Blessed to be Broken

God's not finished with me yet!

I Can’t Hear You

Do you remember being little, putting your hands over your ears, shouting obnoxiously loud, “I can’t hear you!” and then making all sorts of vocally misconstrued cacophony at your targeted nemesis? You know, the person who refused to listen when you told them you didn’t want to hear something? Heck, maybe you’ve even done this as an adult. I know I have.

This morning, I got myself around to workout. I’d love to say I’ve been consistently working out, but, I can’t. So, like the lyrics to the Whitesnake song, “Here I go again”.

The first routine started and the instructor repeated the words to the song that was playing. “Where are you”? It only took seconds for me to see where I was. I got a strong visual of myself sitting comfortably crossed legged, looking down in dark, muddy waters, swirling my hand around. I stopped the workout and I stood there in disbelief.

Tears welled up in my eyes and I asked God, “How did I get here… again”? But, this was different. It wasn’t a place where I’d been feeling shame, or guilt. No. This place was a safe place for me. I didn’t feel alone. I felt peace.

The water swirling around by the motion of my hand was receding water. I wasn’t overtaken by the water. I was actually, ok. I wasn’t fearful. I wasn’t kicking and screaming inside my soul. I wasn’t pushing against what God wanted to do in me. I was being still. I was waiting. More importantly, I was shutting the world out, and allowing God to heal my innermost parts.

So this, at least for me, is what it meant “to be still” AND “know He is God”.

A little over a year ago, I moved into a new to me home, subsequently resigned my position at work, and became a mostly empty nester. There were no Bible studies happening in my home and it was pretty much, me, myself, and lots and lots of time. In that time, came tears, pushing against the life as it was, and letting go of preconceived notions of how my life should look.

For the first time, I could sense and feel the anxiety I didn’t even know I had. The constant pushing of my soul to do more and be more. Reaching for something yet holding onto nothing. All for what? Acceptance. Validation. Love. In this place, even though I knew it, my heart had yet to grasp it. Performance based love, is a terrible taskmaster.

Unlearning years of performance based love is a journey. Oh, how I wanted it to be a sprint. Learning to say no to something or someone, over people pleasing, is both hard and freeing. Hearing “No is a complete sentence”, was a game changer for me. I can more easily recognize the nerves bundling up inside me when someone or something is trying to bulldoze me into submission. I have a right to stand up for myself. I have a right to be who God made me to be. And it’s ok, and I’ll be ok, if someone walks away.

Another game changer for me … “You can’t care more about someone’s problems, than they do”. Maybe, switch out “worry” for “care”. God never said to worry over someone’s else’s life. He said carry each other’s burdens. That pretty much means to bring a form of relief. Worry, is not relief.

Speaking of worry. During this time, I saw my life as a form of punishment for all the things, I wasn’t doing “right”. It caused me great angst and grief. This is also tied to performing. How could I be loved by God when I was doing everything wrong? I daresay, that’s the wrong question. Why, couldn’t I receive the love God was freely giving? That, was the question that flipped the punishment script.

When you view your life as a punishment, you do “life” differently. You cocoon in the comforts of this life. Binging television. Eating what you want. Marathon sessions of couch sitting. Like you could win the gold medal at this event. You say things like, “What does it matter”? “This is as good as it gets”. Worse still, you slowly back away from God, and scoff at His promises for your life, believing they’re for anyone else but you.

But, I’m here to tell you, even in this place, God doesn’t stop pursuing you. He’ll send people into your life to speak, truth, and honor. He’ll set you on people’s minds and they’ll reach out to you in ways you never saw coming. His people will testify of the troubles they’ve walked through and came out the other side and you’ll be in just the right place and the right time, and instead of bouncing off you, His truth will settle in you.

Then, you’ll know that you were never alone. He was with you. He did not forsake you. He literally loved you through it and He kept His promises.

Separation from all the things, will show you, who or what you’ve been placing your trust, hope, and love in and who’s voice is louder, the worlds or Gods. In this place, at least for me, I found God wasn’t silent, He was doing work I couldn’t see. He was going deeper than I knew I needed. He was healing things I long shut out and minimized.

If the world’s voice is overwhelming you, it may be time to cover your ears and shout with obnoxious enthusiasm, “I can’t hear you”. Then get quiet, and let God do the talking. Remember, God doesn’t want just pieces and parts of you. He wants all of you. And when He knows you’re ready, He’ll make it known in love. Not in punishment or condemnation.

If you’re ready my friend, He’s waiting. He’s been waiting. And what He has for you, will absolutely change you and the way you see Him, and the way you see yourself. Dare to believe because God is good, so are you.

Much love and peace to you!


Old Hollywood

I never thought I’d be one of those people who long for yesteryear. I was always the one who couldn’t wait for what tomorrow would bring. Seems those carefree days are behind me.

If I’m honest, I worry too much about what the future holds. I wonder if the decisions from my past will one day show up as a malady in my body. Every new spot on my body is an opportunity to fret. Then there’s that big C word that carries a lot of scary stuff with it. But, this is not really about those things.

The yesteryear I’m referring to is old “Hollywood” and the award shows that used to be the epitome of class and elegance. The women wore these majestic gowns that flowed and glistened. They rustled when the women glided across the stage. The men wore tuxedo’s that were sharp and stylish. Their acceptance speeches were pristine, filled with humility and gratefulness. That version of Hollywood made me want to be an actress. Not for the fame, but for the perceived glitz and glamour.

Of course I was a lot younger then. My eyes only saw what was shown through the television screen. Now, I can’t even bring myself to watch any of the award shows. Gone are the majestic gowns. They’ve been replaced by barely there clothing. It’s become a competition to see who can draw the most attention to their bodies. The men attempt to out- flash one another with their attire. Their speeches are mainly politically charged, filled with agenda and profanity. To me, these shows have become a waste of time.

Yet, people still give their attention to this gluttonous, ceremonial, sickophant, sideshow. Scrolling through my social media newsfeeds yesterday, the talk of the town was of course, the Grammy’s. Every post reminded me why I was glad I didn’t watch it.

I did however make the mistake of watching a clip of Harry Style’s acceptance speech. He walked up to the mic and the first word out of his mouth was “S!#&” or 💩. He actually said that word multiple times.

I watched it because “they” made it seem like the competitors in the category he won, was in such disbelief of his winning they walked out on his speech. Me thinks “they” twisted those headlines to meet a deceptive agenda. I can’t even tell you a single song Harry sings. I have no clue what kind of person he is. I only used his acceptance speech as an example of what the majority find acceptable. I won’t even go down the Sam Smith slippery slope slide. But, yikes!

Who allows this kind of stuff on television? We do. Every time we give it our attention. Every time we pay homage to it. Every time we
remain silent and accept this as the new normal, we give them license to be even more crude and toxic. We act appalled and still give it our attention. I have to wonder, why do we keep allowing dysfunction to be an idol?

I can’t answer that question for you. I do know this gradual descent into depravity has stopped being challenged and each year they push that envelope into more shockingly disturbing behavior.

It saddens me because it’s not all of them. We can find a minority doing their best to keep old, glamorous “Hollywood” alive, but they’re fewer and far between.

I know this is just my opinion, and you don’t have to agree with me. I’m ok with that. So, if you don’t agree, keep moving along, there’s nothing to see here folks.

All I’m trying to say is, it matters what we watch. It matters what we listen to. It matters how we speak. It matters what we think. It matters more than we know.

It may not matter to anyone this side of Heaven that I didn’t watch the Grammy’s, but I know it mattered to God. And since I know it matters to my Heavenly Father, that’s all that matters to me.

Lastly, I know longing for yesteryear is fleeting. I know tomorrow isn’t guaranteed. I know my hope isn’t found in the things of this world. So, I’ll keep pressing on till I’m called home, and I’ll keep this verse close to my heart:

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” ~ Romans 12:2 (NIV)

To know what God’s will is for your life, you’ll need to spend time getting to know Him. It’s up to you to make that choice. And when you’re ready, He’ll be there.

Have an amazing day friends. Afterall, there won’t be another one like it.

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