Morning after morning I'd be the same, all through every day,
trying to fix myself.
Making right what's wrong inside.
I woke early this morning, couldn't stand being stuck there with my mind a second longer - went outside and said God, I'm swamped with guilt.
Opened Ann's book from beginning all over again, get to the end of the chapter and... it's clear.
God is on the broken way, and it's my only way. This broken mind I try re-write like God, I've been adamant about the fixing, the restoring - and truth behold, I have to accept this broken way.
How long I've been refusing. Me, so adamant - I will fix me. So badly I've wanted to fix me - re-create a broken mind, a broken body, a broken spirit.
Accept the broken way... Coming to God as broken - and stop telling him how I'll fix it, stop re-assuring myself how I can re-make myself.
After all this time, finally this morning it rings true. God doesn't want to see me trying to fix myself. He doesn't want me to come broken with a Fix-It hat and determination.
He knows me broken and to come simply and honestly as myself - this is to come broken without the hat, 'cos I have no real qualification in re-making, un-breaking.
Throat closed of guilt,
Wrought with defining shame,
Stumbling over self-hate and inadequacy and inability to self-create perfection.
It runs through vein, anxiety -
wispy fog closing the marked road to hope.
I can't be who I ought, and the only hope I cling to is something long gone - some missing part of me, the state of peace and understanding - and I think everything will always take me there and yet slowly, the options sink into nothing.
They're all mud already, anyway, all these professions to happy, to this lost state of being I can feel right underneath this empty.
But to accept a broken way - would kind of be to admit to me losing. Yeah, I lost. Isn't this whole point of living - to put something good together? Why would I submit to being broken? Aren't plans about making goodness for ourselves - in ourselves? -
Now it turns out that maybe the first plan is to take a broken way? - is to say that I can't fix anything.
First time I read all these pages of a road broken, the second chapter had me plunged into a kind of abandonment I hadn't experienced before, a separation between me and the boy I'd been walking earth with. All the words rung true, me in a space where loss and abandonment and grief grew so large in me there was nowhere to crawl and cry but Jesus, and he held me.
It was a necessary surrender, that severing, and it was my first real walking along any kind of suffering. In a way, we'd chosen it, but other ways it was the only road.
It was an entering, and the only way to survive was to bend into it, to cave right into the hands of God, and they embraced me like they hadn't in years.
Boy and I reconcile and there's a picking up of broken pieces and now this is where I am, enough strength to carry them again and I'm hearing it somewhere, from heaven or deep inside? - put them down.
They're cutting into me, like carrying their cutting edges against my skin is the only way to ease the shame inside, a balloon with too much air and edges into skin is the only way to shrink, release, enough air to breathe.
Only way to survive has been to carry these rough, broken pieces - or maybe it's only 'cos I'm holding them that I think pressing them in to me is the only way to breathe.
Maybe if I put them back down there on the ground the air would clear again, like that first breaking when the world somehow crashed down and restored itself all in one instant and both worlds were simultaneously existent.
What difference does insisting on carrying and mending and analysing my broken make, anyway? Sure, I can justify my efforts to make greatness out of insufficiency - I can worship my effort to make wholeness out of broke -
but it's been years, and shame still rings out. Guilt droops my head. My mind isn't capable of fixing me. I can't control every anxious thought and depression I can't solve.
I can't solve my mind. How many years I've sought an equation? They lead me a little while, and they never turn out to be the answer.
I don't think I heard what she said the first time, but I think I'm hearing what's Ann's saying now: walking with our broken and no fix-it hat is the right road.
That is such a shameful thing to do. Not even trying to be okay. We can sympathise with struggle - but only if you're doing what you can to make victory over it.
Is taking the broken way really saying that we're giving up the fixing? There is so much shame in that statement. I am ashamed because I know what you're thinking - if you stop trying, you are not worthy of any love. You are not worthy of any grace. If you stop trying to fix you, I will give up on you.
All the not good enough I wish I wasn't - I've taken to agreeing with you, that I'm falling short, and inside I can't let down my guard and I'm working too hard at willing soul perfection and it's just. not. coming.
Starting to see that laying down broken is brave, not noble. I hadn't seen the shame before, but I'm seeing it now. It's saying that I can't do it, can't fix it, and it's saying that I'm not even going to try and fix it anymore. That is the greatest failure we can perceive - giving up. Is this really what we're called to do? Give up?
It's not only weak - it's disgrace. Dis-grace... or is it? Disgrace is shame from dishonourable action -
and Grace-giver? He's the one saying it to me, lay down the broken things, and stop trying to fix them.
Laying down broken pieces of me is weak - and it is grace.
To keep carrying me broken and making plans and equations of fixing me? This is to dis grace. To reject grace, to say it isn't good enough - that's what I say when I insist on me and my Fix-It hat that has never even gave an indication that it can do any kind of fixing work.
I've heard they call Jesus king of an upside down kingdom and I'm seeing it here, where to hold and spend a life attempting to fix broken things is noble and worthy - is actually to dis grace, and more importantly - to reject wholeness.
Yeah, turns out that right side up, the upside down kingdom of Jesus is putting down the broken me and saying yeah, it's really broken and unfixable, Jesus - this is receiving grace, this is putting ourselves in the embracing arms of wholeness.
And it turns out that in our strange earth world, accepting gifts is frowned upon.
No-one frowns down on anyone opening a gift they haven't bought for themselves.
It would seem strange, come Christmas time, we all purchase and wrap a present, put in under the tree - and Christmas morning we all grab what we put under the tree and unwrap it for ourselves.
What a joke.
Apparently it's how we're meant to live, though. According to everyone but Jesus.
There's a lot of resistance in me. At least if I'm trying to fix broken me, it's not just sitting there.
But if I'm trying to fix broken, how will it heal?
I can see goodness, freedom, no more provability about who I want them to think I can be. I'm not the person I wish I was, I'm not the person I know I ought to me. First, I can admit this.
I can't fix myself into the person I need to be.
Wholeness is really a healing of our brokenness.
And maybe a healing of our brokenness is really a holding of our brokenness -
not my holding,
but the broken one who is whole holding all my broken,
'cos I fully put it down on the ground,
and he saw it there and swept it all into him and me, too.
I'm still broken, and that's the whole point of a perfect God breaking. I can be with him, even though I'm broken.