Looking Up

I never “have it together.”  Anyone who spends any kind of time with me has heard me say it.  I don’t know why I annouce it.  All you have to do is look at my woefully un-sylish outfit, kid-trashed vehicle, piles (ahem, mountains) of laundry and orphan-Annie looing (yet adorable!) children to figure that out.

Since this summer, when I took part in a group study of  Interrupted by Jen Hatmaker, read Francis Chan’s Crazy Love, and now I am reading David Platt’s Radical, I’ve been doing a whole lot of thinking. What I mean by that is, thinking in a new direction which is fine since my whole life is taking a new direction. It fits. All three books, while different in approach for sure, do hit on a similar theme – trashing the American dream and its skewed version of Christianity and embracing real faith, authentic discipleship and a God who is much, much bigger and more demanding than we care to admit.

It’s not like the idea that the “American Dream” is crap has not occurred to me before.  It has. Many times. It just never seemed to jive with what Jesus was saying and doing and requiring, yet the general consensus among believers seemed to be that it was “okay” as long as it was done in a “christian” way. Still, I found that I didn’t fit the mold for the American Dream and especially not the Christian version. I’m too frazzled, too unkept.  I ask too many questions. I read too many books.  I don’t know. It just never was my thing to climb ladders.  I’m afraid of heights.

So as you know, my friends, my life as I knew it basically fell apart this year. Whatever I thought was normal or good or even true suddenly came into question. Did I believe what I said I did?  Was God who He says He was? And who am I anyway?  And once I determined that “Yes, I do believe God.  I believe Christ.  He is exactly who He says He is, and I belong to Christ.”  What in the world was I going to do with it?  Because literally, God was and is the only one who could carry me through my pain.

Many months later, here I am.  Still standing, when I’m not falling that is. 😉  And back to those books . . . another main theme?  You have to come to the end of yourself . . . the last shall be first.  All that. I’m starting to get it. If you need to get it, come try to parent 3 children alone everyday.  You’ll get it, quickly!  Because I have found out what I suspected – I am not adequate!  I am not able.  I am not sufficient. Each and every day it only takes about 2 minutes of all three being awake and squawking at me for me to realize that I have come to the end of my abilities. The end of myself.

 And what do I do? (No, I do resist the temptation to get into the fetal position and rock back and forth) I cry out to Jesus. I turn to God who is more than adequate (Philippians 4:19), He is able (Eph 3:20), He is sufficient (2 Cor 12:9). If I were an awesome mom who could bring home the bacon and fry it up too all while keeping a house that would make June Cleaver hang her head in shame, would I cry out to Him?  Would I really understand the reality that He alone supplies my next breath, my next heartbeat?  Probably not.  I’d probably go on my merry way, thinking I was the next best thing since sliced bread. For once I am finally happy to say, “I do not have it all together!”

1 Corinthians 1:27  “. . .but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong,”

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4 thoughts on “Looking Up

  1. Thanks for the book recommendations, and for putting this “out there” for the rest of us to consider. It would seem for me, anyway, that regardless of how much I get that I’m not able, my flesh likes to try and there is where my issues lie. I’m not under any allusion that I have it all together but God has to keep my gaze or I’ll go walking off into the sunset thinking “I can do this thing.” Sigh. Love a good reminder. That’s what this was. :)Thanks Crystal!

  2. That really hit home for me today, thank you for sharing! I don’t have it all together either and as hard as I try, I never do! So good to hear and remember…God is my strength. And through Him, I can do all things. Loved this!

  3. Wow, great comments! Thank you! And Megan, I have to admit . . . I didn’t care for Mr. Platt at first. Rubbed me the wrong way, but he also seemed so familiar. I finally figured it out. Oswald Chambers. Want a butt kicking King-James style? My Utmost for His Highest really is the same message as Radical. Pretty cool.

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