Just Holding on for Tonight
photo credit I remember when Sia's "Chandelier" single was released. There is something about the song that grabs my attention. The song is about living the life of a party girl who doesn't have to think too much, or feel anything, so long as she keeps knocking back the drinks. However, despite the attempts she makes to drown out her hurt and pain, her brokenness always comes seeping through. In one verse, she writes, "Sun is up. I'm a mess. Gotta get out now, gotta run from this. Here comes the shame. Here comes the shame."
The one line that captures the whole message of the song is this: "Keep my glass full until morning light, cause I'm just holding on for tonight." The song has got me to start thinking...how many of us are just holding on for tonight? How many of us are not living but merely surviving? How many of us live day to day self-medicating (in whatever way that may be) in an attempt to drown out the memories of what has broken us? My fear is that many of us have lost our ability to dream.
My fear is that many have been beaten down so many times, lied to, lied about, left, betrayed and alone for so long that they have lost their vision for something better and brighter. As children we all dream of becoming firefighters, doctors, lawyers, singers, actors and astronauts. But by the time we reach adulthood, many can't imagine anything past the current moment they are in. Many don't get beyond the mere hope that they'll find a way to escape the pain for just one night. My pastor has said it many times that you will know the level of a person's despair, by simply asking what they are dreaming about. If they tell you they don't dream at all, you know they have lost their hope.
If this is where you are at today, I want to encourage you to begin to dream again. You may feel like you have lost the ability to dream, but God has never stopped dreaming for you. God is confident in His plans for you (Jer. 29:11). He sees you in your desperate and broken state and desires nothing more than to give you hope. At those times where you can't seem to see past the night, He wants to begin to reveal to you the future that He has laid out for you. His desire is to squeeze you so tight and love you so hard that the pain melts away and your heart becomes soft again.
Here's the thing though: Eventually, you are going to have to stop running from the pain and face it head on. Eventually, you will have to stop trying to escape the hurt, because let's face it, you were never really able to escape it anyways. Eventually, you are going to have to confront each lie that rears it's ugly head and allow the truth of God to wash over you until His love heals your broken heart. His voice sounds like this: I love you. I have chosen you.
When the world turns it's back on you, I never leave you.
You belong to me.
I remember a time, when I was so hurt and broken that all I wanted to do was curl up in a ball, throw the covers over my head and escape life. I was smack dab in the middle of a situation that cut right through me, dragging each hurt, lie and insecurity to the surface, until I had no choice but to look at the ugliness of all that was lurking in the darkness of my heart. I cried out to Jesus and an incredible thing happened. Jesus gave me the strength to keep standing. When I looked closely and examined the contents of my heart through the lens of God's love, I began to recognize the lies as lies. And I began to see that the love of my Savior was more powerful than my brokenness. It was as though Jesus had handed me a sledgehammer and as I walked hand in hand with him, I smashed through my fear, I smashed through the insecurity and I smashed through each lie. All the while, Jesus was causing me to embrace His love for me in such a way that I finally began to realize that it's not my brokenness that defines me, but rather the God who allowed himself to become broken on the cross, so that I may become whole.
So let's stop merely surviving and let's start living. Let's become warriers. Let's face our fears, our hurts, and our pain head on. Let's be alive again and free. Instead of just holding on for tonight, let's start dreaming again for tomorrow.
But He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." (2 Cor. 12:9)