Posted in Jesus, Life as it happens.

Learning through Breaking

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Brokenness doesn’t come from badness. Brokenness comes, instead, from woundedness. God doesn’t break us because we’re bad, but He breaks away the  the self-made scars that we’ve grown over our wounds to heal ourselves. The wounds only appear on the outside to be healed, but underneath the surface scar there is still putrid, rotting flesh that is unhealed. It is unhealed because we cannot heal ourselves.

Self-protection is not healing. Self-protection is hiding.

Like Adam and Eve tried to cover their naked wounds with inadequate fig leaves, we try to cover out wounds with fig leaf clothing. Fig leaves weren’t made to heal or cover us. I so often look to wrong things for healing and covering. When I’ve screwed up (again), I reach for pride to cover my screw ups. I look around for blame to hide my sin. I look to and for people to validate my feelings.

Those are fig leaves. And fig leaves cover and heal nothing.

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But Jesus. Jesus and His blood. That is where healing and covering is found. He heals us. Slowly. So very very slowly. And just like a physical cut heals from the inside out, His healing starts deep inside of me, so deep inside no one, not even me, can see it or feel it. But He is working.

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Wounds are ugly. Self-healed wounds are uglier. Jesus healed wounds are beautiful. Because Jesus makes all things beautiful. Because Jesus alone knows the beauty that lives deep inside the human soul.

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This might be a little overly simplistic, but coffee beans do not make a good cup of coffee until they are broken and ground fine.

They also are the most fragrant immediately after grinding.

The coffee bean is grown green. It is useless to make a good pot of coffee until it has been roasted. Roasting always requires heat. Always. When roasting the green coffee beans they will within the first 3 to 15 minutes crack, they will crack again within 15-120 seconds after the first crack ends.

In roasting coffee, the beans crack. They break. High heat breaks them. Then they are ready to be removed from the heat.

High heat breaks them. Just as it breaks us. It breaks away the skin that covers the bean, just as it breaks away the self-made scars we’ve produced to protect ourselves.

Then the bean is ready to be broken again and ground up fine. It seems the breaking process never ends. In grinding the beans the fragrance is released. Just as when we are ground fine by God’s grinding us release the fragrance of what is inside.

That still isn’t all. The coffee bean when it is grown but left green is of no value to the coffee drinker. The coffee bean when it is cracked by the heat of roasting, or broken by the coffee grinder still has no value as coffee and is unusable in that state until it has been placed in coffee pot and had hot, boiling water poured over it. That is when it produces the desired result. That is when it fully is what it was grown to be.

Lord if it’s true that nothing is so ugly something beautiful can’t be made from it, please make something beautiful of me. Thank You for being the Creator of all and the Re-Creator of all that is damaged and broken. Thank You for being the Light that shines in and out of the broken. Thank You for being the Truth in a life filled with lies.
Please be with me to deliver me and Re-create me in You into something usable. And then Lord, please use me.

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Posted in Life as it happens.

Broken

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I thought about making this a private post, but I’m done hiding. I’m done trying to be someone I’m not. I’m done pretending all is fine, that I’m always okay because sometimes I’m not.  I’m done pretending life is always good.

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No, Sometimes I’m not okay. Sometimes. But I’m always broken. Always. I’ve been broken for years. Decades. Shoot I think I’ve always been broken.

And on my darkest days, I’m sure I’ll always be broken.

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I’ve spent time contemplating brokenness lately.

Brokenness–complete brokenness–is a sacrifice of God. He doesn’t despise brokenness of heart and brokenness of spirit. So why on earth should I?

Maybe if I changed my mind about my own brokenness and saw it–not as man sees it–but as my God sees it–then this hard place of stay, wouldn’t be so hard. Maybe if I changed my mind about it, I could see it as a place of grace.

Maybe I could see Him shining through the broken, shattered and splintered places of my soul. Maybe this is what Paul meant when he said he would chose to boast in his weaknesses.

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Because the weak, broken vessels best shine and show the love and grace of Jesus.

Brokenness shows the weak places of me. The places where because of someone else’s misdeeds (and yes, sometimes my own misdeeds), I was hurt–broken.

I’ve been completely shattered. I feel a loss of hope. A loss of grace. A loss of everything good under the sun.

I know feelings lie. I know feelings aren’t always to be trusted and sometimes they like to lead me astray.  I also know tomorrow is a different day and things might look better.

I’m not whole. I have been broken, shattered a million times and in a million pieces. I’m splintered off in a million ways.

I have holes. For some inexplicable reason, Jesus designed–or at the very least allowed–it to be for me. Because Jesus is seen in broken jars, broken vessels.

I can’t say with Paul that I’ll boast in my brokenness. That I’ll rejoice in my suffering. Because that takes time. And glue.

The thing with broken things. They remain broken. Even when you glue them. You can always see where it was broken. Those places are weaker.

I know all the “Christian platitudes” about God loving and using cracked pots, that Jesus heals, Jesus fixes the broken places. That no one is beyond His care. That in my weakest places He is strong.

Oh yes, I’ve known all of this for years and I’ve even been known to share them with others.

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But for right now, I’m just going to accept my brokenness. I’m going to accept that I’ve been shattered and trust that there is hope for one broken girl like me. I’m going to trust that Jesus is the One holding me and all my broken pieces in His hand. That He is also the glue that will put me back together again.