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Monday, May 18, 2015

Broken Pieces

I woke up Saturday morning and sat down with my first cup of coffee.  It was nice enough outside to sit on the porch, which is my favorite place to be.

I look around and see new life springing up all around me.  Things that were dead a few months ago are growing and flourishing.

I hear the sound of new life in the singing of the morning birds.

I feel a cleansing breath as I inhale the air blowing through the trees.

God takes what is old and broken and makes it new.  He puts it back together.  

I am quickly transported to a time in my life when I thought I had it all.  I was in love, I was as healthy as I'd ever been, life seemed great.  The problem with that is, it was an illusion.  I was living in sin and God loves us enough to reveal that sin and gives us the opportunity to turn from it.  Repentance.

That was probably the most painful time of my life.  My heart was shattered, my life was crumbling, and I began to build walls around my broken pieces.  Why?  To protect myself, to keep others out and to hide my shame.  

The facade I created was one of a woman who was strong, independent, self-sufficient, and I also became a woman incapable of loving anyone.  Don't get me wrong, I was able to give love - and I did.  I gave lots of love to my kids, the youth in my church, the Lord.  I served and served gladly.  But, I didn't let others love me and I didn't love myself.  And most importantly, I was unable to accept God's love for me.  

God showed me this weekend that I never let my heart heal.  Instead, I left it broken and built a wall around it, so no one, not even Him, could touch it.  God showed me that in my brokenness, I've become bitter, scared, hard, judgmental and untouchable.  I've been trying to DO everything right in HOPES that God will see and will bless me...but He doesn't care so much about what I DO for Him as He does about coming to Him and loving Him in my brokenness.  

Sunday, after a time at the altar, laying it down at His feet, I went back to my seat.  I was alone on Sunday.  I'm always alone.  As I closed my eyes to sing, I felt an arm go around my waist.  I opened my eyes to a beautiful young lady who had climbed over rows of seats in a dress to put her arms around me.  I didn't know her.  She didn't know me.  But, God knew I needed to feel His around me and she was the vessel. 

I was moved beyond tears and as she stood beside me, arm around me, I let the tears fall.  Tears that let the brokenness be revealed.  Tears that let God know I was tired of holding onto my shame.  Tears that let God know I was ready to change...not by works, but by Faith.  She laid her hand on my heart and prayed "God, soften her heart.  Soften her.  Bring down the walls she has built so she can let you in to heal her.  Let her feel your love.  She is beautiful Lord and she is worthy".  
Today I begin a new day of walking with God...a broken vessel that He is turning into a masterpiece.  I've talked and walked this way for a long time, but I never really truly believed it.  Today, I'm finally letting God in.  Letting Him heal.  Today, I'm going to feel.  And try to learn a new way of life - one that has less shame and more grace.  

You see, this is personal, but I share this because I know someone else feels this way.  Someone else has put up impassable walls in order to protect herself or himself.  But, when we do that, we not only keep others out, but we imprison ourselves.  I'm tired of living in a shell.  I don't care anymore what others think of me, because I know what God says about me is truth.  I'm worthy.  I'm worth it.  Today, I begin a new journey of discovering who I am in Christ.  Today, I begin to allow God to turn  my broken pieces into a masterpiece. Today I finally FEEL Gods love.  I've always known God loves me, but I felt I had to BE perfect to receive it.  Trying to be perfect is exhausting.  I just want to BE in Him.  

My journey to wholeness has begun. But, one thing I've learned, when something is broken, and you try to put it back together, sometimes there are cracks.  Its never perfect.  I have to take the cracks and let God shine thru them.  I need to let His living water fill me up and then seep out thru the cracks into others.   I can't be perfect - and He doesn't expect me to be.  How freeing to finally realize he isn't keeping tabs on me - he is just loving me. 

Today is a new day - and I have a lot to learn.  Be patient with me God.  And be ready to catch me when I stumble and fall.  My arms are stretched high, reaching for you.

Will it be easy? No.  I've lived behind these walls for many years.  Tentatively, like a child learning to walk, I step out with arms lifted high, taking one shaky step at a time, knowing that my Father will catch me if I start to fall. 

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Looking for Love

So many people are looking for love...

looking for someone to fill the empty hole in their heart.  To make them feel loved.  I was thinking about this during my "porch" time this morning and this old country song by Johnny Lee popped in my head.  I uploaded the song with lyrics so you can see what he's saying.  

One line stood out to me  "You came knocking on my hearts door, you're everything I've been looking for"

Jesus says "Behold, I stand at the door and knock.  If ANYONE hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in..." Rev 3:20

Jesus IS LOVE.   He is the only person who can fill that void in your life.  That empty hole.   But so many people go from relationship to relationship hoping to find that love that will take away the emptiness, the pain, the loneliness, the fear.  The only true that will take away the hurt and pain is the love of Jesus.

I have been single for 13 years. Yes, I've dated in those years, but for one reason or another the relationships ended.  The only relationship that has stood the test of time is my relationship with Jesus.  He has always been there even when I turned my back on him.  He has never left me and he has always loved me.  I am who I am now because of His love.

As I sat and prayed for a few friends who are struggling right now with this issue of love, another song played in my head.  Chris Tomlin's Our God.  I pulled it up on my phone and sat and worshiped.  

Our God is greater
Our God is stronger
Our God is higher than any other
Our God is healer, awesome in power
Our God, Our God! 
And if Our God is for us, then who could ever stop us
And if our God is with us, then what can stand against?
And if Our God is for us, then who could ever stop us
And if our God is with us, then what can stand against?
Then what can stand against?

No man or woman on this earth can love us more than Jesus loves us.  No one is greater than Him and he is standing at the door knocking.  All you have to do is ask him in, and he says He will come.   Its the easiest love to get, and it doesn't cost you anything.  He doesn't care what we look like, where we've been, what we've done.  

Today, if you are looking for love, look to Jesus.  His love is FREELY given.  And He will never take it away.  I am who I am today because of the love of Jesus.