{note to self} brokenness isn’t beautiful

“It is in human’s greatest weakness where we find human’s greatest creativity and God’s greatest strength.” -My Dad

Who is your first love? Is it the pleasures of this world? The finite relationships? The faded treasures? Who is your first love? What holds fast in your heart? Something that would seem to tear you apart if it were to vanish from your life? Let Christ be your first love. Infinite in love and abounding in mercy. Hold fast to Him, knowing full well the gravity and great reward of a life of devotion and commitment lived in faith.

I wrote this days before I left for my month of adventure. I was excited, I was nervous, and I could not wait to meet all of these new people and form all of these brand new relationships. There was such a pull on my heart, so much of a love and a burden for people I had never even met. It was exciting to me. After all, adventuring is my most favorite thing and new situations are my comfort zone. I absolutely couldn’t wait to get started.

Weakness, vulnerability, brokenness –  these were the words that held the subject of many conversations in the beginning of the month. I knew it was going to be hard, spiritual warfare is never easy. However, I was not fully expecting that most of that weakness, vulnerability and brokenness was going to be coming from my end. My pride got hurt a lot and the tears seemed to flow a lot more than usual. It was messy, it was sticky, it was not my shining moment or my finest hour. Many times, I was on the floor in physical or emotional pain.

It was not what I would call an ideal ministry tactic.

I didn’t like it. In fact, I hated it. I hated that I was confined to these afflictions. I hated that it seemed like I was trapped by my body. Because, I’ll admit, I’m very stubborn and it’s not easy for me to tell someone I am physically hurting. Mainly because if I did, they would send me to bed and I would consider myself useless and a burden.

To my dismay, my pain became too much to hide one day and I was sent to bed. As I laid there, tears of pain and frustration streaming down my face, a quiet whisper flooded my heart.

“Who is your first love?”

I paused and immediately thought, “Well, it’s God, obviously.”

“Really?” the whisper said.

I pondered it again, slowly a thought started to form.

“Is your love in your strength? Do you pride yourself in being strong in the midst of pain and in the midst of suffering? Your strength has been torn away from you, where are you clinging? What are you longing for? Let me be your strength, let me be your stronghold. Because when everything else fades away, when everything else is gone, I am the only one who can sustain you. The very life you live is held in my hands. Why do you think you can rely on your own strength and your own will to survive?”

Ouch. Oh, right.

Slowly, I began to praise. Slowly, I began to enjoy God’s sweetness and rest in His strength and not in my own.

{note to self} Don’t be fooled, your broken pieces are not what make you beautiful.

Rather, it’s what you decide to do with them that makes the difference. You can be ashamed of them and bury them underneath the rugs of defeat or be afraid of them and throw them away in shame, and is that not where our temptation lies day after day? But let us not forget the victory we have in Christ. The one who takes our brokenness and makes it into a beautiful mosaic. The kind of mosaic where the colors dance joyfully as the light glimmers off of the broken pieces and shines radiantly making murals on the walls.

When we surrender our shame, our anger, our rejection, our confusion, and give it all to the one who knows us inside and out, our great Creator; He can make something beautiful out of what has been broken. All of these pieces that have been broken and scattered and our hands that have been scarred for trying desperately to make something out of the mess we created is healed, mended, and pieced together in a marvelous array of broken wholeness.

Do not underestimate the power of brokenness, the power of weakness, the power of testimony. For in your vulnerable state, that is where Christ’s glory can shine the most. Even in your deepest afflictions, you can experience the deepness of his affections for you. Father has given you gifts, use them for His glory. You have weakness, let Him shine in your pain. For in it we find a beauty that can only be made when we give up our own agenda and give Him all our pieces. Holding nothing back from Him.