Blessed to be Broken

God's not finished with me yet!

Label Maker

We love our labels, don’t we? Go to any pinterest board and you can find plenty of creative ways to label all the things. Even when it’s evident what’s in the container, we slap a label on it. Why?

There’s a type of comfort in a label. As if a label is all we are. Could you imagine if we wore our labels for all to see? Not the labels we think people would want to see, but the actual labels we brand ourselves with every day.

Labels such as, failure, druggie, drunk, ugly, fat, skinny, worthless, unlovable, stupid, addict, loser, and the list goes on. None of these are who you are but we sure claim them as if they were.

Labels make us feel comfortable. We embrace them. Even the bad ones.

Once upon a time, I embraced my bad labels. Oooh, let me tell you, I had a lot of them! Adulterer, drunk, home wrecker, bad Mom, stupid, failure, fat, and well, you get the point.

I embraced them like they were a fine coat of glitter! You couldn’t see my labels. But you may have seen the behavior attached to them and surmised for yourself what I tried to hide.

Once I bought into the label, meaning I decided this is just who I am, I became comfortable. The first time I committed adultery, I felt all the bad things associated with it. Guilt, shame, fear, dirty, regret, and just plain awful.

Why would I keep doing something that made me feel all those things? The easy answer is I was trying desperately to fill a void.

The more complicated answer is, I was broken inside and I didn’t know it. So, I kept on, keeping on.

The more I gave into it, the more comfortable I became with it.

The more comfortable I became with it, the more I justified it.

The more I justified it, the more I did it.

I believed in the label. Read that again. I gave power to the label.

Maybe you’re believing in a label too. I would caution you to be careful which label you choose to give power over yourself.

One of the most potent statements we can ever say is “I didn’t have a choice.”

That’s a great lie of the enemy. We use it when we want to justify the action associated to choice we’ve made.

The fact is, we all have a choice. We get to decide. Everyday we’re faced with several scenarios in which we get to choose.

You can choose the thing that’s going to lift up your soul or push it down. You can choose the thing that’s going to make you feel good for the moment, or the thing that’s going to cause regret. In the end, it’s your choice. You can’t blame it on anyone else. Your action, followed your choice.

Eventually, the labels from the bad choices will tear you down. They’ll make you believe more in them, then in yourself. You forget who once were and believe the lie, this is as good as it gets, and as good as it gets, sucks. There’s no hope in that.

Once it sucks, you reach, “so what’s the point.” Now my friend, you’re at a cross roads. I know, because I’ve been there.

When I got to “what’s the point,” I then went to, “who cares.” After “who cares” I got to “I can’t do this anymore.” After that, I made an escape plan because all I wanted was the pain to end.

Thankfully, my plans didn’t succeed. God stepped in.

“You can make many plans, but the LORD’s purpose will prevail.

Proverbs 19:21 (NLT)

That was the night I fell to my knees and said I couldn’t do this life by myself anymore and asked God to help me.

The world and its ways did it’s best to take me out, but God already had a plan to raise me up!

Our choices matter. What we label ourselves matter. We’re the sum of our choices. But, we’re not defined by them. At any time, we can change course. The beauty in that is we don’t have to do it alone.

We have a choice. Life on our own–how’s that working for you?

OR

Life with Christ (Total game changer)

Don’t take my word for it, let’s read Romans 12:2. This verse breathed life into my dying soul. I’m referencing The Message version of this passage:

Place your Life Before God

So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.

Romans 12:1-2 (The Message)

Mic drop! Boom!

I no longer wear the labels of this world. They were destructive and confining. Friends, God didn’t slap an adulteress label on me and send me out into the world. But, He did give me free will. I made the choices that set my path in motion. At the end of my destructive path, God was there. I just needed to get my worldly self out of the way.

He never gave up on me. He will never give up on you. You may have given up on yourself, but He’s reaching out, waiting just for you. He created you for relationship with Him. Are you ready? The choice is…say it with me, “mine.”

Have an amazing day in Christ! He loves you with an everlasting love!

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The People of Walmart

I locked my keys in my car today. Good times! But, my son was already in the parking lot because we planned to go to lunch. So he hopped back on his motorcycle and headed to the house to get the spare key to my vehicle. #Hero

I took the opportunity to get out of the heat of the day which was heavy with humidity. #Blech So, I headed back into the store.

As I sat in the store waiting for my son to return, I asked God to show me who I could bless. As I scanned the various people moving around the store, I hummed the lyrics to “Build My Life,” because it was the last song I heard getting out of the car.

Watching all the people around me, I got the sense I was to look closer. So many people. Just like me, just like you. All of them a walking story.

Some wore shirts with their favorite sports team. Kids wore their favorite character on their shirt or something saying how awesome they are. Some had glitter, some wore hats, and well, some wore less than others.

But there was one t-shirt that was bolder than all the others. The front was the same as the back. I sighed. I thought, little kids just learning to read will see that and will ask questions parents my not want to answer yet. Made me sad. That what we want to say so loudly through what we wear could cause another to stumble.

The song changed in my head. I thought of the movie Funny Girl. I pictured Barbra Streisand playing the character of Fanny Brice dressed up as a pregnant bride and I smiled as the lyrics “A walking illustration of his adoration” now played in my head.

I thought “I wonder what story I tell” when people see me. “If” they “see” me. In high school I was told more often than not I looked like a b****

I wasn’t, I just didn’t walk around with a smile plastered on my face. I was quiet. I was shy. I didn’t feel like I fit in. I had my circle of friends that I pretty much kept to but there were also times, I didn’t shut up. Just ask the teachers who would put me in the corner. Ummm, hello, I can still talk from here. And, I did.

I digress, back to the main idea here. I continued to people watch. I saw people doing life together. I had the thought to shout out “Does anyone need prayer?” But I squelched that. More than once to be honest. Usually I’m pretty bold these days, but life has knocked me down a bit, so I kept watching.

But as I looked, I heard in my spirit “these are my people.” “What do you see?” And my eyes filled up with tears. Seriously, I think tears are my super power these days.

What I saw were people, made by God, created in His image. Each one unique with a story, just as I have one. No better than me. No worse than me. Just different. Yet, the same.

And I realized that as I waited and watched, God had blessed me in so many ways. I was touched by lives in those 30 minutes through people I may never meet.

And all they were doing, was everyday life. Getting each other coffee, paying for their groceries, smiling at others, pushing carts, taking fitful kids out to the car, and the list goes on.

These were the people I saw in Walmart today. My life will never be the same. Because God taught me more about love today. And when God touches you, you get wrecked in the best way! 

(Originally posted 18 August 2019, on my Facebook profile)

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The Bold Blondie

with love, Jilly

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