Unglued. Have you come unglued yet today? This week? This month? Don’t try to tell me you are the “together type of person”. Every single one of us has an area of our life that just makes us come unglued; makes us separate ourselves completely from the adhesive “stuff” that holds us together and keeps our world turning.
So be honest with yourself? When was the last time you came unglued? What was the trigger?
These days for me, it doesn’t seem to take much. For some unknown reason, I’m sort of stressed out. Maybe it’s because I’m about to teach a college class for the first time after not having worked for almost 6 years. Maybe it’s because I’m losing my mom and watching her slip away all too fast. Maybe it’s because my house is coming up on 3 years on the market and I’m tired of having to keep the house “20 minutes from spotless” all the time. Maybe it’s because I can’t keep my three year old son from chasing our poor dog around the house with his dump truck or from pulling his tail, or because my five year old daughter is thinks she can have the attitude of a fifteen year old. Whatever the reason, my aim is to not become so easily unglued. I need to find what it is that causes that feeling in me and turn my eyes immediately to the one who can keep us glued, to our world and to Him.
So go back to that thing or those things that cause you to become unglued. Do you often promise yourself to change and then become frustrated because you can’t? You failed again? I do. Over. And over. And over again. You know what my main problem is? Often, this change in my life that I want to make may align with scripture, but I leave Him out. I forget that He is the one that works in us, changing us from the inside out. I try to do it…on my own…without Him. No wonder I fail!
Sometimes this can failure alone cause us to come unglued. Why? Well…we can become sad because of the way that we acted. After all, we failed, right? We didn’t do, or did the very thing we promised ourselves we’d do (or not to do). I don’t know about you, but when I fail, I am already upset, so it doesn’t take much for something else to make that mountain just a little bigger. Thoughts racing through my mind at the time are something like, “Why can’t I control my reactions? I stuff. Then I explode. This kind of stuff hurts. A lot!
If you can relate to any of the above, maybe you can relate to the hope that I am starting to see.
You see, being the microwave society that we are, we want things (change) instantly. When we don’t get it, we feel like a failure. When we make those vows to change, to stop overreacting, to stop yelling, to stop whatever it is, we want to be masters of having a handle on things the very next day.
I do, do you? I ‘m betting you are just like me. You want everyone to think you’re perfect and have everything together…but oh goodness are we far from perfect under that facade we put up. The truth is, all people have more in common with each other than we think. Whether you’re married or single. With kids or without. Old or young. Employed or out of a job. Rich or poor. We all are different, but we all share the same struggle and have the same core issues.
If knowing you’re not out there alone in your struggle isn’t hope enough, here’s something else. This is what Lysa Terkheurst in her book calls imperfect progress.
Imperfect progress…what in the world is that!?!?
Let me put it simply. Imperfect progress is allowing yourself to take baby steps, allowing for forward and backwards movements. But progress should be a pushing forward, right? YES!! But reality is that progress is filled with big victories, small victories, set backs, and do overs. It’s allowing yourself to admit that you aren’t perfect and require time to change. It’s HARD. But thankfully, hard doesn’t mean the same thing as impossible. Hard just means we need to remember that He is beside us walking with us, guiding us, and sometimes even carrying us. Hard keeps our eyes focused on the goal, and on Him at the same time.
Imperfect progress brings with it emotions. But if we realize that emotions are a God-given thing, we can also realize how those emotions can help us continue moving forward, one baby step at a time. It’s OK to have a setback or to have a do over as long as we keep moving forward, slow and steady.
So join with me as we pick up the pieces from our unglued experiences and watch as those ashes become something beautiful. Get ready, though, for the roller coaster ride.
I’m ready. Are you?