Life is full of broken moments, broken things and broken hearts…..
As a daughter…
Upon getting older in life, we realize life really does come full circle. As children, our parents care for us when we can’t take care of ourselves. As we then become adults, we end up taking care of our parents and watch them return to that child-like dependence that we once had for them. Walking along side of them as they go through the transitions of old age including sickness, loss of strength, loss of memory, loss of mobility, and eventually, the loss of their beautiful lives, is a pain that is in a category all of it’s own. There is nothing that can prepare you for these difficult and heartbreaking seasons and years. It can seem unbearable, at times. I never knew my heart could hurt so much, It really is true that you wake up the next day after such loss and wrestle with the morning itself….after-all, you feel that the sun should not be rising, that life should not be going on without them. It just feels wrong. It cuts to the very core of a child witnessing the deep emptiness of death itself. I so remember feeling like an orphan after losing both of mine. I did not anticipate that, but nevertheless, it was something that I had to process and work through. Maybe you can relate.
As a wife…
When our marriages are on the brink of destruction we pray like nobody’s business. We plead for God to fix it. We invade heaven asking for Divine intervention. After-all, we want our happily-ever-after! It is what we dreamed about as a little girl in pig tails watching Cinderella. We anticipated the day when our own Prince would come and rescue us and forever love us and in return, we would fully and devotedly love them and write our own “happily-ever-after’ story! That’s just how it was supposed to be, at least that is what Disney wanted us to believe! But then, real life happens. We are left feeling short-changed. We marry but we find out that it is hard and even heartbreaking at times. Some struggles challenge the marriage and only propel the relationship to be more intimate than ever before. Some things, however, drive a wedge that can forever separate and destroy.
As a mom…
Walking along side of your kids as they go through painful stuff is heartbreaking. We do everything we can to try to protect them and try as we may, we can’t always keep them from those unintended times when situations are out of our control and our protection is not enough. We are confronted with the harsh reality that just as we can’t protect them from pain, we can’t easily “fix” their broken hearts or protect them from life-altering situations or sickness. There are also those gut wrenching moments when your child may become “that” child…you know, the one that you heard about that got in trouble with the law and you swore your child would never, ever do such a thing? Then there are those courageous moms who have experienced the excruciating pain of losing a child. There are no words that can describe the pain. This is life. It’s hard, It’s humbling. It’s full of unwanted devastation as we get the front row seat that demands us to experience the heartbreaking moments of being a mom who loves so deeply. Yet, whether we are moms by birth, spiritual moms, moms by adoption, grand-moms, we would choose it all over again!
As a child of God…
There are experiences in our own lives that take us by surprise and knock us off our feet. Unanswered prayers, broken hearts, pain, sickness, loss, and yet we know from scripture that we WILL have trouble. The “why me?” questions force us to examine our true motives for being a Christ follower. Is it more about our relationship with Him or about what He can give us beyond the greatest gift of our salvation? If we are not careful, our expectations can turn selfish over time. We get mad at God and blame Him as if we should be able to dictate our own lives with the avoidance of pain and suffering. Being a follower of Christ does not exempt us from the tough stuff. Jesus told us in John 16:33, “In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” There is no where in the bible that ever promises a life without difficulties this side of heaven.
SO what do we do with our brokenness, disappointments, loss and those things that can’t be fixed? How do we carry on when the pain goes so deep?
Here is what I have found….there are days when darkness seems to win; when fear bullies faith right out the door, when facing another day takes all the courage and bravery we can muster. There are moments when desperate and broken hearts wonder if their dreams of the “happily ever after” are but, forever gone. So is life. I get it! However, there is an underlying component that brings a powerful flip-side to each and every agonizing heart. It’s the God-factor! Because of our “BUT GOD” that follows and pursues us on this journey, we are never, EVER without hope, even in the most dire circumstances.
Friend, what if we spent LESS time focusing on our difficulties and MORE time looking to Jesus and capturing the precious blessings He provides in the midst of our mess! Not easy, I know. BUT it’s the most productive, powerful and peaceful option! I promise, you WILL see Him in the worst of circumstances if you can but change your focus! He IS with you! He IS walking you through to bring you out! Can I just say that faith challenged is a faith that is growing as opposed to faith that is comfortable and stagnant? Comfortable faith brings us to lukewarmness and even a subtle move towards self-reliance which leads to pride and compromise…ugh! We don’t like to admit it, but our flesh is so prone to wonder when we don’t feel a “need” for Jesus or when things are going great. True story!
You may very well be thrown into the fiery furnace of difficulty, loss, divorce, or chronic illness. You may find yourself in the lion’s den with fierce situations and roaring opposition! You or someone you love may be going through the dark valley of loving a prodigal child. You may stumble upon Red Sea moments that stop you in your tracks, BUT God. He comes. HE rescues. HE delivers. HE protects. HE heals. HE comforts. HE speaks “peace be still” as the storms rage around us. Throughout these turbulent seasons, we are reminded that God does and will do what we can’t as we painfully SURRENDER our hearts and the hearts of those we love to Him, fully TRUSTING HIM for the outcome. It’s called grace! And God has an abundance of it precisely stored up just for YOU and for me! We will find that in His perfect timing, His purpose will outshine the pain and that He will use the very pain we tried to pray away to transform us and others into the beloved children He created us to be!
Friend, because we know Him as our Lord and Savior, we can say with stubborn resolve and unshakable courage “I am blessed!” What a testimony for the Glory of God! As God’s very own beloved daughters, we have this ANCHOR that keeps us steady no matter the strength of the winds that threaten to destroy us or the devastation and loss that surrounds us. Sister, our “happily ever after” WILL come because our future is secure in Jesus! Our hope goes way beyond the here and now! When all is said and done, we WIN because Jesus has already won this battle for us!! Can I challenge you to start focusing on and proclaiming out loud how very “blessed” you really are!? That is TRUTH that no circumstance, devil, or person can take away! LIVE blessed, THINK blessed! It is YOUR inheritance! Receive it today and everyday with abundant JOY and know that the best is yet to come!
Jeremiah 17:7 But blessed are those who trust in the LORD and have made the LORD their hope and confidence.
Hebrews 12:1-2 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
2 Corinthians 4:17-18 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
Revelation 21:3-4 I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”