Today’s post is written by me, a humble pilgrim. I am not an exercise expert. I hold no degrees or certifications in training, nutrition or exercise science. I have friends that are much more qualified than I am in these fields and I’m ever so grateful that they have come along me during this journey. I am hoping to have some of these friends write posts/entries about exercise. Perhaps they will create a workout based around the number “40”. I feel it is important to share with you their expertise. I also have people in my life that are much more qualified, capable and knowledgeable in terms of spiritual things and soul care/development. I’m hoping that they too will grace this blog with their presence.
Today however, you are stuck with me. I’m going to write about how weakness and strength have played a role in my life and ways that I’ve learned to be perfected in both. Tonight’s entry will be about weakness. 2 Cor. 12:7-10 is a passage in which the apostle Paul shares about a personal struggle and his new perspective “.. even though I have received such wonderful revelations from God. So to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud. Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
I think about how this paradox has played itself out in my life. As I meditate upon this Scripture I am challenged to face the weaknesses in my life. As I’ve once again had to face my character defects, flaws and shortcomings my heart has been broken, but my eyes have been opened. Thinking about these isn’t a discouragement. It gives me the opportunity to view my life with honesty and a deeper perspective. I’m not here to debate whether these weaknesses that I’m dealing with are character flaws, trials caused by Satan, or gifts from God that I simply have viewed incorrectly. It simply is an inventory.
Today I was lovingly confronted by a friend through a text message. She said something that I don’t believe she meant to be confrontational, but it was and a bit convicting to be honest. The question was posed that she wondered if I could pin down why our life always seem so unsettled. WOW! I felt like I had been hit with a ton of bricks. I know my life is unsettled, but obviously so does all of FB. Yes, I’m aware my posts are often transparent. Since I have a blog it’s pretty much assumed that any reader will know as much about me as they can stand. People have thanked me for my vulnerability and openness. They have taken comfort in my ability to share. I’ve also had others say that I live in fear and share too much of it. You can’t please ’em all. Believe me I’ve tried.
So…an unsettled life. Her words were not the first but I pray they are the last. Off and on for years I’ve felt like I was ready to get off of this ride. The one that shakes me, scares me, makes me feel out of control. Why am I unsettled? What is happening to me, my family, my dreams and goals? Is there a purpose? Great question. The answers have been rolling around inside of me for months, years, but its time to organize them, address them, embrace them and act on them. If things don’t change, they won’t change. If I don’t like the direction I’m headed as a woman, wife or mother I’m the only one (with God’s help) that can change the path I’m taking. This has been so evident in my weight loss journey. A breaking point was reached. A decision made that started me down a path to a new life. Choices and decisions are still being made. Detours have been taken. Road blocks and obstacles have been placed in my path. Life has a way of trying to undo a person, but we don’t have to let it!
Tonight I’m pondering the word unsettled. I can feel unsettled, but I don’t have to BE unsettled. At least not in a helpless, chaotic way. I have other blogs that I haven’t updated in quite a few months. I’m not sure how to combine all of these projects. One was an old weight loss blog and one a more personal day-to-day musing. As I’ve been thinking about being unsettled I was drawn back to the words I typed in January of this year. When I read them I almost couldn’t breathe. Today I will talk about a phrase that I heard recently that stuck with me. I can’t get it out of my mind and it resonated so loudly within my heart that I am prayerfully making it my “phrase” for the year. Two words….GLORIOUSLY RUINED. I want my life to be ruined, destroyed by my maker and rebuilt into something glorious, useful for the kingdom and more colorful, brilliant and pleasing than the broken down insane chaos I’ve lived in for the last year.
My friend (the one that posed this question)….this is what is happening. A glorious ruining. For the last two years I’ve been in a process of being chipped, broken, refined, chiseled, ruined….so I can be rebuilt. It’s all starting to make sense. This pain has a purpose. These weaknesses are turning into my source of strength. My mourning is being turned into dancing and I can rejoice in my trials. Beauty from ashes. Gloriously, divinely, purposefully ruined. Intricately crafted, forged and fashioned. God is answering my prayer. He has heard my heart’s cry and I’m being ruined to be a blessing, humbled to be exalted, perfected to be made holy. This is the hardest season of my life by far and I’m weary. Yet, there is a hope. Peace is on the horizon and I’m ever so grateful.
I’m not a scientist but I do believe that diamonds are the hardest substance that exists on the planet. Diamonds are formed from a combination of heat and pressure in the interior of the earth’s crust, and eventually move to the surface by lava flow. Synthetic diamonds are also manufactured using the same process of heat and pressure on carbon. That’s a lot of heat, pressure, fire and moving (either naturally or synthetically). Keep an eye out for a lot of sparkle coming from the Flint family because we are experiencing some heat, pressure and movement by God and by our circumstances. It’s hard, but it’s really okay. We’re ready to shine!!