Faith and Religion

You Can’t Bootstrap Your Way Through This

I missed last week’s Lent reflection. It was a “snow day” here and I couldn’t manage to sit and write it out. It’s been so cold and wet here. It’s sunny today – warmer, but still damp. I feel damp and soggy in my convictions lately too. Numb from the cold from the outside in somehow.

I guess I’m probably not cut out for anywhere up North, but I probably could have told you that anyway. I’m going to go ahead and journal a little here for the day, instead of in my pen and paper journal and we’ll go from there.


The verse that is coming to mind to me today is this:

My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise.
 Psalm 51:17

And this one

The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
 Psalm 34:18

We try so hard not to be broken, not to show ourselves as broken. Or at least, not for too long. Not so long that we might be mistaken as depressed or messed up. We try not to inconvenience anyone with our brokenness. We try not to make it weird or uncomfortable for people who just don’t know what to do with such raw truth.

We like to be neatly broken. Just broken enough that we can share that we were hurt, we were scared, we were in the depths. But now, now we are in the light, we are healing, we are better. And really, we just want it to be over.

Or is that just me?

I know it’s not. I’ve sat in front of too many broken people to believe it’s just me. I don’t have any answers for that. For how to be broken out in the real world.

But I do have those verses. I do know that Christ was broken and I do know that God doesn’t need me to be “all better”.

That’s the thing about God, about getting close to God. The more you sink in to faith and grace and mercy and love, the more you just break – all the time.

It’s not our strength that will save us. It’s not our intelligence or our resources or our abilities of any sort. They all fall short. Everything falls short. And we fall over and over. And we can fall into the pain that is this earthly struggle or we can fall straight through that into the arms of mercy and grace. And love. We can just fall right straight through the pain and failure and brokenness right into big, unwavering, celestial love.

Or we can try to grab on to something on the way down, try to pull ourselves up, try to stay here and prove ourselves. I keep doing that, even though I hate it. I hate that, it’s so incredibly exhausting.

It is in the letting go that we are gathered up and gathered close to the heartbeat of the heavens.

We can’t bootstrap our way through this. Lord, forgive us for trying.

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Let’s just lay them down. Let’s just lay those bootstraps down. The One who loves us can offer us so much more than we can ever offer ourselves or one another on our own. It’s just so insane that we try to do this, that we try to do any of this like we’re able. Like we’re able to do this. We can’t even spot heaven without the help of heaven itself, reaching towards us.

I know it’s foolish. I know I’ll still try to do it again, on my own, my memory painfully short sometimes, caught up in this place. But today, right now, I want to lay it down.



What I’ve been using so far through Lent-

She Reads Truth app (Lent Devotion)

Spotify hymns playlist

Divine Office app

Pen and paper journal

I’ve been using these sporadically, though I have been using at least one of them daily. I have yet to use some of the other resources I’ve listed. I hope to dig in a little more in the next few weeks.


Worry wise, I have noticed a decrease in anxious thoughts/feelings overall. some days and situations are more challenging than others. I love when I remember that worry is wrong. Because I hate it, but sometimes I feel like it’s what I’m “supposed” to do. I love remembering that it’s not, but then I do struggle a little with really trusting that God is good, God’s love for me is perfect, and God is able to do all things necessary to take care of me.

Your turn:

How is this Lenten season going for you?


2 thoughts on “You Can’t Bootstrap Your Way Through This

  1. have you heard the new song “broken together”? It fills my heart everyone I hear it and this entry is so similar. I think we’re all guilty of worrying and trying to not appear “broken” but being human is being broken, so it’s a never-ending battle. Love your words!

  2. Remeber the last part of the 1st verse of “Jesus Loves Me”? “…when I am weak, He is strong. You are right about not needing to be fixed or to fix ourselves. Jesus love to show his strength thru us and our brokeness and weaknesses.

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