Blessed to be Broken

God's not finished with me yet!

Cover-Up

You know that moment everything is going really well and the next thing you know, tears are streaming down your face? Yeah, me too. It’s kinda important to pay attention to what’s happening in that moment. Then again, it’s way easier to ignore the inner turmoil and just “keep swimming” as Dory, the Pacific blue tang fish from Finding Nemo would say.

I recently visited Santa Rosa beach in Florida. It was beautiful. I’m not your typical beach- goer. I love to watch the ocean and all its majesty, but I neither care for sand or the things that live and breathe in those waters. Literally, shiver me timbers mate, at the thought of all the creepy, crawly, wiggly tentacle and sharp teeth having creatures that could come alongside me.

This particular beach had the softest sand and the prettiest shades of blue water. It was peaceful and just what my soul needed. What I didn’t appreciate were the translucent looking crabs. These camera shy claw pinchers would burrow under the sand to get away from any and all prying eyes. This didn’t stop my friend and I from trying to get the ones we saw to smile for the camera. And, it didn’t stop people from trying to catch them. It’s no wonder they took to burrowing under the sand.

One evening I was walking along the beach, getting my feet wet and decided to take a few pictures. Little did I know I was standing on one of them buried crabs. The crab had enough of me and scooted out from under my foot. I jumped up like a crazy arm and legs flailing ninja and quickly backed away from the water. Done! I wanted no more crab encounters.

Let’s talk about those crabs for a second, shall we? As I thought about the crabs I thought they had a good lesson about hiding. These crabs just wanted to do crabby things. Whatever that may be. They hid when they didn’t want to be seen, and they revealed their hiding place if too much pressure was put on them. I‘m guessing they hid because they automatically considered us a foe and it’s a good defense mechanism.

What the crabs may not know is what’s under where they’re trying to hide. Is it possible for an even bigger danger to be found? Only the crab knows.

We’re not too far off from the crabs. When someone hurts us, we tend to hide and cover-up the wounds with false words like ”I’m fine.” When too much pressure is applied we use learned defense mechanisms to ward off potential foes. I say foes because it gets harder to make friends when pain and hurt do the leading under the false bravado of ”I’m fine”.

I don’t know how deep those crabs can dig down, but, I know how deep wounds can go. That’s where I found myself the other day. Thinking everything was fine. I said I had forgiven this person. I appropriately and messily walked through the hurt with Jesus and declared myself healed.

Imagine my surprise when something out of the blue nudged that ”healed” place. I exclaimed, ”Lord, I thought we were done with this?” Now, this is a great place for the enemy to try and convince you what a failure you are because you’re still dealing what seems to be the same hurt. Don’t you dare buy a ticket to that condemnation show.

God wants to fully heal and restore you. If something you thought was healed comes back to “haunt” you, take this opportunity to go deeper with Jesus into healing. As I processed this familiar hurt once again, God showed me I had merely covered up the remainder because I thought it to be inconsequential to my journey.

Apparently, God didn’t think it was inconsequential. Friends, God loves you. He wants to fully heal and restore all the areas we try to hide. He knows all the bad and sad things that covering up and storing our hurts away does to our mind and body.

Feeling shame or guilt from not being where you think you ought to be on your healing/forgiving journey only hinders moving forward. It doesn’t stop it, but it adds undue pressure on top of it. Remember, condemnation is not from God.

I had to remind myself that I was years in the making of where I am today. Why would I think it would take mere seconds for the undoing? There’s beauty to be found in the ashes and my pile of ashes is pretty hefty. But that just means even more beauty to be discovered. That’s good news!

Wherever you are in your journey, let God walk with you. He knows how slow or fast that healing will take. And if you think its done and something nudges your heart to go deeper, trust that on the other side of deeper, is everything God intends for your good. Heal on my friends!

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Unexpected

I was sill in my pajama’s enjoying the stillness of the morning. I finished my cup of coffee and was still reading my morning devotionals. Moose was sleeping in my lap.

We were both jolted out of our comfort by a knock on the door. I thought, ”Who can it be knocking on my door?” Totally sang that, by the way. I yelled out, ”Just a minute.” Moose sprinted to the door, barking his fool head off. I quickly went to my room to grab a robe.

I threw the robe on, put Moose in his crate and opened the door. There stood a nicely dressed woman whom I didn’t know. She apologized for interrupting me, and jumped into the reason she was there.

She had a black and white feral cat escape her pet carrier. She was taking the cat to be spayed at the vets across the street. Somehow, when she lifted the carrier the door opened and the cat ran onto my property. She wanted to know if she could set up a trap for the cat. She was concerned because the cat wasn’t familiar with the area. It was from another town. She mentioned another woman whose voice the cat recognized might be stopping over.

Of course, I said it was ok to set the trap and for them to search the area. Again, she apologized for disturbing me. I told her it was no bother at all, I was just reading my devotionals. She told me she was a woman of faith as well, and her name was also Faith. I introduced myself and she started walking to her car to get the trap. I told her “good luck” in catching the cat.

I don’t believe in ”luck”, so not sure why those words popped out of my mouth. She thanked me and went on about doing what she needed to do.

I let Moose out of his crate and he insisted on going outside. I decided I ought to get ready for the day and as I was brushing my teeth, I heard another knock on my door.

It was Faith, and a young girl. She looked to be a teenager. They were both crying. The girl was distraught and unashamedly weeping. Unfortunately, the cat met its demise and had gotten run over. Faith wanted to let me know, there was no need for a trap now.

I expressed my condolences and we all stood there not knowing what to do next. Faith turned to the young girl and they slowly started moving toward the car. I watched them with a heaviness on my heart for their pain.

This wasn’t their cat. They were just trying to do the responsible thing. Yet they grieved for this tiny fur baby like it was their own.

I prayed for their peace and comfort. I wondered if I should’ve invited them in. But, that didn’t really matter now, because, I didn’t.

That’s how quickly life can change. We both said we had faith the cat would be found. And it was, just not in the way we wanted. In these type moments, when things don’t turn out like we want, ”faith” is either lost or embraced. We either trust that God is who He says He is, or we decide that a god who lets bad things happen, can’t possibly be good or loving.

Ditching God for our perceived control over things doesn’t stop bad things from happening. You just have to find something else to blame it on. You usually start blaming yourself. You begin the ”I should’ve done” tracks in your brain. Thoughts start spinning out of control because somewhere along the line we think we’re responsible for everything and everyone.

As if their very existence relies on our knowing what’s best for them. Totally forgetting we don’t even have a handle on our own life.

Recently, I’ve found myself battling a familiar yet unrealistic fear. It directly ties into my thinking that I have any say over the length of time anyone in my family has left here on earth. It reminds me where I’m placing my trust. It reminds me what or who I’ve made into an idol.

I either trust God with my loved ones, or I don’t. It’s both simple and complicated. So what’s the best thing I can do? Confess my fears, repent my unbelief, and pray. Praying is my heart speaking to my Heavenly Father. He’s not ignoring what I want. He just knows better what I need. Trusting that His will be done, knowing it’s His best, releases me from the bondage of worry.

Yet, I still worry. But amidst that worry, there’s a peace. I believe it to be His peace beyond understanding, which is a gift from our Heavenly Father. It’s in that gift of peace I keep moving forward.

I don’t know what hard thing your facing today. But maybe, just maybe, try giving it to God. Seek the Father’s heart and allow Him to get all up in it. It may not turn out how you want, it may take longer than you want, but however it goes, please know, it’s part of a bigger plan for a bigger purpose. And you, my friend, are a part of it.

God’s always working. Even in the unexpected.

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