Your First Ingredient is Brokenness

broken woman

We must be broken in order to be made whole.

A Sociologist named Brene Brown said, “We are ‘those people.’” The truth is… most people in our world are one paycheck, one divorce, one addiction, one mental health diagnosis, one serious illness, one hurt, or one bad choice from becoming “those people”— the ones we don’t trust, the ones we pity, the ones we don’t let our children play with, the ones we don’t want living next door, the ones we know deep down need our love and God’s love more than anyone, but we can’t approach “those people.”

Our minds are so sensitive to the quiet voices telling us to keep up appearances, keep ourselves busy if we don’t think about it; it’s not really there, it will eventually get better.

Our generation has become artists of illusion, masters at covering pain, self-medicators, slaves to their finances, and lost in loneliness even when we are surrounded by those we love. All because we can’t seem to realize that the only solution for being broken is… brokenness.

We can never truly be whole until we’ve been broken. Those in this world that can make the most significant difference have not only risen to the top but have also fallen to the bottom.

Jesus makes the broken whole again. He takes the overlooked, the undervalued, the left out, the written off, the damaged and devastated, and then He does what only He can do.

I know this may not sound like it makes much sense, but brokenness is the first ingredient in a miraculous transformation. I am living breathing proof of that. The fact that I am alive, sober, full of peace and joy, and madly in love with Jesus Christ is all the proof I need. But in order for God to build me up and bring me this far, I first had to be broken down. Through loss, pain, anger, doubt, and tears I was not only broken…I was shattered, fractured and in pieces.

It was in that darkness that Christ’s light shone the brightest — illuminating each piece, gracefully fitting them together to form a new creation. “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” 2 Corinthians 5:17

“Not only that but all the broken and dislocated pieces of the universe—people and things, animals and atoms—get properly fixed and fit together in vibrant harmonies, all because of his death, his blood that poured down from the cross.
You yourselves are a case study of what he does. At one time you all had your backs turned to God, thinking rebellious thoughts of him, giving him trouble every chance you got. But now, by giving himself completely at the Cross, actually dying for you, Christ brought you over to God’s side and put your lives together, whole and holy in his presence.” Colossians 1:20-23 (The Message)

The best part of all, the part I still can’t believe most days, is that time after time God chooses to use the broken things. The ones that when asked how they have made such a miraculous transformation, they can only point to Him. That is why I am thankful for every tear, every heartache, every circumstance that broke me.

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“If grace was a kingdom
I stopped at the gate
Thinking I don’t deserve to pass through after all the mistakes that I’ve made

Oh but I heard a whisper
As Heaven bent down
Said, “Child, don’t you know that the first will be last and the last get a crown”

Now I’m just a beggar in the presence of a King
I wish I could bring so much more
But if it’s true You use broken things
Then here I am Lord, I’m all Yours

The pages of history they tell me it’s true
That it’s never the perfect; it’s always the ones with the scars that You use

It’s the rebels and the prodigals; it’s the humble and the weak
All the misfit heroes You chose
Tell me there’s hope for sinners like me

Now I’m just a beggar in the presence of a King
I wish I could bring so much more
But if it’s true You use broken things
Then here I am Lord, I’m all Yours

Grace is a kingdom
With gates open wide
There’s a seat at the table just waiting for you
So, come on inside”

Broken Things – Matthew West

It Took a Broken Foot to Run For God

My pastor recently gave a message describing how Jesus is our Good Shepherd. Being different than a hired keeper who might run away in the face of danger, the flock belonged to the shepherd who would stay and defend them. He had a genuine loving concern for what belonged to him. Jesus is that loving protector and caretaker for His flock. Jesus, the good shepherd’s purpose, is to give life and protect from destruction.  And although this next imagery may make those of us animal lovers shudder, it helps to confirm that sometimes love is shown in ways we don’t always like.  A shepherd would often break the leg(s) of his sheep to prevent them from running off into danger.  He would then carry that sheep over his shoulders down the path each day until its injuries healed.  While being held, the sheep grew to love and rely on the shepherd like never before.

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Oddly enough, I believe Jesus did this very thing to me.

Five years.   I had been living in this small town in Western Kentucky for five years and had yet to make any meaningful relationships.  I not only avoided bonding with the people; I also lacked a REAL one on one relationship with God.  I was, what I like to call, a “baby Christian” who had a history of anger and atheism, with little to no guidance and the life choices to prove it.  I had always been very independent and didn’t really care about having friends because I didn’t trust people.

Feeling convicted about not being a part of a church family, my husband and I began visiting some in the area and knew we had been led to the one we now call home.  After just a few weeks of attending, the Lord brought several women into my life that completely changed my heart.  My relationship with them grew stronger and stronger as I began to experience what can come from real love and encouragement.

One Sunday morning, one of those women invited me to a Run for God class. I wish I could illustrate the facial expression I made. You see, my words say one thing, but my face speaks from the heart. I laughed and said, “The only time I run is if something is chasing me.” With persistence from my friend and growing pant size, I conceded.  The way I understood it was that it was basically a couch to 5K training program with a devotional.   Little did I know that God was putting something into motion that would altogether transform my life.

I showed up for class each Saturday morning, bright and early (also outside of my character).  With each devotional and time spent running with God, it finally clicked. I can run because I am doing it for God.  I can make real friends because I am doing it for GodWhat would happen if I did everything in life, FOR GOD?

Ten weeks into the class, we all registered for a 5K in our town that promoted to suicide awareness.  As my first race ever, I had zero expectations for my outcome.  I just wanted to finish.  As they were calling out awards for age groups, they called my name as the third place winner.  It took me by surprise, but it didn’t take long for my pride and competitiveness to kick into overdrive.  I was already plotting the demise of the two women who beat me for first and second place.  Just as the Lord revealed what life could be like when you do it all for Him, He let me know very quickly what can happen when you begin to do it for yourself.

The very next day, I fell down a flight of stairs and broke my foot.  I would not be able to complete the 5K for our Run for God group.  Even though I was discouraged, I continued to go to class.  While others ran, I sat.  I sat and encouraged them as they struggled13237875_10208110454498173_1769253948085201728_n through the long runs. I SAT and read the Word.  I SAT and prayed.  I SAT, growing closer to God every day.

While still in what I called “the dreaded boot,” I sat and cheered as all of my new friends ran past me to complete their race.  My heart was full.   God had set me on a different track.  A race towards Him and onto the path He had planned for me.

We quickly started a second class, and I was asked to help instruct.  Still unable to run, I knew God meant for me to focus on the “God” portion of Run for God. To show others that training to run successfully mirrors training ourselves to walk successfully with Christ.  It takes work, commitment, sacrifice, discipline, and occasionally a boot.

Learning to put God first and dedicate all I do to Him, the ability to stand before a group and teach due to the confidence I gained through the Spirit, the forever friendships that I have made, are just a glimpse into how God transformed me…. all through a broken foot.

John 10:11-18

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. 13 The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.

“I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. 17 The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”

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Introductions Are In Order

I am so thankful to begin this new year as a part of this ministry.  Before I jump right in though, I think some introductions are in order.  I am a true believer in the fact that, for you to understand and get a deeper look into the heart of a message, you need a pretty good picture of where that person has been and what God has rescued them from.   A visibly transformed life can have a major impact on the world around you.

Ten years ago, if you would have asked someone to describe me, I’m afraid they would’ve used adjectives like angry, lost, empty, aggressive, broken, self-destructive… I’ll stop there, I’m sure you get the picture.

After moving around for a good part of my childhood as a military brat, we finally settled in Western Kentucky where most of our family was.  Within our home, there was no prayer, no Bible reading, no foundation of faith.  I don’t blame my parents.  They were both very young and did the best they could while dealing with their own childhood trauma.

To spend as much time as I could with my grandmother, I began going to church with her every Sunday.  The bond that I had with that very special lady is something I could never describe in written words.  We were inseparable.  I remember sitting beside her each Sunday, in amazement, as she gracefully played the piano during worship. She loved me like I had never felt love before and made me feel deserving of that love.  Around the time I would be starting middle school, something terrible happened.  My grandmother was life-flighted to Barnes Hospital in St. Louis because her heart was failing.  I can remember my aunt picking my sister and me up from school and taking us to the movies to keep us distracted. Fortunately, she was blessed with the opportunity for a transplant, and it seemed like everything was going to be ok.  She lived for eleven years after the transplant.  The last two years of her life were the two years of my life that the devil used to catapult me into a lifetime worth of anger and emptiness.  The medication she had to take to keep her body from rejecting the new heart destroyed her kidneys.  She began dialysis several times a week but was withering away.  I watched her light and life slowly fade as she suffered every second until the end.  The questions, fueled by anger, started flowing.  Why her?  She went to church! She played music in church! She loved the God that was supposed to love her back! She was too young! Could there really be this all-loving God? No, there couldn’t, He wouldn’t do this.

That anger combined with a life that was in a constant state of chaos due to a lack of involvement, lack of faith, substance addiction, abuse, and family members who were out of control…I was left to let the anger, sadness, and loneliness open the door for the devil to make himself at home.   I began trying to fill that brokenness and emptiness with every terrible thing this world has to offer; partying, attention from anyone willing to give it, and more and more anger.

When I was 21, I became pregnant.  Of course, we had to get married because that’s what a good southern woman does to save face.  But this wasn’t all bad.  I started to feel a little peace and happiness.  I thought I loved the man I was marrying, we were going to have a child, I was doing great in college and could still finish so everything was fine.   The day I had to say goodbye forever to that baby, I felt myself break.  I can remember it vividly.  Any anger that had been buried came erupting to the surface.  That was it! There definitely is no God, and if there was, He could care less about any of us! That is what I told myself for years.  I was an anthropology major in school, so there was no shortage of professors who were quick to reinforce that thought with scientific facts and figures.  And boy was I ready to argue with anyone who dared to try and convince me that there was a loving God and that “He had a plan”, and that “there was a reason for everything”.  I was educated, had an aggressive personality and was motivated by so much anger that the devil had a field day with me.   I did what I could to try and convince everyone around me to give up on all those silly stories and rules created by men to control society.   The only person I know I successfully pulled away was my own mother.

My marriage was anything but happy.  How could it be?  We were so young, and I was so volatile.  We each turned to different ways to numb the pain.  Two years after the loss of our first child, we were both preparing to graduate college and had big plans for our future.  But God had a different plan.  I became pregnant with Chloe.   It was a shock because due to health issues, I wasn’t expected to be able to have any more children.  When that child was born, I felt myself begin to heal.  Just as I felt myself break when I said goodbye to my first child, I felt myself, LOVE.  Really love.  I knew then that she was sent to me for a reason and that there had to be “something” or “someone” out there because this kind of love could not be explained with science.  But I had no understanding or faith to fall back on.  I was the poster child for someone who was “lost”.

I struggled for years after Chloe was born.  Her father and I couldn’t seem to get through past hurts, and our marriage was so unstable that we divorced when she was one.  I was a single mother moving from place to place and job to job.  I know now that I was moving every year because I was running.  Running from my sadness and emptiness.  But no distance ever made a difference.  I was still angry and lost.  Along the way, everywhere I went; I met and got to know bold Christian men and women that tried their best to lead me to Jesus.  Each planting seeds.   I would always disregard them though.  Until one person, someone I had grown to love, all but forced me to go to church.  I started attending on Sundays.  I enjoyed the singing and meeting new people but would zone out and not pay attention to much else.  But one day was different, I woke up feeling different.  I went into the church, sat in my pew by myself as usual and listened, really listened.  I didn’t feel alone.  I had been so ashamed of myself for so long, thinking that even if there was a God, “How could He love me now? Look at what I’ve done, what I’ve said!”  That day, I heard and felt that He does love me because Jesus loves me! He suffered and died for me! ME! Not just the righteous people that have never fallen.  Me!  I could feel Him right there with me as I fell apart.  Almost like He had His arm around me as I finally let go of all that anger, shame and guilt and gave it to Him.

On August 8, 2009, at the age of 28, I was baptized.  And I’ve never been the same.   The devil didn’t and still doesn’t make it easy, but now “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me

I saved the happiest part of my testimony for the end.

The sorrow I felt for convincing my mother there was no God was unbearable.  I prayed for years for God to allow me to bring my mother to know Jesus. On Mother’s Day of14910490_10209443515783872_6246060035715518067_n 2017, my mom gave her life to Jesus and was baptized.  Now we worship Him together!

You see, that is what we are created to do.  To be transformed through God’s Grace and to live it out each day to be a living testimony to those around us.  I pray for the Holy Spirit to guide me down a path that helps those as lost as I once was.

“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17

“ ‘The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ ” “For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.” Luke 15: 21,24

Is silence golden? Or is it marvelous?

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Silence is a strange thing in today’s time. We have so many ways of communication and staying in touch. Sometimes they are wonderful and sometimes they can fuel the biggest commotion and ruckus we have ever seen. I am reminded this morning of

Ecclesiastes 3:1  ESV For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:

 

In Mark 15:4

Pilate asked Jesus: “Do You answer nothing? See how many things they testify against YOU!”

I LOVE verse five

But Jesus still answered nothing, so that Pilate marveled.

Oh! If we would just be still and quiet. I believe with all my heart even in the midst of our trials or triumphs, remaining still and quiet means we are firmly residing on the cornerstone. I know this is seemingly impossible to us, but with the power of God abiding in our hearts we can.

Psalm 46:10 “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”

 

Jesus knew by remaining quiet the Father’s will would be carried out to His own crucifixion. That is why I believe He stayed quiet. I also believe that our tongue can get us into more trouble that we like to think. In the book of James, we see just what the tongue is truly like.

James 3:6 – And the tongue [is] a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.

Proverbs 18:21 – Death and life [are] in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.

My Favorite and actually the verse I want you to recognize here

Proverbs 15:28 – The heart of the righteous studieth to answer: but the mouth of the wicked poureth out evil things.

Jesus upheld this verse in Mark 15:4 He knew it was not the time nor the place to speak up or speak out against something. In verse 5 we see Jesus’ silence marvels Pilate.

Marveled means:

mar·vel

/ˈmärvəl/

verb

  • 1.be filled with wonder or astonishment:“she marveled at Jeffrey’s composure”synonyms:be amazed, be astonished, be surprised, be awed, stand in awe, more

noun

 

I mean here is Pilate looking straight into the eyes of the King of Kings and he is marveled by silence. That is Jesus, he is marvelous! Pilate was in the presence of marvel. Even though Pilate did not trust in Jesus, He still could not help to be filled with wonder and astonishment to behold a miracle from God, His name is Jesus.

Today, as you are going throughout your day, I want you to be reminded that even Jesus was still while being accused, while totally and utterly innocent. Maybe, you find yourself in a similar situation where you are constantly wrongly accused, and you want to speak on your behalf. I will tell you to trust in Jesus and be still and know that He is God and that no matter what happens from those accusations or unjustified circumstances. That your silence will marvel someone! You not taking up for yourself and or adding to the problem could marvel someone right to the feet of Jesus. Keep mimicking Jesus. He will never lead you astray, and Jesus is always fighting our battles.

 

Couple more scriptures to remind you:

Psalm 37:7 Be still in the presence of the LORD, and wait patiently for him to act. Don’t worry about evil people who prosper or fret about their wicked schemes.

 

Psalm 62:5-6 My soul, wait suddenly for God alone, For my expectation is from Him. 6 He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be moved

 

John 16:33 I have told you this so that through me you may have peace. In the world you’ll have trouble, but be courageous—I’ve overcome the world!

 

Romans 12:12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.

 

Silence is golden, my friend

Being still in the midst of chaos is the marvelous power of Jesus Christ. The power that rolled the stone away, the power that sent life, a way to Heaven, and the truth to us.  – Kimberly Ferren

 

I know remaining quiet is hard, I am praying for you today. I am asking the Lord to take the desire out of us to defend ourselves. To be aware when the enemy is doing all that he can to disarm, discredit, disable us. We can fight, we get to choose Jesus or the world. We have a say, don’t ever let our enemy fool you otherwise.

Romans 6:6 ESV

We know that our old self-was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin.

 

One last thought……

 

Today I want you to know or at least read that you are justified and redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ. He is your help in ever-present trouble which is this world.

The Lord knows how to rescue godly men from trials.
(2 Peter 2:9)

 

He knows! <3

A Captive Girl

Today, I want you to know this particular verse has been coming up for the past three weeks. The first time was Priscilla Shrier’s Simulcast. Priscilla gave a great word about being a functioning leper.  The second time came today as I read it again. Today I want to focus on the captive girl.

 

 

A Servant Girl Tells Naaman's Wife About the Prophet II KIngs 5:2-3

In 2 Kings 5:2 we see a young Israelite girl that was probably taken as a prisoner during one of Naaman’s great victories. Naaman had given this girl to tend to his wife. As we see in verse 3, the young girl is concerned about Naaman’s well-being. Many scholars believe that by her speaking like that to Naaman’s wife they can assume that Naaman and his wife treated the young captive kindly. Still, in verse 3, the young girl introduces the prophet who is in Samaria. This prophet is Elisha he lived in a house in the capital city during this time. Scholars assume the girl knew about Elisha before she ever was taken captive. Even though no leper in Israel had ever been healed of leprosy during Elisha’s time. That is in Luke 4:27 only Naaman is mentioned as being cleansed.

What I really want to point out here and what is in my heart today is some of us think that we have been held in captivity as punishment. That is simply not true Romans 5 tells us that God loved us just as much when we were in pure darkness and sin as He loves us when we are redeemed by Jesus. Even in our captivity we were planted and placed so that we may one day understand that our captivity/bondages were strategically arranged by the enemy of our souls. Those broken hearted places and those moments of breaking are not what God intended for us, but they are a result of evil and sin. Aimed to harm you, they were designed to even possibly in some situations kill you. (Gen. 50:20) See, what the enemy devised and schemed to bring you low, to break you, to kill you. Is now the very thing that God will use to develop your character through trials and tribulation, change the way you think by the Word of God, and finally trusting Him through it all. Not once did He say this is gonna be a piece of cake or that we would never experience pain, but what He did promise is Jesus. Jesus would usher in the grace of God by His life, His death, and His resurrection. Jesus is grace. That is the good news! That is the freedom of the brethren. Jesus is what sustains, reveals, restores, saves, free’s. By Christ alone are we restored.

Your captivity is being flipped for good just like the young captive girl in 2 Kings 5. I am sure she missed her Mother and Father. She might have even had longings to be returned back to Israel. She might have wondered why she had been planted in a gentile home as a slave to a mighty warrior’s wife. She could have refused to accept that she was a captive. She could have just done her work and remain silent, bitter, isolated from all that she loved and longed for. She didn’t she chose even in the worst of circumstances to serve her master’s wife and later would be used to introduce healing for a gentile commander of a nation that captured her and enslaved her. I see Jesus in that young captive girl. I see the love of God through this story. I see a girl who had no clue, but because she knew about God decided to share Him with someone, and because she shared Him, Naaman was indeed healed by God.

We have to share Jesus right where we are planted even when our hearts are broken. Reminds me of my favorite verse and every time I hear it tears well up in my eyes.  When Jesus was at the well with the Samaritan woman. John 4:29  ” Come, see a Man who told me all things that I ever did. Could this be the Christ?

From one captive girl to another can I ask you this one question?

 

Will you come meet a Man, not just any Man? A Man who knows everything that we have done and still loves us with an everlasting love?

Come and see with me this Man named Jesus. He is the Messiah, fully flesh and fully God. He is the expressed human image of God. If you have not met Him, will you today? I will tell you how He has changed this young captive girls life. I am proof of His grace and mercy every day. I refuse circumstances stop me from telling everyone I can “Come, and see how Jesus has indeed freed me (a young captive girl). Jesus is the only way to freedom, girls, it’s all or nothing with Jesus. If we give Him all of us, we allow Jesus access to every part of us. He will captivate us.

 

Glory of God, Came Down

 

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Thank you, Lord, for coming down from your throne in Heaven. Leaving angels perplexed while your plan of redemption for mankind had begun (1 Peter 1:10-12) in your perfect time and in your perfection. Thank you, Lord, for tearing the veil from bottom to top. Paul writes in Hebrews 10:19-20 Jesus’ body was torn so all man could have an eternal life and all His power and glory could transcend to be with the Father. Because the moment when the veil of our Savior, Jesus was torn something radical happened. 

 

Jesus broke the curse of sin and death trampling the enemy with one final blow delivering defeat and handing us the keys to victory and eternity. God descended from heaven all His glory power through the womb of Mary becoming both flesh and God, and he walked wrapped in human flesh with all of God’s glory, Jesus.

 

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He even died in all of God’s glory, and power. Jesus’ body was broken and bruised with all of God’s glory. The same power and glory that was laid to rest in a borrowed tomb. The same glory and power that rose Jesus from the grave on the third day. It is the same glory and power that breathed His first breath in a cold, smelly, crowded stable with a tired young mother and even more anxious father awaiting the cry of their first-born miracle son Jesus. The day that Son of God arrived in all of God’s glory and power and honor; hidden in the flesh of an infant boy born to a virgin. The angel – said His name was to be Jesus.

– Luke 1:31-33

You will become pregnant and give birth to a son. You must name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High God. The Lord God will make Him a king like his father David of long ago. He will rule forever over His people, who came from Jacob’s family. His kingdom will never end.”
For to us a Child shall be born, to us, a Son shall be given; And the government shall be upon His shoulder, And His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace
Isaiah 9:6

And, so it was His name is Jesus, and as Mary wrapped the cold, infant in swaddling rags. The Heavens and Earth declared and displayed that The Savior of the World, The King Of Kings, and Lord of Lord’s had indeed been born into the world; to save and restore humankind from death to life eternally. Oh, how blessed we truly are to have such a loving Creator. Thank you, Father, for the birth and death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, my Wonderful Counselor, my Mighty God, my Everlasting Father, and my Prince of Peace. All I have to bring is my love and a broken heart. I am grateful that is all that you ask because of Jesus Christ.  Jesus, you have appeared to us, and loved each of us with an everlasting love. (Jeremiah 31:3)

 

 

 

You and you alone, are the restorer

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This week I have been humbled! It hurts! The flesh wants to live, boy, does it ever! This is the crazy part knowing that no matter what is right and what is wrong; it doesn’t matter. All that matters is that healing takes place and only Jesus can lead in that. There are these few moments we get to share life with people. I mean God says our lives are like a vapor (James 4:14). I don’t know about you but have you seen a mist? I mean it’s there then poof it is gone!

Sometimes, we have just to choose to love when it is hard. We have to allow that spirit of religion and tradition to lay down and let Christ prevail entirely. I know in my ability, I do not have what it takes to love correctly. I have fought all week with my decision. I see God confirmed and I know this is His will. I’ve known that for two years I have been on His shoulders healing from a deep hurt. I know I am relieved and ready. The problem with this is while I was recovering many took it as abandoning. I am not asking for anyone to understand and I know what it looked like, and frankly, I did jump ship. That is so hard for me to say but, it is the truth. I did thoroughly and utterly fail miserably, and when the enemy saw fit to attack, he did. I did not know that it would be so brutal. I underestimated my enemy. I did fight, and by no means was I a babe in Christ. I just was a babe in Christ when it came to spiritual warfare. God, had no choice but to teach me on a field trip of sorts.

I want to speak to those who are wounded right now. I want to acknowledge your hurt and pain in whatever capacity that may be in. Lord, help me to say this without the spirit of offense taking over and them leaving feeling as if someone else just diminished their pain and hurt. I do not want to do that. I know from my past and current situation we will always have a form of wounds. Some will remind us often of our brokenness and others will fade as we mature and we realize no matter what God is with us, and He loves us with a love that we can not fathom. I know everything that I endure, pursue, and engage there is always a risk.

The risk of rejection, hate, coldness, betrayal but, there is always a high reward for forgiveness, mercy, love, compassion, help, and relationship. I know, ‘where you are in the process’ does influence your perception. Being on the other side of a season of being out to sea I have come to this.

When we face a battle, and it seems that we have lost and, we are counted out, discredited, maybe even feel robbed. God can often restore everything if we allow Him to repair. Key is we have to surrender.

There are so many different kinds of restoration that it would take me all day to hit every point. Sometimes, that recovery comes full circle, and you and the other person can walk hand in hand. Sometimes, that restoration only comes with you on one side, Christ in the middle, and the other party on the other side but, still, there is peace. You can not walk together right without Christ in any relationship; without it ending up like a battleship. Abandon and desolate with no signs of a crew or captain; underwater, alone and at the bottom of the sea.

My point is no matter what kind of restoration occurs it is always Christ that is in charge of it, and He knows what is best for you, and He knows what is best for the other party. We need to get that down deep in our minds, hearts, and souls. ( I will repeat that and then wait for that to hit your heart) Restoration in relationships is not our responsibility; Christ is solely responsible for the repair of our relationships. We can not force it, We can not want it and have it in our time. It will come when and as He see’s fit.

For, my friends that are in hopes and waiting for that miracle of restoration with a loved one or just with a fellow brother or sister in Christ or a wayward child. I know you desire it so, and don’t you dare lose hope, keep praying and asking God for His will to be done. God is a God of restoration, and He desires for there to always be restoration, especially to reconcile one back to Him. This is the amazing thing about grace! Amen!

This is God’s heart toward every man, woman, and child! That their souls would be restored back into the hands that knit and weaved their flesh together. Wonderfully and carefully in the hidden place of their mother’s womb. But as you know different kinds of restoration go way beyond our understanding.

In my life, I have often questioned: “Why Lord?” “Why can’t I be around and in their lives anymore?” “Why am I willing and they are not?”, These are all brilliant questions to ask God, but even though we pray, we should respect the fact of God’s answer. Even if it is not what we are looking to hear. I know this is hard; that is why I am writing about it today. I want for just a moment in all your wondering and questioning if you could only see it from His perspective. Like I said this might not apply to you but, if it does then, please hear me out.

When people chose to allow the flesh to overcome (on both sides), there is always extensive damage. I am sure you all have experienced this on some level. I would like to for a moment just say putting the option to be on the right to the side and setting the same possibility of being wrong to the same side, only allow the situation to be. For a minute just imagine the Lord seeing no wrong and no right here ( I know crazy idea right. I promise there is a point) Just imagine seeing two people who He genuinely loves; hurt. In ways only they have expressed to Him; both injuries are valid and painful to hear. He has to ability to see in the future. He knows after an amount of time passes, healing and, lessons must be learned apart from one another. Because, if they remain together they will only see the conflict of their flesh and fail to see the faithfulness of God through their weakness and frailty and keep repeating the same cycle. Looping the same sequence of destruction without any signs of getting off the hamster wheel of self-torture and self-pain.  After the separation, only He knows when it is the exact right moment for two hearts to be reconciled; He is aware of their hearts and minds and souls.

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So, the Lord is sovereign and only good, and He hold’s no ability to lie or deceive (1 John 1:5). You see this is God’s and only God’s expertise and knowledge in our relationship’s. He is the God of timing. He is the God of restoration and love. He is what heals the world of sin and gives us hope and life (John 3:16). He sees all and know’s all (Hebrews 4:13, Psalm 33:13) and believe me He knows how to restore’s (Psalm 23:3). He is in the process of rebuilding all of us; we are all in this together. We must learn and trust Him in all things! Even with the painful and ugly stuff that we bury and hide. He promises if we follow Him that He will never leave nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). He vows to give you beauty for ashes (Isaiah 61:3), He promises to provide you with a future and hope (Jeremiah 29:11) just like He promised Israel, He promises that by His stripes we are healed spiritually, physically, emotionally, mentally (Isaiah53:5). He pledges to rebuild the desolate places and the ruins of your life even the areas that have long been devastated even the ones that have been destroyed for generations (Isaiah 61:4). He says He will keep you in perfect peace as long as your mind is steadfastly upon Jesus because you trust Him (Isaiah 26:3) He vows to redeem all parts of you if you believe upon the name of Jesus Christ as your Savior from sin. Probably, my favorite is “Though the mountains are shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the Lord, who has had compassion on you. (Isaiah 54:10) Those are just a few promises, and I will tell you this these are the promises for everyone if they will only believe in their hearts that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and ask Him to come in your heart to do precisely what His word say’s He came to do through Jesus Christ.

I am praying for you, and I am praying that God would do a mighty work in your life! He has mine! I am a stinking miracle! I am forever grateful that nowhere in the Bible says:”He gives up!!” The whole theme of the Bible is His Faithfulness and His story of redemption! Praise God! Never forget He is the keeper of our heart’s, He is the lifter of our heads, and most of all when we slip and stumble in our humanity; He is always faithful and true. <3

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Guided Seashells

I read the sweetest book yesterday called Seashells it was short; more like a devotional. I got to thinking about the beach and walking on the beach for seashells. As the tide goes out, they are exposed and washed upon the shore. They are all different sizes and shapes some are all intact, some are chipped, cracked. Some are bright, and some are dull but they are all seashells, and each one has its purpose.

I thought about a seashell that was cracked and had some missing pieces, But the shell was still intact, and I realized that through all the tossing, crashing, the high tides, the low tides. The moments that it was swept into deep waters, the moments when it was passed over because it wasn’t what someone was looking for, or it wasn’t the color that someone needed. I realized through it all that the seashell was still a seashell. All of the imperfections, all the cracks, missing pieces could not change the fact that it was still a seashell. I am grateful that God did not allow the ocean to swallow it up completely or destroy it, but He has enabled the water and rocks and sand to mold the seashell and preserve it, even if it is just a shard of a shell; it is still a shell. No matter how broken or small it is, eventually it washes upon a beach. It might not be the prettiest, or rarest but it still was created with purpose and value. We might never understand the value or purpose until we get to the shore. 

1 Corinthians 13:12 ESV

For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.

One day we will see crystal clear, and I know this

For in, our missing pieces and brokenness are what God has allowed so we could be among those seashells that are upon the shore to be collected. So that beautiful broken shells can eventually make it to the endless beach. I am choosing to be grateful for the flawed process to the coast. So, one day I can be collected by the hands that made this seashell on the celestial shore. We are all broken seashells, but one day we will be whole and glorious just like Jesus.

The broken parts that I thought were missing are replaced and filled in with Jesus grace and mercy.  Jesus gathered me and is currently making me whole by binding the brokenness, holes, cracks, and writing in where my color has faded so I can reflect all of His glory. 

One day I will be that perfect shell, but until that day I need to allow the tide, waves, current to move me where He needs me to be. Keep letting the water (the word of God) wash over you and take you where He wants! Never give up! I’m praying for you. Keep fighting the Good fight. Run the race with endurance, He knows. 

 

Love your sister in Christ,

Kim                     Find more posts @https://www.facebook.com/mylordmystrengthmysong/

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