The morning after a meltdown, the world looks a little fresher, don’t you think? I guess it’s got to do with your perspective snapping back so clearly after a moment of having it clouded with doubt, and sometimes, with tears. The world was looking pretty bright this morning.
I used to hope I wasn’t the only one, but now I know that I’m not, which is why I write these sorts of paragraphs. Some of my friends and family can’t believe I’d admit to hundreds of people–strangers!–that I have meltdowns. But I have no stock in the realm of life built on façades and fake smiles, and I’d rather let you know you’re not alone. This is the beauty of friends, right? People to reach out and say, “Hey, that’s normal. Me too.” So hear me, friend. It’s normal. Me too.
I had a meltdown because I had accidentally let my identity get wrapped up again in what I do. See, my whole life I’ve been able to tell you who I am like this: Good writer. Good student. Good friend. Good daughter. Good, good, good. In the past few years, though, I became discontent with being good at stuff, and that happened because God was trying to tell me He makes me extraordinary. And I believe Him. I believe that I am all of the things He says I am–terms of endearment that put “good” to shame–and I believe that He’s given me my talents and abilities to bring glory to His kingdom and I’m all, “Forge ahead! Yes, I am a beautiful child of God, and I am going to change the world!”
Except for when I’m not.
Except for when the paragraphs don’t seem brilliant enough. Except for when the test scores don’t seem high enough. Except for when the conversations aren’t seasoned enough. Except for when the hours don’t seem long enough, the outfit doesn’t seem cool enough, the to-do list doesn’t seem completed enough. Except for when the future doesn’t seem clear enough.
Ask my brain, and I will tell you the truth: I am blessed and highly favored. I am anointed. I am a child of God.
Ask me when I don’t feel good enough, and I can squeak out those words, but the tears in my eyes will betray me. I am a child of God, I am a child of God, I am a child of God–but what could He do with me? And I start to notice all the scrapes and dents in my life, the ones that could be shinier and straighter if only I could get it together, if only I could write better or know more answers or love more deeply. Sometimes, a meltdown ensues. Sometimes, I have to kneel and say, “Who am I?”
And if I quiet my soul, I can hear loud and clear: “My child.”
“See what [an incredible] quality of love the Father has given (shown, bestowed on) us, that we should [be permitted to] be named and called and counted the children of God! And so we are!” –1 John 3:1
I saw the sky tonight, and you guys know God is all about speaking to me through the sky. Like I have been a thousand times, I was taken by the beauty, and I sensed He was trying to say something. I listened, and this is what I heard:
“If I do this to the sky–if I make it brilliant every night, if I can make orange and red look new every day–if I do this to the sky, which can only shout my glory because I command it to do so–Well, what do you think I’m going to do with you?”
I am thankful he wants to paint brand-new orange and red all over my life. And I am thankful that He has reached down and stripped away any qualification or disclaimer, any success or failure, any sunshine or shadow that I could believe defines me, so that all I’m left with is all I need: child, daughter, beloved of God. Maybe that comes in the middle of a meltdown; I will let that happen.
Besides, the morning after that is beautiful indeed.