Bracelet of the Month Club
Once a month, I receive a bracelet that was made in a developing country. The money they make helps to provide job opportunities for women who need the money to take care of their families. The type of bracelet, which country it comes from, and even the organization who supports the fair trade changes from month to month. It is the grown up version of the "blind bag" that my daughters are obsessed with...why oh why, did I not come up with this idea for kids?!?
One afternoon, I checked the mail and found my monthly package. I opened it up and saw a misshapen, beautiful bracelet made by women in Haiti with the words "Live Wrecked" engraved on it. Included in the package was a small card that said
Live the life you're scared to live.
From the moment I read the words, I just couldn't shake them. I placed the little card on my bathroom mirror to remind me to live wrecked. To remind me to not be afraid. I have spent hours thinking about what my response is to my wreckage.
When life feels wrecked what do I do; what do we do?
Do we pretend it isn't happening?
Isn't it odd that we can have our life unraveling around us and yet continue to live life like it isn't happening. Complete denial. Denial because we are prideful and cannot admit the part we played in the unraveling. Denial because we realize that we have NO control over the situation. Denial because we mapped out our life plan years ago and are so unwilling to follow another, unchartered course. Denial because we are stubborn. Denial because taking a real look at what is happening would require us to be vulnerable. Regardless of the reason, pretending it isn't happening does not change the fact that it IS happening...there is wreckage.
Do we try to piece the wreckage back together in order to restore our life to the way it was?
Perhaps we are in our take-charge mode and look at the wreckage and desperately want it all to be the way it was. We want our "old" life back, and we will jam and shove the pieces of the wreckage back into place with some superglue and hope that it all holds up. Hope that no one will notice the breaks and the gluey mess we've created. Restoring it gives us something to do. We can be in control. We are not leaving anything to chance because chance is scary, and we don't like chance. Somehow we believe that no one will notice...that we won't notice...that it can all go back and be ok, but the truth is, a little superglue does not change the fact that there IS wreckage...that something happened.
Do we run away and avoid the wreckage?
Maybe we are fully aware that there is wreckage and we just cannot take it in. Taking it in is too hard. We cannot comprehend the wreckage. We are not strong enough to deal with it, so we run. We run as far away as we possibly can from the wreckage of our life. Running looks different for us...some will drink too much; some will walk away from the church; some will throw themselves into their job; some will bury themselves under their covers and hide. The wreckage is overwhelming and so lonely. We cannot possibly begin to reveal this wreckage to anyone because they won't understand and they will judge us with such condemnation. So we run and run, but the wreckage is always lingering behind us...because running does not change the fact that there IS wreckage...it is still there.
The bottom line is that the wreckage is so scary, and I don't fully know what to do with it.
The truth is that I want to live the life that I am scared to live. I want to live wrecked.
I think to live wrecked means I have to be willing to do two things:
I will sit in the middle of my wreckage and investigate the pieces. Good. Bad. Hard. Beautiful. It is all there in the wreckage. I will plop myself down and not run, but ask the hard questions. Why? What does it all mean? Where are you God? How can I overcome it? Where does it lead me? I will dig through the rubble and pull out the blessings and the truth and cling to it in the days when I feel hopeless. I will remind myself that even in the middle of the wreckage, I am NOT alone.
"Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave your or forsake you." Deuteronomy 31:6
Then I will rise. I will stand up in the midst of the wreckage and ask my Jesus to help me carry the load. I will seek His guidance. His path. His truth. His forgiveness. His grace. His mercy.
"Come to me, all who are labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." Matthew 11:28-30
I will rise up and not remain stagnant in the hurt and confusion. I will rise up and take steps out of the wreckage because my Jesus is guiding me...every single step. I will rise up and praise God because from the ashes, He will glorified. I will rise up because the wreckage is all part of the redemptive story, and it is the MOST beautiful story. I will rise up and live the life I am scared to live. I will rise up because we are all wrecked.
Wreckage is NOT something to be ashamed of.
Wreckage is NOT something we should allow to hold us back.
Wreckage is NOT the end of our journey.
May beauty be found in our wreckage. May we celebrate and encourage one another. May we be a people who bear our scars for all to see and speak about how we managed to live in and through our wreckage. Scars show more than hurt...they show healing. May we be a church that welcomes the broken and pieced together. May there be beauty found in our wreckage.
Live the life you're scared to live.