Hey- Did you hear the one about….??
I bet you thought I was going to tell you a joke, huh?
According to the title of this blog and its first line, if I were reading it, I would have thought that, too! We would both be laughing and having fun. But…things are often not as they appear!
Honestly, I have to share some rather revealing news with you, so bear with me as I try to be vulnerable and transparent. You are not the one “cracking me up!” You see, I’ve been cracked and broken for quite sometime - just not willing to face it or admit it to anyone! And that’s not funny! Sure, I know that we all face some breaks, and if the truth were known, we could probably all share a time when we were desperately on our face feeling as though the world would crumble in on top of us. That’s when we surrendered and came to know Christ as Savior. Yes, Savior! Saving us from ourselves, saving us from such pain, saving us from certain lifestyles, saving us from destruction. But ultimately, saving us from sin and death – separation from Him. Whew! Thank God for my Savior…literally!
One day this past week, feeling overwhelmed by the number of broken things around me, I needed an escape! A place for my eyes to rest and my emotions to stop escalating from everything I noticed – I needed a place to re-focus, calm down, and get back to my happy place! Surprisingly, I found myself at LA Office Supply. Ahhh! As I walked around and listened to the soft “elevator” music, I noticed the air in the building was cool, the shelves were neatly arranged. Everything was pristine, new and placed as if it were standing at attention, facing forward! It was a sea of papers, pens, markers, certificate frames, binders, and everything for “recording” purposes. I thought to myself, “here we all are, like little people, writing life…recording events…framing them…and all lined up, perfectly in order!” WHAT WAS I THINKING?!!!! Life is NEVER that way and people are certainly NOT! Messy is everywhere! And who has it all together anyway? No one! We are all broken. We all have some weakness. We are all hurting and have some sort of pain in our lives. It’s what we do with the brokenness that counts.
“Wounds can be openings to the beauty in us.
And our weaknesses can be a container for God’s glory.”
~ Ann Voskamp
God allows us to be “cracked up.” I have found that it is in brokenness and pain that I am drawn closer Him. He uses that in my life because often that’s what it takes to get my attention. It is His heart of love, sometimes tough love, that keeps me under His wing. I fall to my knees. My lamenting prayers are music to His ears for they are raw, unfiltered, and unedited. They come from a heart that realizes my only hope is Christ. And you know what, God often uses trusted people around me to show His love and remind me of hope. He orchestrates events and plans out moves like a life-sized chess game. Why even this week, God orchestrated a little drive that led me to a friends house. As it turned out in our conversation, she offered her backyard and deck (overlooking a creek) for me to pull away to write or simply enjoy some alone time with God. She had no clue that my heart had desired a place by some water to just sit and reflect! Isn’t God good?! He orchestrates life and events because He sees the bigger picture! Are we ever really going to trust His heart? I have to be reminded on a frequent basis that He knows what He is doing! …and it’s for my good!
It’s the same for you, my friend. When the days seem dark, life feels broken, painful, and you wonder if there’s anyone out there who cares, remember that Jesus does. He’s got you. He sends goodness your way and you can stop faking your broken life, your pain, and your hurt.
Again this week, I came across this little devotional and found it helpful. So helpful in fact, I felt as though I was chess piece God was using to share it with a friend. Here is the site incase you would also like to read it. The book, devo, and video are from Ester Fleece. (Disclaimer: I have not read the book, but it looks really interesting!)
Faithgateway Devotional from July 26, 2017 by Esther Fleece
We are all finding ways to cope with our brokenness. We are not alone for it is the way of life.
Be blessed and know that prayer is covering you every day, and when people forget and get too busy to remember and pray, we have Jesus who intercedes for us. Because He sits at the right hand of God Himself, I can just imagine Jesus whispering in His ear, on our behalf, telling him how much we mean to him and that we are his chosen and beloved bride. He want’s what is best for us because He loves us with all of His heart! Can’t you just imagine the throne room even now?!
The Broken Way by Ann Voskamp was recommended to me in January during a time when I was really struggling. When I felt to my wits end and needed to share, I must admit, my friend’s words were hard to swallow. She said, “My friend, you are broken. And it’s okay!” It was only then that the weight on my shoulders slid off and I confessed that she was right. I am broken. Have been. It’s okay. Jesus heals and restores my soul.
While I was writing this blog, I remembered one I wrote some long time back. If you are feeling broken today, I encourage you to read or re-read this blog as well.
The image God gave me of Jesus, our Bridegroom, whispering in His ear continues to replay in my mind. Kathy and I are excited about the upcoming overnight Restore Retreat beginning Saturday, Sept. 30, 2017.
It's theme is Awaken to the Pursuit of the Bridegroom. If you are needing to break away (no pun intended) to restore solace, I encourage you to register. Our time together is rich in the Word, joyful in fellowship, and sweet with Worship.
Forever on His mind & in His Heart,
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