Good day, my sisters!
If you’ve been following this month’s blog posts, I’m sure you have recognized the recurring theme: Wholeness! Amid each of these personal stories you have read, I’m sure you have felt the brokenness of each individual just as I have. We all yearn for each other’s (as well as our own) healing, restoration, redemption, peace and joy. But you know what? One day we WILL have Wholeness! One day, there will be no more brokenness. What a day it will be when we return home to Jesus and experience wholeness for eternity! If you’re like me, my little 3lb brain cannot even fathom this truth, but because Jesus says He will one day make us whole, I can rest at ease and anticipation of this day.
And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also, he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” Revelation 21:5
So, let’s talk about brokenness for a second. First, we must identify that we were all born into a sinful, broken world. A world that cries out to be made whole again! We can easily see the brokenness around us with the crying of an infant, a cancer stricken loved one, a broken-down car, and just by tuning into social media. It is everywhere we look.
“Against its will, all creation was subjected to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay. For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up the present time.” Romans 20-22
Even when evaluating our own lives, we have experienced brokenness. We have brokenness. Whether we try to hide it, or whether we allow it to come to light, we are broken. Yet, the Lord wants to redeem and make us whole, piece by piece. For me personally, Jesus is working to make me whole piece by piece! I’m currently walking through this process of sanctification and wholeness as I type this. I’m a thirty-one-year-old, who has been married for almost twelve years now. Praise the Lord! I’m a mother to a two-and-a-half-year-old little girl, and I’m currently seven months pregnant with another little girl. My husband is the worship pastor at our home church, and I have been walking through ministry with him for almost ten years. Many would look at me and think, “She’s a pastor’s wife, she must have it all together.” Or some have even said to me personally, “I would have never known you endured so much because you’re so joyful. You’re an encourager. You’re hopeful. You were by far protected by the hand of God.” Or even one of my favorites, “How in the world did you turn out to be the person you are today?
You see, for me I was raised in a broken home. My biological father and mother divorced when I was one, and he abandoned me for good when I was eight. My mother did not know Christ and therefore, searched from man to man to fulfill herself. The effect of this meant we moved every year, if not, multiple times in a year (along with changing schools). I have seen things with my own eyes as a little girl, that I pray my daughters NEVER have to see. (I’m tearing up just thinking and processing through this.) I’ve seen one of my mother’s past husbands physically abuse her to the point of her being unconscious. I have endured our vehicle being ran off the road by another man who so called “loved us”. I even helped my mother escape our trailer in the middle of the night when I was ten years old, because yet again, another husband put a knife against his throat and threatened to kill himself if he caught me helping my mother and I escape. At one point in my life we lived in a motel and ate MRE’s that were provided by my mother’s boyfriend because we couldn’t afford food. From middle school through high school, I endured many more houses, not “homes”, with many different men who attempted to be a so called “father figure”. When in all reality, they wanted to butter me up; manipulate me in hopes that I would convince my mother to stay with them. My mother took on a job during these years as an exotic dancer to provide for us. Still to this day, I’m unsure as to how she came into this profession, but nonetheless, she worked hard. By being in this profession, one can only imagine the brokenness and darkness that my mom (and other individuals) encountered and were invited into on a daily basis. In high school, it got to the point where I didn’t know if she would return home or if she would be staying with a “friend”. My senior year of high school my mother went on vacation for a few weeks and never returned home. She ended up moving out of state, marrying a guy I had never met (husband number 9), and left me to fend for myself. I was not only trying to graduate high school, but I was also working a part time job at a restaurant, while also trying to pay rent, utilities, food… you name it!
During all these years of moving, manipulation, abandonment, and a dire need for love and safety, Jesus pursued me! He was in constant pursuit of my protection. He was in constant pursuit of showing me love. He was in constant pursuit of calling me His… Beloved! Child of God! Redeemed! Called! At the age of fourteen I surrendered my life to Jesus at a skating rink called Turnaround in Lagrange, Ga. Still to this day they open their doors on Sundays and Tuesdays to share the gospel of Jesus Christ to all they encounter. I am forever grateful for the outpouring of love and obedience to each kid who walks in their doors. They were and still are tangibly the hands and feet of Jesus.
So, why do I share all of this with you? Well, it’s simple. We all have a story!And amid all of our stories there is one BIGstory and it’s simply this… Jesus came to save us, to make us whole.How beautiful!! Each of our stories entails brokenness through pain, grief, struggles and loss. However, Jesus can and WILL make something beautiful out of all the broken pieces. I promise!
“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Psalms 147:3
Earlier I mentioned that the Lord is currently walking with me through this process of sanctification and wholeness. But first, you need a bit of a back story. For starters, if you ask anyone in my family or friends from school if I wanted to be a mother, they would respond with “heck no!” Yep, that’s right. I didn’t want to be a mother. I was terrified of the thought of being a mother because of my own experience. Though there are some great qualities that my mother has for which I have been gifted with, I thought I’d “play it safe” and just not be one. After seven years of marriage the Lord changed it all! He put a desire in my heart for children. I tell you in all honesty, that I wrestled with Him on this… A LOT! Much like Naomi in the book of Ruth who was bitter at God from all her loss, so much that she wanted to be called Mara (which literally means “bitter”); I too, was bitter! I was bitter that He would give me a desire that I never wanted. After much time with the Lord and seeking Him in His living, breathing word; journaling a whole lot, I surrendered to His calling on my life. Little did I know that He would not answer this desire He gave me until year nine of marriage. The journey of parenthood has been a necessary piece of wholeness for me. Not that my identity is found in being a mother, but more importantly it has been a beautiful avenue in which the Lord has so graciously been healing pieces of my brokenness. He has taught me so much about His heart for His own children! This verse from 1 John 3:1 has been my verse for the last year and a half.
“See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so, we are!”
And so, we are my friends!
Can you say it with me? “And so, we are!!” Let that resonate… nothing changes us form being His children. Nothing! Much like nothing changes me from being my first-born daughters (and Lord willing my second daughter’s) mother. God chooses His people, His children. Because He chooses His people and calls you His own, His very own child, we need to surrender to His process of wholeness. This process will not feel great. In order to be made whole, there are deep wounds that have to be reopened. These reopened wounds get flushed out and filled with His love, with His truth, with His joy and His peace. There may still be a scar, because let’s face it we are living in the flesh, but much like Jesus we will be healed, freed and whole. So, my challenge for you dear sisters is this… will you choose to surrender, abide and obey? Will you allow Him to use your brokenness (your story in the middle of His big story) to be a bearer of hope? Will you let your brokenness come to light? Will you allow Him to free you from that which you keep holding onto? Will you declare to the world that you are a Child of God and the brokenness you have encountered does not define you, but He does!
Again, He wants to heal you. You are His Child and He loves you!