I sat quietly in the waiting room with tears streaming down my face. My unstable emotions were even catching me off guard. I was so tired of feeling weak.

After all, I’m the one who’s always supposed to have it all together.

And oh, how I long to be that person: the low-maintenance one who always encourages; the one who always has a smile on my face, is generous with my time, and helps ease the burdens of others. I despise neediness in myself. Call it mercy, call it middle-child-syndrome, or call it a bad case of wanting to be in control. Whatever it is, it just plain stinks when you’re not.

The week before, our like family small group had overwhelmed us with love and practical care. My husband and I sat on our living room floor and wept as our friends surrounded us and lifted our sick little boy up to our capable Father. He alone could make him well in a moment, but for His glory and our good, He had taken us on medical journey that had lasted years.

A crazy hereditary condition had landed us in children’s hospital waiting rooms far more often than we would have liked. As far as conditions go, we always knew that it was “fixable,” but the road would be uncomfortable. Our kids would endure test after test and difficult hospitalizations, and I’d cry hard tears with each visit as I listened to my sweet toddlers cry out, “Aaalllll done, Mama. Aaalllll done.”  It sometimes seemed unfair that so many other couples had such healthy kids, but on my unselfish days, it especially seemed unfair that our kids would get through this while other children with more severe health issues weren’t looking at outcomes as optimistic as ours. The waves of emotions alone were honestly more than this seemingly all-together girl had signed up for.

The waiting room chairs were hard and uncomfortable, a perfect match to the state of my heart. Some stranger had wheeled my boy through those doors without me hours before, and now surgery was taking much longer than expected. For Your glory and my good, God? No, thank you. My Bible was open to the Psalms, the pages now wet; first with fear, and then with tears begging for forgiveness for my doubt in the One who holds all things together.

I was so tired of not having it all together. And now I wanted to cry out, “All done, Father. I don’t want to carry this anymore.”

But God meant it for good.

Those familiar words from Genesis kept pressing in on the walls of my hard heart, reminding me that in each victory and each set-back in life, God has a greater goal than my comfort in mind. It’s actually through those vulnerable times when I don’t have it all together {which, let’s face it, is all the time} that I’ve come to understand more of who He is.

The God who forms in the womb, who sees my every thought and need, who loves me in spite of myself – He understands and has compassion for me in my weakness. He willingly walked a road that no perfect man deserved and sympathizes with my suffering – no matter how big, or how seemingly insignificant. And praise God that He loves me too much to leave me immature and lacking.

God, the Master Weaver. He stretches the yarn and intertwines the colors, the ragged twine with the velvet strings, the pains with the pleasures. Nothing escapes his reach. Every king, despot, weather pattern, and molecule are at his command. He passes the shuttle back and forth across the generations, and as he does, a design emerges. Satan weaves; God reweaves. ~ Max Lucado

The good about not having it all together?

My dependence is greater.

My priorities are refigured.

My will is broken.

My heart is made tender.

My compassion grows stronger.

My ministry becomes more effective.

God shines brighter… for my good, and His glory.

I’ve learned over the years that all-together people don’t exist. And I’ve also learned that even if they did, I don’t want to be one of them. In my weakness, I’ve seen more of Christ, and He is more beautiful than before. 

I’ve watched Him weave this grace-laced story – messy and twisted underneath – into a magnificent, intentional, and clearer presentation for the world to see more of Jesus in me. I’ve learned that the world doesn’t need one more pseudo all-together Jesus-follower. The world just needs Jesus.

So mold me to be more like you, Father. Whatever it takes. Because nothing escapes your reach, my confidence is in You. Shine brighter, for my good, and Your glory.

“But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” – 2 Corinthians 12:9

Let’s Talk: What has God taught YOU in your weakness?

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