My life is not shiny right now. It’s collecting dust. A dull sheen is covering over it, hiding really important things about me. I feel old. I feel slow. I feel stuck.
I have spent so much of my adulthood praying for strength to get through. Gritting my teeth, grasping onto the steering wheel while my knuckles turn white, determined not to be “one of those” who let go. No matter what.
But somewhere along the way, I unclenched my fingers and let go. Somewhere along the way, I felt released and then stopped trying to hang on in my own strength.
So now I’m in between. I’m leaving behind a life full of choices that I no longer recognize. And I’m walking toward a future that I cannot make out to save my life. I have no idea, really, what’s ahead. But even in my current lackluster state – filled with elements that I cannot control no matter what I try – I can feel something stirring up in me.
I may not know what circumstances are coming up around the bend for me, but I do know that there is a different kind of strength just beginning to take root.
I used to have “the grim strength of gritting your teeth” (Colossians 1:11a, Msg) but now I feel “the glory-strength God gives” forming in my soul (Colossians 1:11b, Msg).
And it is a different kind of strength…one that “spills over into joy, thanking the Father who makes us strong enough to take part in everything bright and beautiful that he has for us” (Colossians 1:12, Msg).
In this moment, if I’m totally honest with myself, I am not strong enough to take part in everything bright and beautiful. I’m pretty much barely strong enough to handle remembering to buy milk and return library books on time. I’m accidentally throwing out my daughter’s next season of clothing and it’s slipping my mind to ask my friends how they’re doing. I’m crying in store parking lots, which, I suppose is better than crying in actual stores, but I’ve done that too. I’m taking naps…and I’m forty, not four. My strength is not a bright and beautiful kind of strength today.
However, God promises that it will be…someday. And today, that is all I need to know.