to get them dang wounds to heal over?
I’m planning on teaching a great study on James in the spring (written by Jen Wilkin; check out her blog here). To prepare, my goal has been to read the book of James each day. Have I mentioned I don’t buy into the idea of “coincidences”? Yea. No.
So, as I’ve been wading my way thru these few weeks–pondering scars and such—I’ve started my days reading this:
“Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.” James 1:2-4
But…wait…I’m the one who should get to decide how long I need to tread water in the muck, right? Pick urself up by bootstraps n such…right? “So, don’t try to get out of anything prematurely”, he practically screams at me. Hey – wait, that’s how wounds become scars. Time.
As I type this (it’s now 1/6/14 – never finished this entry in Dec. and just left it hanging out there to finish up today). I’m on the other side of these holidays. Pain seared thru me, sadness sometimes tried to drown out the fun stuff…but now, I’m down the road a bit. There was a turn. There were too many miracles to post. More than I thought could occur. So many ways God said–as He rolled up His God-sleeves, “WATCH. THIS.” Wounds becoming scars.
I think I just realized something about my life: scars ARE my true colors. Scars are healed hurts. Scars are evidences of “I understand”. Scars are exhausting to wait on…and they change me w/o exception. Scars make me like the One I wanna be like.
Exhausted. Changed. Scarred. That’s me. So very thankful.