Blessed to be Broken

God's not finished with me yet!

Before You Say Never

Caught up on Grey’s Anatomy over the weekend. The episode was called “Look Up Child”. One of the character doctor’s named Jackson went to visit the man who fathered him. His father left him and his mom when Jackson was a child. He had questions for his dad, Robert. Jackson was doing some internal searching on what to do with his life. Jackson asked his dad about the family business that he also left behind. By the way, the family business is referred to as the “foundation.” They pretty much have tons of money. Anyways, Robert began explaining a bit about his lack of enthusiasm for the foundation. He said, “I was never gonna be the son my father wanted, because I didn’t wanna be the man the role required.”

As you can well imagine, Robert’s father was none too happy that he wanted no part in the family business. He had a few less than desirable things to say about his son. Things that left an impact. Things that he allowed sink in, take hold and shape his worth. Things that led him to believe his son was better off without him. The relationship Robert had with his dad affected another generation.

By worldly standards, it would be easy to see a dead beat dad instead of a wounded soul. Our decisions/choices matter. Our words, matter.

Getting caught up in the trap that we are the masters of people lives is nothing new. It’s been going on for thousands of years. Social media has made it worse.

I want to get back to that statement Robert said, “I was never gonna be the son my father wanted, because I didn’t wanna be the man the role required.”

Never-that’s a long time to think something about yourself. Yet we do it everyday. Go ahead and think about the last time you claimed that over your life.

“I’ll never be as pretty as her.”
“I’ll never be that good at….”
“I’ll never be that muscular.”
“I’ll never lose this baby weight.”
“I’ll never ________________________ (fill in your “never”)

The list could go on and on. When we think of ourselves in a negative way and what we lack, we set ourselves up for our own failure.

Robert didn’t need to be the son he thought his father wanted. Robert’s identity was not in who his father wanted him to be. It also was not in the job he chose.

Every time we tie our identity to things of this earth, it’s imperative to know those things are temporary and can be taken away at any time.

Many people think they’re the job they do. I used to be one of them. My brother was another who believed he was the job he did. I watched him fail to find purpose after he retired. He was lost, broken, and couldn’t find his way out of the bottom of a bottle. He spoke non-affirming words over himself and bought into the lies he believed to be true. Some of those lies were from his own thoughts, some were given to him in anger and some were given to him in hate. Our words matter. I can’t say that enough.

I loved my brother. I miss him greatly. He left a void. But, this earth was not his true home. I wish he could’ve seen himself reflected in the eyes from the ones who loved him best. But, even our best could not outmatch the One who loved him more than anyone ever could. One who loved him unconditionally. One who wanted the absolute best for him. One who died to give him life. One who created him for more than he could’ve ever imagined.

The same One who loved my brother like that, loves you like that. You’re not hidden from His view. No matter what you think you know about God, I guarantee it doesn’t even come close to what He knows about you.

But, that’s a relationship you’ll have to build. When you’re ready. When you’ve had your fill of the world and what it has to offer. Or more so, what it wants to take. You may think like I used to, God wants to take things from you, but that’s not who He is. It’s in your surrender, your giving up, where you’ll find beauty from ashes. It’s a personal choice my friends, because He’s a personal God.

He’s the Giver, we’re the receiver. But, don’t take my word for it. Read it for yourselves from James 1:17

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” (NIV)

The beauty is that He gives you the gift of free will. He allows you to believe in Him or not. But before you say you’ll never believe in Him, take a chance and get to know Him. Not because I told you to, but because you know there’s something more that’s been “calling” you. I promise you won’t be sorry for answering that call.

Have a beautiful day friends!

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Hard Things

The other day I got some unexpected snail mail. I love getting cards in the mail. Don’t you? Inside the beautiful card was a book magnet. It was also beautiful. Then I read the inscription. “You can do hard things.”

My eyes widened, my heart took a few extra beats and I thought, “Oh, Lord…what now’? My thoughts ran from, I can do the hard things, to what if I don’t wanna do the hard things? What if I’m not willing to do the hard things? What if I’m not really ready for the hard things?

Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t take everything as a sign as things to come, but this felt like it was something I needed to my attention. And the thing about doing hard things, you can’t really avoid them.

If 2020 showed us anything, it showed us hard things. But in the midst of them, there was a lot of good. It would’ve been easy to stay focused on the bad. I mean, it was constantly shoved in our faces at every turn. Good to the ness!

But what stood out in my mind, was the good. The people who stepped up and helped out and shared the love despite all the yuck. I bet if you look back, you’ll see some of that too.

Back to my impending “hard things”.

First of all, I gotta give praise to God. He’s been so faithful to walk me through what was coming up. I can’t even begin to tell you all the ways. I can tell you, it’s been a good couple of weeks that step by step He led me through and prepared the way.

Let’s see that Deuteronomy 31:8 has to say about how God goes before us:

“The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” (NIV)

Not only does He go before us, but He lets us know He’s with us and then instructs us not to be afraid or discouraged.

He’s such a good Father. Even in the wake of things to come. Even if things don’t turn out the way I want or think I need.

Last night the first hard thing came and it carried over to this morning. It wasn’t anything I planned or really saw coming. But, I knew in my heart that after a couple of days of hearing “it’s time,” the time had come.

I’ve been a hot, tears spilling down my face mess. I hear my Savior whisper to come to Him and lay my heartache down.

When God asks you do lay something down, it’s for your good. It may not feel like it in the moment, but if you stick to what He says, I firmly believe you’ll bear the good fruit that will come from obeying.

Remaining where I am or going where He wants to take me is of course a choice. I don’t have to do the hard thing. I can stay put and see how my plans work out, but the closer I grow to Him, the more I know He has the very best plan for my life. Lord knows, I’ve chosen my plans over His countless times and I know how those plans turned out.

Those plans were typically for my self-seeking pleasure. The all about me plans. The what I deserve plans. The what about me plans. Oy vey. And finally, the me, myself and I-(dol) plans.

So, I did what I firmly believed God asked of me and with tears I let the thing He asked me to lay down, go. I spent time with Him in prayer sharing how I felt. He sat with me as I cried it out. He sits with me as I type it out, and use countless kleenex to clean up my tear-stained face.

Yes, I can do the hard things. Not because of me. Because of Him. You my friend, can do the hard things too. Not because of you. Because of Him. Because He loved us first and He loves us best.

I don’t know what hard thing you may be going through. But, stick close to God throughout it. He’s going to carry you through to the other side. Whatever that looks like, put your trust in Him. After all, He is the one who controls the winds and the waves.

I’ll leave you with this promise:

“But now, this is what the Lord says—he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.  When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; he flames will not set you ablaze.”

Have an amazing day, friends. Be bold! Be courageous and set your sights on things above.

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