“You are so strong”
“I don’t know how you’re here doing (school, leading, etc)”
I get so tired of hearing those words. I hear them and I just think, “If you only knew.” Really, I’m falling apart. I’m barely holding it together. Some days I think my life is kind of like Jenga, pull the wrong block out and it will all come tumbling down.
Then I wonder, what would happen if it did just fall apart? If all my Jenga pieces just came crashing down?
I have no clue. That’s a lie. I do know somewhere deep down that it would all be okay. That somehow life would keep going, it always does. Time never stands still (no matter how hard I may try, but that’s an entirely different story). So often, I find myself falling into the trap that I can’t let my Jenga tower fall. It needs to stay standing even if it has become so wobbly that the slightest gust of wind could send it plummeting. I find myself holding on desperately to the pieces, because I think it makes me look strong. If my tower falls and I get behind on school work, or spend less time with girls, or am just more needy in general, then what? Am I still “so strong?”
There are (at least) two things wrong with this picture:
1.I am measuring strength wrong. What looks like strength is just a mask. It is really avoidance. I am so afraid of falling apart. It’s messy and painful. I do not want to be there, no one does. Here’s a trick, when you play Jenga, if you don’t want to tower to fall, just don’t touch it. In fact, you can just ignore it. Leave that ugly weak tower on the brink of collapse in the corner of the room, and it will never fall. You don’t even have to look at it! It’s a great trick that I use often. The reality of it is I’m not any stronger for ignoring my collapsing tower. In fact, I’m taking the easier way out. I’m neglecting the structurally unsound tower that is my life right now out of fear. Not strength. It is taking relatively little strength to keep going. It would take real strength to actually fix the tower.
2. I am assuming its all my job. It is my job to protect the unsteady tower. It would be my responsibility if it fell, and it would be my responsibility to rebuild the tower. That is giving myself way too much credit. The reality is Jesus wants to do all of that for me. He wants me to allow Him to fix the tower. The only thing I really need to do is step aside. I don’t need to be afraid rebuilding. Not only does Jesus want to rebuild it for me, but He wants to take away all those broken blocks that I have used for so long. He want to replace them with new ones. If I want a safer tower, what I need to do is allow the Lord to see the shaky one and let Him rebuild it.
That sounds super easy. It does not seem that easy to me. I have held on to this broken tower for so long, it is all I know. It is scary to have to start over again. I am trying though (contrary to some people’s belief). I have started to see a new counselor, and eating disorder specialist, to be exact. To me, just going to my first appointment is a step in knocking down my tower. The eating disorder has been a broken block built into the foundation of my tower for as long as I can remember. I have started down a new path of rebuild hopefully. I’m trusting that all of the new actions I am taking will lead to healing. If I’m being honest, I don’t always feel it. It just feels like my tower is crumbling. I’m not feeling the beauty of the Lord’s rebuilding. Good thing that Jesus’ promises are still good even if I don’t “feel” it right now.