The last time I wrote, I shared about how I had been in a difficult place towards the end of 2018 and the beginning of 2019. I received so many encouraging messages and comments from friends who prayed for me and from people who really identified with what I was going through.
I am happy to say that since I wrote the letter, ‘Dear 2019’, I am in a different and better place and I hope and pray you are as well!
Here is more of what I’ve learned this month:
Not all things change overnight _________________________________________________________
I still struggle and things are still hard for me sometimes, because well, life is hard.
But I’ve discovered that I am most successful in moving past hurt and difficulty when I surrender it to Jesus.
I know, guys, I’m a lil’ late to the party on that one, but I have a tendency to be stubborn at times.
It has taken me a while to get past the mindset of:
“I’ll take care of it and THEN I’ll give it to Jesus.”
which is a hard stronghold to break whenever you’re an organizer and a planner like me that likes to be the one in control, but I’m getting there.
As one of my favorite ladies, Holly Joyce Murray, has said:
PROGRESS > PERFECTION
I’m also still learning to surrender to another word:
Taking things day-by-day, but also not using that as an excuse to procrastinate and not lay down what I need to at Jesus’ feet.
Be more patient + gracious towards others _________________________________________
Everyone is going through something. It costs nothing to be kind.
Plus, it could cost you everything to not be kind.
I’ve noticed that a lot of us Christians are cruel to others in the name of being honest (thx T-Swift):
“They just give me a weird vibe.”
“Well, they said something to me once that I didn’t agree with.”
Am I saying you have to be best friends with EVERYONE?
I’m saying don’t go burning bridges with people; you never know which one could help you get across the valley.
T.D. Jakes once said:
“We have a tendency to want the other person to be a finished product while we give ourselves the grace to evolve.”
After reading that, I realized how many times I had shut somebody down just because of ONE thing they did or ONE comment they made; and all in the name of “protecting my spiritual wellbeing.”
And I realized that if the amount of grace I extended to others was the amount of grace Jesus extended towards me…I’d be in TROUBLE.
I’m not downgrading guarding your spirit, but there is a way to correct kindly and I’ve learned that most of us haven’t even tried to learn how to do that.
So, how have I started being more intentional about being kind, you ask?
Not judging others just because their best doesn’t look exactly like mine.
Luke Lezon said:
“We’d wash a lot more feet if we’d quit arguing about who is doing it the best way.”
I know I just incorporated quite a few quotes, but once I read them, it woke me up, so I wanted to share them with you all as well; hoping that they’ll help you too.
I am beautiful even in my brokenness __________________________________________________
Last week, Lucas got me a big bouquet of these beautiful sunflowers.
Once I got home and began to cut the stems and put them in different vases, I noticed that one sunflower had been damaged somewhere along it’s voyage from his car to my car, from my car into my house.
The flower head had nearly snapped in half, but was still hanging on to the stem.
I couldn’t bear to just throw the flower out, so I got some sort of medical tape out of the cabinet and mended it back onto the stem.
After, I stuck the sunflower back into the vase with the others and God began laying some things on my heart.
Just because the sunflower was a little broken, didn’t mean that it wasn’t still beautiful.
That’s why I couldn’t bring myself to throw it away.
You see what I’m getting at here?
(A little broken, but still beautiful)
We’ve all been a little broken.
A little hurt.
A little wrong.
A little bitter.
A little imperfect.
But Jesus still loves us.
That’s why the song is called Reckless Love; because His love makes sense in that it doesn’t make sense at all.
It is completely reckless for Him to love me.
I’ve been unkind.
I’ve dwelled on the past.
I’ve refused to move past my mourning.
I’ve been unforgiving.
I’ve messed up.
But still, He gives Himself away to me, and not just part of me, all of me; including the parts that have pushed Him away.
I couldn’t earn it and I don’t deserve it, but His love encompasses everything I am and makes me whole.
My sunflowers are still thirty n flirty n thriving, but the one I tried to mend died in a few days…
because it never healed properly.
It never reattached itself to the stem.
God thinks I’m beautiful, even in my brokenness, but he never wants to leave me that way.
Even Jesus had to die for something to be made whole again.
So I learned through that little flower that God can’t restore what I ignore.
Many of us want to be justified in our hurt, in our ways.
We so badly want our heart to have a say on the witness stand:
“If God is the Healer and Redeemer he says he is then why hasn’t he set me free from this?”
Because some things don’t change overnight. Because sometimes there is a lesson he wants us to learn in our pain, in our struggles.
“If you knew what I’ve been through, you’d understand why I am the way I am towards other people.”
“If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love [for others growing out of God’s love for me], then I have become only a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal [just an annoying distraction].”
-1 Corinthians 13:1
Be the person you needed.
It’s not easy; it never is.
Trust me, I get it.
The last few months I felt broken all over again from the past.
One of my close friends even told me that during her prayer time, she had a mental picture for me of someone in a doctor’s office. The person had experienced a broken bone and the doctor was telling them that it had to be broken again in order to heal correctly.
And man did that speak directly to what God has been doing in my life and in my heart.
I felt like Job:
broken by the ruins of a life I had once known.
Wondering why I couldn’t stop things from crumbling.
Wondering why I wasn’t enough.
But still trying to seek after God in the midst of my brokenness.
Becoming angry with him.
But then, God spoke to Job
and he spoke to me too:
“4 Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell me, if you know so much.
6 who laid its cornerstone 7 as the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?
28 Does the rain have a father? Who gives birth to the dew?
31 Can you direct the movement of the stars – binding the cluster of the Pleiades or loosening the cords of Orion? 32 Can you direct the constellations through the seasons or guide the Bear with her cubs across the heavens?
2 Do you still want to argue with the Almighty? You are God’s critic, but do you have the answers?”
And, much like Job, I stopped wrestling with God, let him win, and was blessed by him.
This is what I’ve learned. I hope this has encouraged you and maybe opened the eyes of those who have been struggling with the same things.
A little broken, but still beautiful.
“The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.”