While doing an exercise on sharing what’s under our mask some insight came to me. Many of my weaknesses I sought to fight and/or hide has become instruments of grace in my life.

My loneliness and self-doubts were internal companions once thought of as destructive. I both feared and hated feeling any insecurity. Now they have become welcomed parts of myself as I have been learning to lead with brokenness. They were once instruments of the enemy and now have become instruments of grace. Weakness stops being something feared but something loved.

So I thought of how it changed and I recognized a movement of these from my youth to my old age. I came up with five phases how the weaknesss/brokenness we deal with moves from disgrace to glory. These are just some thoughts about these phases.

Live out of it unaware
In my youth I wasn’t really aware of my insecurities. They just ran my life. Ugh. Those were definitely places of darkness. I am glad the light came in.

Become aware of it and try to defeat it
There came a point that I realized these insecurities however they were pointed out to me. I sought to overcome them, compensate for them or hide them from others. Oh yeah. That was successful. Not.

Realize your helplessness of it and feel defeated
So came the even more painful place of realizing in and of myself I can’t defeat them. It becomes a very discouraging and even hopeless for this place it not for the stream through all these phases that God promises something great out of brokenness.

Learn to accept it and work with it
There is a turn around in this phase. Something starts being okay with these internal companions. They are not friends yet but they become useful for me. Spiritually, they keep me humble and they even serve to be helpful when doing ministry. I start recognizing their work of good in me.

Learn to embrace it and recognize the power of grace out of it
This is the completed 180 degree turn around. It is the ‘power is made perfect’ place. I am good with my weaknesses and see how they are given to me even as beloved companions for the journey of becoming more like Jesus.

These phases are cyclical. We return and repeat them in our journey. At certain times we mainly are living out of one phase. We cannot hurry through them. We can get stuck in them. Many are stuck resisting these gifts of grace. But the grace of God seeks to bring about a great transformation when these weaknesses and broken parts of us is our glory, not our disgrace.