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Easter is an emotional process. It should be.

Every holiday carries the weight of emotion actually. Holiday’s are filled with the tension of joy and sorrow.

Easter for me is an emotional process. Easter is a yearly reality check. The cross always beckons me to listen and examine my heart.

Easter is the process of three days of brokenness, waiting, and redemption – pain, silence, and forgiveness. Jesus experienced life’s greatest version of brokenness and pain on that  Friday. He took on our sins. He felt the darkness of rejection and silence for the first time from his father. He was physically broken – spit on, cursed at, and killed in humiliation.

The disciples lost a leader, a dream, and their best friend. That sat stunned, locked up in a room not knowing what to do next; what life now meant. The sounds of thick silence and waiting were all that could be heard. Internal struggles and questions were written on downcast faces.

The process of life is just this. Transformation takes the process of brokenness, wrestling in darkness, and then the redemption of healing. Life begins at the end of this three day illustration.

Every Easter I am heavy hearted as I remember the brokenness I have experienced in my life, as well as my current struggles of darkness. It is hard. The process of change is just dang hard and humiliating. It is also in those dark places that I really feel the weight of grace and forgiveness.

Jonah spent days in the darkness of a whale. He wrestled in great tension. It was in that dark waiting place where grace and forgiveness came into focus for him.

But on the third daylight floods the world again. A tomb is emptied and death is conquered. Brokenness and pain have not won. Redemption and forgiveness is alive. Hope and dreams are reborn and life begins again.

Easter is where grace and forgiveness come into focus. I am so grateful that the story always ends in joy and hope.

HAPPY EASTER!!

Where are you in your life’s “Easter” process?

Are you experiencing brokenness, struggling in the waiting, or has the light risen in your dark night?

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Reflection is a powerful thing when you are willing to risk it.

Reflection carries with it a heavy weight and tension – it can sting with bittersweetness.

In one way, reflection is that hindsight that brings clarity into view. We can objectively see those decisions that could’ve been better made, or “aha” moments enabling understanding. Reflection can lead to new insights and dreams. It can also be a road map that determines new destinations in life seasons.

Reflection bears a tension. It is a two sided coin.

I feel the tension of reflection all the time. I am a feeling thinker. I feel my way through processing. I also think deeply about most things and situations. I like to understand every angle. Half of the time, reflection brings on that “ugh” feeling for me. I see more clearly the mess I am.

Reflection can illuminate the gaps in my life, as well as my imperfections. I often times see the ways I have failed in communication, friendship, responsibilities, and even possibilities. I hate that feeling. I hate realizing I dropped the ball on something. It is so hard looking back and seeing the ways I responded out of my fears and insecurities and caused hurt. AH!

Henri Nowen states that reflection can also “remind us of the gap between our willing and our doing, our desires and our performance, our calling and our achievements.

Reflection bears the weight of incompleteness.

When we risk looking back over chapters and seasons of our lives we can see dreams and desires. We’ve all made decisions to take certain paths in life. Looking back, for me, speaks of how far I still am from my dreams. Sometimes I leave reflection with more thoughts of regret and “if only…”

I struggle with the gap of what was and what is still yet to come. Incompleteness is hard for me – waiting is even harder. I battle with discouragement if we are being most honest.

Don’t get me wrong there is encouragement in reflecting on how far we have come. It’s life giving to see steps made. There is just a tension. It’s like that feeling of sitting in a boat that has cast off from one shore and still a long way from another.

At the end of reflection there is hope that bridges the gap between looking back and looking ahead. There is redemption for past failures and imperfections. There is hope for possibilities and new shores to land on.

Nowen also states that “reflection makes us realize that good comes out of imperfection, strength out of weakness, and blessing out of fragility.

As you reflect it’s okay to struggle with what you see. I still hope you risk to see. Reflecting is meant to be empowering, healing, and motivating.

What have you been reflecting about lately?

How do you struggle in the process?

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