The Breakfast Club

My mom raised me to love the 80’s, especially Molly Ringwald. Sixteen Candles is my all time favorite Molly movie , but The Breakfast Club also holds a special place in my heart. I hope you’ve seen The Breakfast Club, if you haven’t I’ll still try to speak truth to you…but watch the movie.

So the movie starts out with a disparate group of high school students. The princess, the athlete, the outcast, the brain, and the rebel are all confined to their school library serving a Saturday detention. They each have a chance to share their own personal stories of the pressure in their lives, and come to find that they are not really as different as they once thought. They all face the same pressures to be accepted by their parents, their friends, and themselves. They wonder then at the end of the movie if school will ever really be the same because of their new found freedom. They now have the freedom to open up to themselves and others, and share the struggles they are going through.

This made me think of my adult life now, and the new level of pressures I face. Wife life, Motherhood, adulting, work life, social life. All of these things bring pressure when we let them. I think sometimes as an adult we are prisoners to our loneliness as we go through these pressures. We think others have it all together, that they don’t understand, and that we must try our darnedest to not let them see us failing.

I think this because I’m guilty of it. I’m guilty of the pressure of comparison, the pressure of maintaining my worth, the pressure of staying in control. It’s really exhausting. But what’s even more frustrating is that I know there is a freedom from all of this, and I don’t pursue it near hard enough. And if I don’t pursue it, knowing how freeing it can be, who is going to hand it out to others? How can others be free if no one else is strong enough to lead them to freedom?

“But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them?”

‭‭Romans‬ ‭10:14‬ ‭NLT‬‬

We have to be more intentional and authentic with the people in our lives. We have to put down our phones, put down our fronts, get off our stages, and meet people right where they are. We need our own breakfast clubs. Lock us all up somewhere to tell truths, so that we too can be free from the labels we’ve put on ourselves.

Truth says that we are already free if we want to be. Our freedom was bought and paid for a long time ago by a God who’s just waiting for us to accept it. That’s the truth we need to be speaking to each other in our breakfast clubs, over coffee, at dinner tables, and on living room floors.

What would happen to our relationships if we took more time to share God’s freedom? What would happen to our workplaces, our schools, our communities, ourselves? What would happen if we all began living the free life?

One of my favorite Christian songs right now is Death was Arrested by North Point InsideOut. The last two verses say this:

“Released from my chains I’m a prisoner no more

My shame was a ransom He faithfully bore

He cancelled my debt and He called me His friend

When death was arrested and my life began

Oh, Your grace so free

Washes over me

You have made me new

Now life begins with You

It’s your endless love

Pouring down on us

You have made us new

Now life begins with You

Our savior displayed on a criminal’s cross

Darkness rejoiced as though heaven had lost

But then Jesus arose with our freedom in hand

That’s when death was arrested and my life began”

“But then Jesus arose with our Freedom in hand,” I know it’s silly but when I hear this line, I always picture Jesus with his fist in the air just like Judd Nelson at the end of The Breakfast Club. John Bender was finally free from being just the rebel. He no longer had to bear the pressures of his life alone.

We can rise up from the pressures in this life with our freedom in hand just as victoriously. We can walk straight into a brand new life. The kids from The Breakfast Club may not have been raising their fists for the freedom in Christ, but they taught me that I need to do a much better job of accepting and sharing the truth.

Give Me a Word

I’ve just really needed a word. To read a word to hear a word, to see a word from God. I just wanted it and needed it. But it didn’t come. I couldn’t hear it. I couldn’t see it, I couldn’t write it, or feel it. I would read the most beautiful writings from people who did have a word, yet I’d be left feeling empty. I was feeling empty because I was empty. You see I was trying to fill up my cup, but I kept dumping it out because it didn’t fill up with what I thought it should. Those words just didn’t taste sweet and they were getting hard to swallow, surely they’re not for me. I’d rather spit them out than drink them in. I was refusing to choke down a word I didn’t want to feel.

God was giving me a word. He was giving me a lot of words. Just not words I thought I needed. I guess I was expecting that my words from God should all be audible and sweet. He’s a good good father right? (He really is)

I remember a friend growing up whose mom always gave her medicine mixed in her applesauce so that it would go down sweet. So she wouldn’t have to swallow that bitter pill. I guess I thought a word from God would be that way too. That a word from God would just be an immediate calm hand placed on my shoulder. A salve on my wounds. A stirring song in my heart. (A word from God is all of these things)

But now I see that God wants us to feel that clear difference between the bitter and the sweet so that we can appreciate his goodness even when life tastes awful. Sometimes we just need to swallow a bitter pill to get our attention that something needs to change. That maybe we are too much us and not enough him. Maybe he’s asking us to make a correction. Maybe he was asking me to make a correction when I didn’t think anything was wrong.

1 My children, listen when your father corrects you. Pay attention and learn good judgment, 2 for I am giving you good guidance. Don’t turn away from my instructions. (‭Proverbs‬ ‭4‬:‭1-2‬ NLT)

God was giving me so many words, but it was me who was not applying them, yet still expecting to feel a change in my life. The words were all good, but I placed them on other people instead of myself. “That’s a good word for her. That’s a good word for him. That’s a good word for them. That’s a good word for anyone but me.”

So I’d write down the words and in my notebook, they would stay. They’d sit there until I could share them with the person that I thought needed them. Meanwhile, I just kept thirsting for my word. Where is it, God? I’m right here waiting and asking and begging just to hear from you.

So today I opened my notebook and read the words I’d scribbled two months ago.

“It can be easy to get so focused on the darkness around us that we never address the darkness in us.”

This was my word.

This was my word and I didn’t want it to be. Who wants to address darkness in their own life? I don’t. I really really don’t. And that’s why this is my word. And that’s why I need to. God saw my desire to help others in their darkness, but he also saw me shoving mine deeper and deeper down in my heart. He saw the stress, anxiety, worry, doubt, anger, fear, and ugliness closing in on me. He saw it all, gave me a word, and told me to obey.

What is darkness? Anything keeping me from the light right? Darkness doesn’t have to be ugly, and usually, it isn’t. That’s why it’s so easy to hide. But darkness builds and burdens and eventually snuffs out our lights and consumes our lives.

God saw my darkness and wanted me to recognize that life is so much sweeter when lived in the light. In his light.

“For their command is a lamp and their instruction a light; their corrective discipline is the way to life.” Proverbs‬ ‭6:23‬ ‭

Now he’s asking me to obey and it’s really really hard because it’s so much easier to clutch my lists and my control over my life to my chest and do everything myself. Because that’s what I know, and that’s been my security for so long. Nothing bad can happen to me if I’m in control. But it’s not working anymore and the darkness is creeping back up and trying to get out.

God says it won’t be easy. So far I’ve learned his commands on our lives never are. In fact, I think the more you say Yes to God, the more he asks of you. So now it’s my word. My word from God is loud and clear and the choice is mine to take it or hand it over to someone it’s not meant for.