Blessed to be Broken

God's not finished with me yet!

There’s More To Your Story

He wanted to die. For whatever reason, life on this side of Heaven is not what he wanted. Maybe it was too big a disappointment. Maybe it was too hard. Maybe it was too painful or maybe, just maybe, it was the separation of his earthly vessel from His Heavenly Creator that caused a cavernous emptiness so encompassing that he felt only death could fix it.

So he set a course of action in play, one he was sure would take him out of this world, out of his pain, out of his misery, out of his suffering, BUT…God.

“You can make many plans, but the LORD’S purpose will prevail.” – Proverbs 19:21 (NLT)

This day was not like any other day. His body screamed “enough” and told him in more ways than one that he couldn’t keep going at the rate he was going. Many pieces and parts of his inner frame started to shut down from the years of abuse. He was on a mission, but so was God.

He would find himself in the ICU, hooked up to numerous medications. Each day during his stay I watched his body fight back from the brink of death. I witnessed glimpses of hope. I saw his body get the rest it so desperately needed to repair the damage from the choices he made.

I was very much aware of God’s mercies being new every morning and each second as recovery took over destruction. I watched the hands and feet of Jesus at work in those who claimed not to believe in Him. And I marveled as I watched God wooing those who are wandering.  How could I not be amazed at His beautiful and amazing grace?

I was reminded of this verse: “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.”  – Psalm 23:4 (NKJV)

I don’t know the reason he set out on his own path away from God. But his plans did not prevail, and he’s still here. Whatever caused that broken relationship with himself, the one that told him, his life was not worth living, is as personal as the love Jesus has for him. And just as I saw miracles happen over the course of that hospital stay, I know God won’t stop reaching, fighting for His son, His child, His beautiful creation.

I know, because I also found myself wanting to quit this world when it got too hard and the pain seemed unbearable many years ago. It was in this place of  desolation and the belief that no one cared that I thrashed about like a fish out of water screaming: “God, where are you?” And He whispered, “I’m right here, where are you?”

Indeed, where was I? Sin had pulled me far from God, but not so far that His love couldn’t save me. So, if you feel the lack of God’s mighty presence, I wonder, where are you? Because God, He’s right here.  I know, because His promise in Deuteronomy  31:6 says: “I will never leave you or forsake you.” Never…that’s a long time.

Sweet friend, if you’re still here, please don’t give up, there’s more to your story than just this moment. Whatever piece of this journey you’re on, it’s nothing that will last forever…it’s just a season. Please remember, you’re life is precious and you have a purpose and there is no one exactly like you that can do all you were created to do.

Your story’s not over, it’s just beginning.

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Just As I Was

A friend of mine once lovingly told me after I had decided to follow Jesus, “you don’t get to pick and  choose what you want to follow, you pick up your cross and you follow Him.”  I would like to say after she told me that, I did exactly that, but I didn’t.  I’m a work in progress and I’m human, and every day, Jesus teaches me His ways through the Bible.  Not just your ordinary every day book, but a living, breathing life altering, mind transforming (not to be confused with brain washing), heart softening, truth speaking guide to life.

The Bible is His Word speaking to us today.  Yes, I have free will and I live in a fallen world.  The sins of people (including me) are no different than the sins of yesteryear.  A big difference however is that people used to hide their sin and were either ashamed or shamed into hiding or possibly executed or exiled. Today, we flaunt our sin flags proudly and we ask others to watch our sin and then take you to court if you don’t agree to play on the playground of our sin.  It’s splattered all over social media, television, magazines, books and well, just about everywhere you look.  I’m offended by your offense and you’re offended that I’m offended by your offense and everyone’s walking around offended by offense.

What’s a follower of Christ to do?  Do we take our Bibles and thump away at will or do we look the other way and put ourselves in a Christian bubble? We’re just as human and as sinful as the person next to us. Putting ourselves on a pedestal isn’t going to bring lost souls to Jesus.  We can’t run around shaking our holier than thou finger in their faces, because you better start with the person looking back at you in the mirror.  Good grief we’ll chase away those searching for Christ in a NY minute that way.

What brought you to Christ?  I can tell you it wasn’t any one thing for me.  I know it’s more than I’ll ever know this side of Heaven, but what I do know is, people were praying for me and I had no clue about that until after the fact.  Jesus placed people in my life that knew Him but I was too far from Him to grasp it. It wasn’t until my best friend started changing that I started to question what was happening.  It wasn’t an overnight, she took a Jesus pill and was instantly changed. No, it was a gradual change.  I have to be honest, I didn’t quite know what to think.

As she changed, something slowly started changing in me.  She never told me I needed to change. She never told me I was a bad person. She never changed how she loved me.  She told me about her life changing and what work Jesus was doing in her.  There was no holier than thou finger shaking or Bible thumping involved.

See, I already had guilt and shame deep seeded in my soul. I didn’t need anyone telling me my sins were offensive because deep down I already knew.  My best friend loved me just as I was.  Did she want better for me?  Sure she did, she always had, that part never changed. But she never once forced Jesus on me.  She loved me as Jesus loved me.  Just as I was.

But through it all, God was there. It was my time and I was ready.  I’d come to the end of myself and I wanted something better than the living hell I was putting myself through.  You want to know why I changed…ask me.  I’ve been telling people all about me for as long as people will listen.  Difference now….I have nothing to hide.  My chains are gone, I’ve been set free.   This is absolutely nothing I did for myself.   It’s all about Jesus and what He’s done.

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Please Don’t Inject Color Here

colors-wallpaper-2

Some years ago, I had this friend.  She was beautiful. Every time I looked at her, I thought how pretty she was, and one day I decided to tell her.  She thanked me and the days passed by one by one.  Telling someone they were pretty back then didn’t come naturally to me.  Maybe inside I was jealous over their beauty, or to me, it just seemed liked they might already know it.

However, my friend wasn’t overly thrilled with the fact that I had told her she was pretty.  At the time I told her, I didn’t know that.  It was actually a couple months later when she decided to talk with me about what I had told her. 

She asked if I remembered telling her she was pretty and I said yes.  She said, so you think I’m pretty for woman and again I said yes, and then she said, so why when you told me I was pretty, did you say I was pretty for a black woman?  The obvious answer to me, was, well, because you’re black.  The point she made was, she was a woman and the color of her skin shouldn’t have come into play.  Ouch!!

I had injected color where color did not belong.  Here I thought I had paid her a compliment, but instead I had insulted her.  Needless to say, I was floored.  I had no idea.  I was of course apologetic but our friendship changed, and it was never quite the same.  We were both in the military at the time, and eventually we lost touch, but her life lesson has remained.

We are all children of God, it doesn’t matter the color of our skin.  God looks at our hearts, not our appearance.  We are all uniquely and individually made and while our backgrounds are different, His message is clear, “A new command I give you: Love one   another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.  By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”~~ John 13:34-35 (NIV)

Nowhere in that verse does it say love one another based on the color of their skin or that we are to live as colors.  We are to live as children of God.  And yet, everyday, we see life lived just the opposite.  We verbally and physically attack one another based on what we are instead of treating each other out of the respect for who we are and who we are is His children.  Just like watching our children fight, imagine how it must make God feel to see the way we fight amongst ourselves.     

This video clip is circulating around the internet from the television show, “What would you do?” 

Clip from “What would you do”

I’ll just let you watch it and come to your own conclusion, but what a powerful message!! Some parts just brought tears to my eyes.  How we treat each other is paramount to the testimony of our lives and what we are passing down to the next generation.  We have to be the change.

Michael Jackson was an amazing artist.  I don’t care what anyone says about him, that man was talented with a capital T.  In November of 1991, the song he sang called “Black or White” was released and of course there was an awesome video made. Towards the end of this video, the actors seamlessly transform from men to women of all colors, shapes and sizes.  So very cool they way they did this.  Still amazes me.  Best line in my opinion from that song; “I’m not gonna spend my life being a color.”  You can watch the video here: Michael Jackson~~Black or White

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want anything to define me.  Not the number on a scale, not my past, not my age, not my job, not societal standards of wealth, or the color of my skin. Those “things” just put limits on who God says I am.  God is limitless, and who am I to put a limit on an infinite God and what He will do in my life.

Ephesians 3:16-21 reads, “I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.  Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen.”

Did you really catch this promise~~  “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.”

His power is at work within us and can do more than we can imagine.  Wrap your head around that and let Father God show you who you are.  Don’t be defined by the things of this world, but look up and know that He is God.

 

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