Grace… and the Mean Girl.

Grace… and the mean girl.  She’s back. Meaner than ever, she’s managed to keep me in tears nearly all freaking day.

The art of self-kindness is hard.  Really really hard.  Today is no exception.  I’ve been working on trying to be kinder to myself, to give myself more grace, to give those around me more grace and it’s been tough.  mean girl poster

Often, I don’t or won’t ask for help, simply because if something is going to fail or mess up, I’d rather it be on me, than me allowing someone else in to my groove and creating even the chance of something going amiss. Professionally, personally, it just shows up.  I struggle with my weight, I’ll make NO bones about it, and this morning, it was called out by the inner mean girl occupying way too much real estate in my head. She’s downright mean about where I am with my weight. “Why can’t I just fix it? Just stop this, don’t do that — do more of this.” So. Much. Noise.  My all out defiance to ask for help also bit me professionally this week.  It. Just. Sucks. I’m sitting in the same space as the mean girl and today she’s winning. Overwhelmed, I don’t know where to start — what’s the first step? Presuming I take the first… do I know where the second is? What the second is? I paralyze myself.  There is zero grace in a self-imposed paralytic state.

Rock bottom, however, is the place many Christians try desperately to avoid. It’s the antithesis of the American Dream. Ironically, however, everyone who lives long enough knows suffering, or rock bottom, is inevitable. Everyone eventually meets that one situation beyond their control or capability. In this moment, you find the answer to the most important question of your life, “Will you try harder or look higher?”

Suffering isn’t failure. It can be a gift, an opportunity to see God’s grace, maybe for the first time. Suffering takes away our control, along with our talents, good works, and fool-proof plans. But it’s here, with nothing left, that we might just be desperate enough to seek God.

I was asked this weekend what I do? How do I stop the mean girl from rearing her head and opening her mouth? Rarely, do I catch her before the words escape, in fact, most often, I catch her after the damage is done, so is the case today. So again, let’s chalk one up to the mean girl, she’s won another battle, for a moment. The war rages on.

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