“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”

-Rumi

 

Bent & Broken

Saturday I rushed to yoga. I rush a lot lately, and am rarely on time. This day, I rushed particularly because I felt this creeping tension in my mind and body. For me, exercise is a great way to mentally process my thoughts and talk to God. All yoga teachers will tell you in the beginning of the class, “Whatever you came in with today, leave it at the door. Let your intentions in class be positive and your focus be on your poses.”

Nearly impossible for me.

Important nonetheless. One particular pose we were instructed in is called the Unsupported Tiger.  Basically, you are balancing on one hand and the contralateral knee. Then you reach behind, grab your opposite leg and then arch your back so the leg extends high over your head. I was proud that I could at least touch my toes, then I glanced at myself in the mirror. I resembled a stuck camel, all flexed and crumpled.

Life is like that, I try my hardest, give it my all, but I break instead of bend.

I have felt fractured lately.  I have been worn out from forcing and hustling my way in this world.  While, wrestling with God in that class to give me answers for my Why’s, I heard Him say, “Trust.”  It’s not what I expected or wanted; I wanted do this or you’re right. Instead, Trust.

Trust implies bending, doesn’t it.

Breathe. Bend. Trust.

I have been breaking and fighting and wrestling and straining.  Realization set in that I couldn’t submit my body to the unsupported Tiger, nor was I submitting my soul to the only perfectly trustworthy One I know.

Trust when you bend.

Trust in the bend.

Don’t fear the break.

Yogi’s say they bend and don’t break.

How do we learn to trust and bend when we often feel so broken already?

Ann Voskamp’s book, The Broken Way couldn’t have arrived at a better time. She invites us to trust in the brokenness.

“There is not even one of us who hasn’t lost something, who doesn’t fear something, who doesn’t ache with some unspoken pain.”

Trusting God, means I need to lean and bend into Him and let His love into my brokneness.

 

Loved and Love

When I survey myself and our current culture during this election season I see brokenness. I read vitriol. I hear fear.  We are a culture afraid. Afraid in race, gender, religion and politics. Afraid to trust because it may hurt. Afraid to break becasue we may not win.  Fear is so easily recognizable to me because, it’s my heart language.  I have learned, fear’s voice is drowned out with love.

My take away to make America great again is Love has to win.

The only virtue that casts out fear, is love. There is no fear in love! (I Jn. 4:18)

In Luke 6:35,36, Jesus says, “I tell you, love your enemies. Help and give without expecting a return. You’ll never—I promise—regret it. Live out this God-created identity the way our Father lives toward us, generously and graciously, even when we’re at our worst. Our Father is kind; you be kind.”

God is the source of all love. We love only because He first loved (I Jn.4:19). We trust in His love for us, because even at our worst, He still loves and gives. We can love our enemies only because He is first kind to them. God’s love always inititates and we simply respond.

Stop and try to grasp for a moment the truly wondrous miracle that God, One who looks on the heart, loves us at all.  We know our broken heart and the junk we try to hide, yet we are met with love, not hate, or contempt, or shame, or judgment. Dear church, we are the face, voice, feet, and hands of God’s love. When the church sounds more like a culture of fear, we silence God’s love.

I can speak the truth, but without love it’s a loud noise. I do have big faith and hope, but still love is greater. I fail so much in this regard so I bend and lean toward his love and I can trust that his powerful love is enough to fill my fractured self. He makes me whole, so I can be poured out again. He gives us the power to accept his love for ourselves when we feel unloved and His power fuels love for our family, our neighbors, and our enemies.

No matter the brokenness, He makes us whole.

I can trust his Heart and he heals mine.  His heart is always for us.

So in November I am going to breathe and bend a little more. I am going to learn to be thankful, even for the brokenness. I am going to pause and consider instead of rush and stress. I am going to let God break the barriers I have built up. I am going to love and be loved.

This November, I vote Love for the WIN!

Melanie Connell

 

Need More Inspiration?

  • Join me and others as we launch the first Remedy Book Club with Ann Voskamp’s book, The Broken Way.  If this interests you then contact me here or leave a message below. I will be sending out weekly emails and I hope we are all encouraged, inspired, and empowered during this month of Thanksgiving.