Beauty in the Broken

Last week was a rough one for me. Not only was I physically ill, but when I was at my lowest, someone innocuously opened an old wound from my past. It wasn’t their fault. They didn’t and still don’t have any idea. But, for me, it is very raw, and I’m still working through it with God. Because of that wound being opened and another situation that developed at the end of the week, I was very glad to see Saturday come.

You might wonder why I write all of this. In the midst of my prayers for healing and grace, I came across something I wanted to share. It was a phrase I saw online. The phrase is the title of this post–Beauty in the Broken. It resonated with me because we are all broken. There are things that won’t be completely healed until we are with our Lord and Savior. But, God is wanting to work a healing in our hearts now. He wants to be let into the deepest parts of us so He can do His work of healing. That’s where I am now–letting God’s love soothe my soul and ease my pain. For me, this is the easy part, easy being a relative term. I fully trust in my Lord and Savior’s love and what that love can accomplish.

No, the hard thing for me is sharing my pain with the community around me. Don’t get me wrong. I live life with a wonderful community of believers, and we have shared a lot of life together. I consider them to be just as much family as my own husband and children. But, when I feel as broken as I do now, it’s hard to share my brokenness with others. I think that’s something we’re all afraid of. We’re afraid to let down our shields and show our true selves. I don’t know about the rest of you, but sometimes I’m fearful of sharing with my faith community because I’m afraid I’ll lose them if I show my true self.

Now, you’re probably thinking she’s irrational, right? If she has such a wonderful faith community, why would she be afraid to share with them?  Yes, I will admit fear does play a part; a big part, but I think it’s more that I’m still coming to terms with the beauty in my brokenness. Coming to terms with showing it. God means for us to live in community where showing brokenness should be okay. But from what I’ve read and what I know from other people and my own feelings, it’s not. At least it’s not for certain types of brokenness.

Is there a way to sort through all of this? A way to become comfortable with showing brokenness? The first way, of course, is through prayer. Talking to God and asking Him to lead you to a supportive faith community is a good start to defeating the lies of Satan. Second, realize there is beauty in whatever brokenness you have. You are saved by God’s grace, and He will never let go. And finally, do your best to trust the people around you and share your brokenness. That last one is the hardest one for me, and I’m not sure when I’ll get there. But, I know with God’s help, it will happen!

God’s blessings on you today!

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The Names of Jesus

During my devotion time on Mondays, I usually read any devotions I missed from the weekend as well as the one for Monday. One of the ones I read talked about what I’m going to talk about today–the names of Jesus.

While several names are listed in Scripture, there can be no argument about what they represent which is life changing power. Wow! Life changing power for just a name? Yes, it’s the truth.

Let me list some of the names and see if you might agree. Lord. Immanuel. The Living Word. The Prince of Peace. The God of Our Salvation. The Promised One. Jesus is the One who saves us from our sins; the One who heals us; the One who is everything regardless of how deep a pit we are in. That resonates with me because I have been in the pit so many times. Jesus is always with me though and always helps me to climb out no matter how badly I’ve messed up.

I would encourage you to look at each of these names and reflect on what they mean. Reflect on how each one is part of God’s promise that He will never let go of any of us, no matter how dark it may seem, and that we who believe will be with Him in eternity.

God’s blessings on you today!

Seeking and Finding God

Jeremiah 29:13

“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”

It’s been almost three years since I’ve come back to faith. Almost three years since my older son asked the question that changed my life. So, you would think I would have this seeking and finding God thing down. Some days I think I do, but then there are others…when life just overwhelms me, and I think, “What now, God?” Those are the days when I think of how nice it would be to be done, to be in my heavenly home, and not have to wonder why prayers for one person worked and why they didn’t for another.  Not have to wonder how I’m going to pay for something or even if I should because I’m not sure it’s in God’s will for me. Not have to wonder if my prayers are even reaching God’s ears.

There is an answer to these questions and wonderings though, and it has to do with the Bible verse at the beginning of this post. It says that we will find God when we seek Him with all our hearts. When bad things happen, it’s hard to keep seeking Him with “all our hearts”. Yes, we might keep seeking Him with some of our hearts, but the verse says we need to seek God with “all our hearts”.

How do we do that when our attention is diverted by the storms of life? It almost seems to me there needs to be a specific shift in our mindset. We need to consciously say to ourselves–“God, I’m going to keep seeking you even in this storm, and I know I will find you.” When we can do that, I believe we will find God even in the storms, even in the pit, even when there is nothing left.

God’s blessings on you today!

Grievous Sacred Moments

The title of this blog post was used in the sermon I heard on Sunday. It was a sermon on prayer and fasting. I’ve heard some sermons on prayer, good sermons, but I don’t think I’ve ever heard a sermon on prayer and fasting.

This post is not specifically about prayer and fasting though, but about my title, “Grievous Sacred Moments,” which was used during the sermon and which my pastor said we should all pray and fast our way through.

All of what was said was poignant with possibilities for me, but the first thing I want to do is define what “grievous sacred moments” are. Some of these moments are fairly obvious–like death and illness. Others not so much–like sin, threats, or enormous tasks. And I had never heard of praying and fasting through any of them. I wonder why that is, but, then, as soon as the question entered my mind, the answer did too. For me, these are moments that are sometimes too deep for words. Moments of deep inadequacy. Moments that you feel awkward about or feel aren’t worth asking prayer for because others’ prayer requests are more important.

Why is it there are certain moments that we take to God more than others? Why is it that we resist letting God, or others for that matter, in to the deepest parts of us?  I believe it is because we have a profound resistance to letting God in. And, as a Western Christian, I have even more difficulty because of the emphasis on individualism in this area of the world. The concept of community is harder for Western Christians because they are inundated with messages, even from the pulpit, that say they are supposed to rely on themselves and not on God and the community He has provided for them.

As I think of praying and fasting through grievous sacred moments, I believe that God might use this to break down my profound resistance and grow me into the disciple He wants me to be.  So, I am looking forward to what God is going to teach me over the next few weeks  as I learn to pray and fast my way through grievous sacred moments.

God’s blessings on you today.