Wednesday, June 6, 2012

thank you for brokenness

alright, here goes nothing. I am in Oregon now enjoying time with friends and family. But something is happening that is a bit strange. I keep running into my old stuff and it reminds me. I don't think I've written about this before and not many ask me about it, perhaps for fear of forcing me to be too vulnerable, but I think it's time to share where I'm at these days. Back in 2007 I was engaged to be married to a great man, in oregon. At that time I felt God confirming, that yes, this was the man, this was the time, everything. Then about a month before the wedding, we had to call it off. My fiance, was having second thoughts and didn't want to go through with it. I cried out to God, wondering how I could feel so strongly that this is what He called me to, and yet now He was letting it all fall apart. Didn't He care? Didn't He see I was being obedient and He was taking my heart and smashing it to pieces, rather than blessing me for my obedience? What was going on? I had to keep going back to Him asking Him so many things, and He had no answers, but He kept comforting my heart saying, trust Me. I'm not going to lie, it was difficult to try to trust Him after that, but by His grace and His mercy I slowly began trusting Him again.
The story is much longer (on our drive back home to michigan my sister and I totaled the car when we blew a tire and spun across the highway 7 miles shy of nevada, still so many miles from michigan) but I don't want to drag this out. As I remember all of this, I remember the way my Loving Father provided for me as I came home, calling me to come out of this wilderness leaning on Him alone. He provided for me a good job and when others were being let go, I was getting raises. If you've read my blog before, you'll know that somehow, by the grace of God I ended up in Uganda, serving alongside my Savior, pouring into broken hearts the Healing Water that only He can bring. And when I see here in Oregon what was my shower curtain, or my cups, my lamps (I could only fit so many things into my little honda, so I left non-necessities with friends) I wonder, where I would be if I did get married and where I am now instead. I realize I wouldn't be where I am and I love where I am. So I've come to this place where I can honestly say "Thank you, Loving Father, for caring for me so intimately, for loving me so well, for suffering with me, for rejoicing with me, thanks for allowing my heart to become softer and not bitter, and giving great friends to walk alongside me. Thank you for a broken engagement and a broken heart that has driven me deeper into you, that has caused me to know you in a way I've never known you before, that has caused me to feel love like I've never felt before. Surely you can redeem and restore the darkest of moments. Surely you cannot do one unfaithful thing. Surely you cry with your children and draw them nearer still. Thank you, thank you Dad."

Saturday, June 2, 2012


I've been struck by the beauty of the people. Over my two years in Uganda, God has developed in my heart an eye for the beauty of the people that I interact with day to day. It seems that as I adjust back to the states (and canada) I'm realizing that God has opened my eyes to the beauty of people everywhere, not just Ugandans. It was today when it really struck me that He's been doing this in my heart and I've been largely unaware.  It was a simple trip to pick up a used dryer belt from a mechanic. Just another errand, and yet somehow God spoke to my heart and showed me something He'd been working on for a while. When we arrived at the man's house, he came out of his house to greet us, stocking feet and with him the smell of cigarette smoke came out with him, the kind that made me want to go bowling (I hope someone can understand that reference). His dog was not super nice, but the guy seemed to be and after grabbing his shoes he walked with us out to his garage. Not sure whether or not to follow him into the garage we kinda just hung outside for a while, but after curiosity got the best of me I decided to peek in and then go and observe the kind man searching diligently for just the right dryer belt. And as I took it all in, I couldn't help but smile as joy filled my heart. A table full of spray cans, shelves full of wires of every size and color, old stripped down appliances, and any other thing that might potentially come in handy to repair any appliance ever created. It was beautiful. The man, you could say he wasn't particular handsome, one eye was missing or something was visibly wrong with it anyway, there was nothing which would particularly attract us to him in his outer appearance...but...there was Beauty. There was a way in which he was revealing something to us about our Father. For every man, woman and child has been created in His image. What does that mean? I don't know really. But what I do know is that this man potentially unbeknownst to him was revealing something of God to me. And I am thankful. And I'm trying to express in words what it was that he revealed to me about our Father, but it's hard. Maybe it was the care he took in searching out just the right belt, inspecting each belt closely, bent over each one with his good eye closely interrogating each one. The kind of care I imagine our Heavenly Father must take with each of us. Knowing every inch of us, better than we know ourselves, knowing how we would respond in each circumstance and in every situation. Knowing where we are wearing thin, where we might just break any time.  Or maybe its the way He's ready to repair any heart. He has everything that we need if we just come to Him, but we have to come. It's all there, everything we need to mend our broken hearts in the Father's presence, but we have to go there, we have to trust Him to give us just what we need to mend our hearts. Or maybe...just maybe...He wants to reveal himself to you, and it might just be through someone you least expect.

He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
    nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by men,
    a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering.
Like one from whom men hide their faces
    he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
-Isaiah 53:2b-3