It’s been more than a month since I blogged. I have a perfect explanation and plenty of excuses if you care to hear about them. Things like being busy with weddings and distracted and admitting I’m sometimes horrible with commitment. I’m not sure how, but I somehow survived the month of May even though I spent the majority of it screaming “Mayday!” From start to finish, the past month tested me, drained me and exploited my weaknesses. It almost went up in flames. No, literally.
I was having a particularly difficult Monday following an extremely challenging weekend and had just started cooking dinner when I received a phone call that turned into an unpleasant conversation that left me flustered and disoriented. Forgetting I had left a pan on the stove-top for the duration of the thirty minute phone chat, I poured two tablespoons of oil into the wok and watched as flames burst before my eyes. Confused and scared to death, I did the exact thing you aren’t supposed to do during an oil fire. I took the mini-bonfire to my sink and poured water onto the flames which only made them stronger and bigger. I had no clue what to do and I was in no emotional state to handle the complexity of the situation. I decided I’d rather set fire to the landscape outside rather than burning down my house so I took the inferno to the yard, spilling the scolding oil all over my floors and doors as I ran.
Once the fire died, I returned inside to assess the aftermath. Thankfully I didn’t do any damage but I then proceeded to have a Stage 5 meltdown. Imagine me on my hands and knees, soaking up a greasy sopping mess while simultaneously sobbing. The stressful first few weeks of May combined with a stupid decision in the kitchen left me feeling like a shaken, silly fool.
Prompted by another emotionally disruptive week, I went to a new church yesterday. As I sat in the chair, eager to have my soul fed, I knew I was exactly where I was meant to be. The message was direct and inspiring and even today I’m still thinking about the various points I took away with me. “It is doubtful that God can use a man greatly until He wounds him deeply.” It sounds vindictive and hurtful. This notion that before you can truly appreciate something it has to be taken away or before you can succeed at something, you have to be broken. But it’s so true. We rarely express our appreciation or gratitude in moments of strength but are quick to complain when drowning in our weaknesses. I’m learning that my weaknesses, those times I don’t live up to expectations or when my best isn’t good enough, are really chances for me to be dependent on something bigger than myself and aren’t opportunities to throw pity parties.
My heart’s desire is to be used greatly. To be an inspiration and a positive motivator in a world full of pessimism. So this is me waving my white flag. Surrendering my temporary kingdoms and stripping away my accomplishments to confess they’ve all been in vain if I portray that they’ve been achieved alone. Acknowledging the areas in my life that are weaker than others and trusting that something better is in store.
May won’t be the last challenging month I face. I’m human and will disappoint someone else, maybe even myself, in the future. I’ll hurt someone by saying something wrong or by saying nothing at all. I’ll act upon selfish desires. I’ll make another stupid decision and potentially burn my house down. Only next time, while I’m on my hands and knees cleaning up some mess I’ve made, perhaps I’ll say a prayer of gratitude instead of grievance and remember that with the right mindset and willing heart, my weaknesses will glorify the source of strength.