As someone who has spent her life focusing on her flaws, worried about tomorrow, playing the comparison game, feeling inadequate, and questioning whether anything in her life has made a difference- it is a miracle to see me now and how my whole world has changed. I’m not necessarily a different person because I still have my weaknesses; rather I have a new mindset, I’ve been set free, and I’m perfectly OK with being a cracked pot.
You see- I now view myself and life from a very different perspective. Yes, little ole’ me who’s not even 5 feet tall is more than enough. I am free from anxiety, fear, worry, depression, low self-esteem, and a stifled self-confidence. I no longer need to compare myself with others. Freed to safely remove the mask that I wore for so many years. You know, the mask that advertises to the world that everything is rainbows and sunshine. The mask that speaks of perfection. The fake façade that social media promotes as a virtue. Yeah, that mask. Gone!
By now, I’m sure you are saying: "Good for you, but I'd love to know HOW.
Well, thankfully I wasn't struck by lightning or had a life-altering moment. Nothing that painful or complicated.
No, it was more of a process.
A process where I began to be open to the idea of exploring something new. Letting my guard down and simply submitting. It’s like being caught off-guard in an unexpected rain shower. A shower that bursts forth on a brilliantly sunny day that has no warning clouds in the sky. Yet, the rain comes with enough pressure to wash away the filth, and grime, and changes the whole landscape. It renews and refreshes. It transforms because you don’t run for cover. Instead, you willingly choose to stand in the rain. Exploring something new. You don’t care how you look; you don’t care if you get soaked- you completely surrender to the process.
I’m not saying that your life will be transformed if you just run out during the next rain shower on a sunny day.
Rather, the key is understanding and submitting to the “process” that a surrendered life with Jesus brings.
The results: a new perspective, a new creation, new freedom.
I believe the parable of “The Cracked Pot” is a lovely illustration of my point.
It goes like this:
“A water bearer in India had two large pots, each hung at the end of a pole which he carried across his neck. One of the pots had a crack in it, and while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water at the end of the long walk from the stream to the master’s house, the cracked pot arrived only half full.
For two years, this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water to his master’s house. Of course, the intact pot was proud of its accomplishments, complete to the end for which it was made. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection and miserable because it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do.
After two years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, the cracked pot spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream. “I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you”. The bearer asked, “Why? What are you ashamed of?” The pot replied, “For these past two years I was able to deliver only half of my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your master’s house. Because of my flaws, you don’t get full value for your efforts.”
The water bearer felt sorry for the cracked pot, and in his compassion, he said, “As we return to the master’s house, I want you to notice the beautiful flowers along the path.” As they went up the hill, the cracked pot took notice of the sun warming the beautiful wildflowers on the side of the path, and this cheered it somewhat. But at the end of the trail, it still felt bad because it had leaked out half its load, and so again it apologized to the bearer for its failure.
The bearer said to the pot, “Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of your path, but not on the other pot’s side? That’s because I have always known about your flaw, and I took advantage of it. I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walked back from the stream, you watered them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate my master's table. Without you being just the way you are, he would not have this beauty to grace his house.”
The moral of the story: we are all cracked pots, unique in the complexity of our flaws. Yet, when we surrender ourselves to the water bearer “Jesus” and we allow ourselves to be seen and used (just as we are) then it is in this process with Jesus that our significance is revealed. Our flaws and weaknesses can be just what the Lord needs to accomplish His purposes.
Like the flowers that adorned the master’s table, our flaws can be used for something beautiful. In the right hands, with the right plan.
If you’re ready to start the process for yourself, there are only a few initial steps:
1. Acknowledge your cracks.
2. Accept that it is a waste of time to compare yourself with others- you will always be different. You are unique. Period. There is no other creation like you.
3. Remove “perfectionism” from your vocabulary. God is the only one that can claim perfection.
4. Don’t conform to what the world says- rather be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Pay attention to the voices that you listen to- God’s truths should always ring louder!
5. Embrace a new perspective! There is freedom in being Ok with who you are- right where you are- as God can take our weaknesses and turn them into strengths. He can take our struggles and grief and turn them into blessings. God can take our faults and messes and make something beautiful.
God can do…. anything.
If you are willing to give God your cracked pot, surrender yourself to His truth, and trust Him – He will set you free!
“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”
(Dedicated to my sweet friend Lechelle. A beautiful soul who embraced her imperfections, lived her life boldly, and showered those along her path with love, grace, and faith.)