Admissions of Human Frailty

She feels like a hypocrite, vacillating between what looks like tremendous outward strength, and catastrophic inward crumbling. The stress is getting to her, and some days she can’t even keep food down. The stinging shame of this makes her want to hide, and, yet she is praised for looking good, and this confuses her even more. She can see how a young woman might get an eating disorder, and she is grateful she is old enough to know better- and then she laughs at her own hubris.

She is struggling with making herself do the right things- and procrastinating almost everything. Her grades are not what she wants them to be- but still certainly passable. She isn’t sleeping much, and maybe vanity might be enough to get her to start taking better care of herself. She hasn’t even been writing much, because she wants to put a good face forward- where did that come from, she wonders? She’s always been nakedly honest in her writing.

Some days she feels like she can conquer the world, that she is bright enough, driven enough, and strong enough to take it all on. Other days, she cowers in fear that she can’t actually do it, and if anyone could really see inside her, they would know what a broken mess she actually is. She fears she is failing her kids in the drive to finish school, but she cannot see another way- if she slows down, she doesn’t trust herself. A long trail of broken dreams and ashes litter the road behind her, and she fears stopping to breathe might cause her to drop her basket.

She doesn’t know what else to do, so she falls to her knees and weeps into her folded arms. How is it desperation is what breaks us and brings us to our God? Tears soak her cheeks and lashes and she pours her broken heart, her dark fears, and her fragile, thin hopes- and pleads with her God for his mercy. She only knows she cannot do it alone- and maybe, she wonders, if realizing this yet again is the first step to finding her whole self…

Her tiny mustard seed is this: she knows she has seen but a fraction of the light God has planned for her, but it’s up to her to trust and allow those hands to guide her life. There is simply no other way.

10 thoughts on “Admissions of Human Frailty

  1. Tracy, love and prayers…
    Your writing is hauntingly beautiful, raw and naked.
    Hold on tight…”Her tiny mustard seed is this: she knows she has seen but a fraction of the light God has planned for her, but it’s up to her to trust and allow those hands to guide her life. There is simply no other way.”
    Love you!

  2. “She hasn’t even been writing much, because she wants to put a good face forward- where did that come from, she wonders?”

    I think it is human nature to want to balance out the raw posts with the “but look at these other ways in which I’m pretty together and awesome” posts. I usually feel self-conscious after I’ve written something in which I admit to my human frailty. I really appreciate your authenticity.

    And I think your kids will love and respect you for pushing so hard to get through school.

  3. It’s been my experience that people who do manage a measure of success in life usually just barely manage it by their teeth. God seems to want to stretch and test us in this life, it’s a funny thing.
    But I suspect you fear of failing has some PTSD in it. Allow for that.

  4. So beautifully put. Remember that none of us really have all of it together all of the time. Like you, we put up a brave front and crumble in private moments. Thank goodness we have that line of communication with God to pour out all of our worries and fears. What a gift to know that He hears us and loves us.

    Hang in there!

  5. she is only human..can only do so much on her own…and worries about her children, schooling, money, etc…. but she will continue to work hard..breathe deeply and love her children immensely… and she will succeed . You can do this…try not to be hard on yourself.

    and sometimes..chocolate and an icy dr. pepper doesn’t hurt!

  6. It is hard to admit our frailties… our vulnerability… our inability to be absolutely perfect. Circumstances may be different, but I think you are in good company, Tracy. Every one of us feels this way at some point. The balance of the challenges may vary, but the feelings are much the same.

    For me, my healing began when I finally reached the point when I could be honest with myself and with others and admit my vulnerability… admit that I needed help… admit that I could not do it all, all the time. It is a heady feeling of freedom to let go of those unrealistic expectations. Opening myself up like that was hard, but once I did, it was amazing how much easier it became to carry my burdens and deal with my challenges. My friends’ mercy helped me see and believe once again in God’s mercy.

    For what it’s worth, I respect and admire you and your efforts – even when you feel you are catastrophically crumbling. It’s okay to be a broken mess. I think the eventual success comes in how you pick up the pieces and what you do with them.

  7. I “schedule” my tears for the end of the week lest I have to go to class with my eyes puffy and red. Sometimes it won’t wait and I run back to my closet to cry so I don’t scare my little ones.

    Sometimes my kids dress themselves from the dryer….not just the basket (or pile) of clean laundry.

    We also use disposable plates, cups, etc when I’ve just got to squeeze every possible moment of time for my studies.

    I’ve done my hair twice this year. Once to see my attorney and the second time “just because”. It’s always pulled back in what my classmates call my “Mary Poppins” bun….as if it were really so neat. And forget the make-up. I did take time once to priss up a bit and my classmates (some I’ve known for months now) didn’t recognize me.

    I don’t have it together yet it looks to others as if I do. Just my emerging from my home every morning with dressed, fed, and rested children in tow, is an accomplishment. Sometimes I feel like such a zombie and have to demand that my legs carry me wherever it is I need to go.

    The dreams that I had for my family are still smoldering. I’ve read, “nothing dies harder, longer, or more painfully than a dream”. It’s as if my chest could burst at times, the pain pressing and rising until I can’t pin it down another moment. Somehow I’ve got to give everything my very best when I’m really tapped out entirely.

    Life is 100 miles per hour, and I’ve not really started the really tough parts…not yet….but I get it. There just isn’t a lot that can be done to help out. It’s all small needs or last-minute like an unscheduled tantrum from one of the Littles the night before a major exam, folding clothes, cooking dinner, reading to the kids…..stuff that was meant for two people to do together but that was left for just me. I ask for prayers from anyone and everyone. Those specific, call-out-my-name-to-the-Lord kind of prayers that boost my spirits when I feel them pronounced. When so much is left for me to do, and I feel so small against it all, I don’t know what else to ask for.

    Sometimes “I can do this”….and in others it’s all I can do to peel myself from my bed in the morning.

    I am cheering for us both. We will make it because we have to. “Needs must” stinks, but it’s just got to be worth it….right?

  8. So many parts of this could have come straight from my head and heart–sometimes I feel like I could take on the world and nothing could ever seem wrong again. Other times I feel like I am on the verge of something horrific.

  9. They way I have come to see it is not to be fearful of the test, but grateful that God believes you can make it through to the end. Once we have followed in obedience to that, another test will emerge, but we will also grow in strength, not of our own abilities, but what God has given to us through His grace. You as a human being can make it through little, but as a child of God can make it through more than you can ever imagine. Stop hanging on to the cliff with your fingernails and just fall, get in His word, and go willingly with full trust and you will find peace….regardless of the chaos that surrounds you! ❤

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