What is the purpose of brokenness? If God loves us, why doesn’t he just give us beautiful lives and sit up there on a cloud smiling as we laugh and sing and prosper and celebrate his gifts as we live it up in this world? Why would he allow sickness, depression, oppression, broken hearts, sadness, loss, tragedy, struggle, fear, insecurity – and the list goes on and on? Do we know the nature of what we are?

I remember when I was a kid, one of the saddest movies I’d ever seen was Old Yellar, (not sure if Im spelling that right). The beautiful dog got into a fight with a wild animal and was infected with rabies. If my memory serves me correctly, the owner was trying to keep Old Yellar away from the situation but the dog did what it did and upon mingling with that wild beast, this dog was sentenced to death. The disease changed the dog – made it mean and ferocious. The dog could no longer live with the family the way it did before. That awful disease took away the dog’s characteristics of love and companionship that it once had for his family and his masters (the dog’s owners). Once infected with the disease, it was changed into a creature that only wanted to kill and destroy. Sadly, the only answer was the put the dog down.

When Adam and Eve chose to believe a lie and go against the warnings of their Father, they became infected. Their very nature was changed. The evidence was immediately seen not only physically (as God had to clothe them upon a physical change) but in character also as Adam blamed Eve and even blamed God for giving him Eve. Love and compassion had left in their new nature and the evidence grew more evident as they multiplied. Of their sons, Cain was jealous of his brother Abel and killed him. Then Abel’s blood cried out to God – the spirits of jealousy, hatred, revenge and a slew of other dark traits that oppose LOVE grew stronger in mankind – a diseased, sick and broken world. In Romans, the Word of God explains that by one man’s sin, all were condemned. A death sentence (much like what happened to Old Yellar when he became infected), came upon mankind. As it is written, “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:” Death, decay and sin was now the nature of mankind – separated from God, and from the nature of love – God is LOVE. All mankind (from Adam to Moses and beyond), are sinners against God. Also in Romans, the Word of God explains that by one man’s righteousness, (none other than Jesus Christ of Nazareth), a free gift was given so that mankind could be saved.

For me, to understand brokenness was to have my eyes opened to what we truly are – the nature of our flesh. Brokenness doesn’t enter our lives on a set date in our journeys. We don’t become broken because we make mistakes or bad choices. We are born into this state of a fallen mankind. Is it fair that some of us are born healthy and some of us come out of the womb inflicted with horrid diseases and disabilities? Well, God isn’t a respector or of persons. And to understand our nature is to understand that all of us are broken in the flesh, from the very first breath we take here – whether it’s evident on the outside or not. The world we live in is broken, mankind is fallen and death and decay by the sin of mankind is a sentence that we are born into (the darkness of this world). Now, to consider this truth is to see that our journeys aren’t so different, regardless if we are presented with trouble right away or later on in life – we can be sure that the evidence of a broken world and our fallen state will eventually surface in our individual lives. Whether it’s through sickness or health problems, financial struggles, (also discussed in the laboring curse placed upon Adam), or through emotional battles we face with loved ones or lack of love in our lives – insecurities, depression, loss, heartbreak – all of this is the state of mankind’s brokenness…. The sentence of Adam and Eve, separated from God.

Jesus said that Abraham was excited for the day that he would come. God established a promise long ago, as the prophets spoke of his coming, that God would make a way for mankind to be healed – to be brought out of this darkness back into the light of God. Jesus is the only way – he is THE WAY, THE LIFE, THE TRUTH. Jesus is the only one, that could reverse the curse upon mankind (the Second Adam). Back to my childhood memory of Old Yellar and the infection that took his life, I imagine a cure that could’ve saved that sweet dog. I see the answer (the living water), that could have been fed to him that would heal him of the disease that took over his being after he mingled with the beast. Jesus is the medicine for mankind. And sadly, sometimes we have to fall into complete devastation before we’re able to take a step back and see the world and ourselves for what we really are – broken, without hope, without purpose and without resolution, outside of Christ. All of us are in a way, that dog in the movie that I loved so much as a child – separated from Love, vicious and incapable of returning to what we were created to be before Adam and Even sinned against God. We’re living in death and the evidence is everywhere, if we can only open our eyes and look around at the state of mankind. If we can see the children starving, the elderly suffering, the sick, the oppressed, the broken hearted and the hopeless. Is life really so great because I’m having a good day? Can I really look around through the seasons of plenty and rejoice, turning a cheek to all those who suffer? Can I really believe in my heart of hearts that I’m somehow immune to the evidence of a broken world?

In brokenness, I was given the opportunity to step away from the world and open my eyes – REALLY open my eyes. I was given the chance to search myself and ask hard questions like, Why am I here? What is life? Is this little short journey here on earth all that is and all that I was created to see? No. In brokenness, I was able to see my disease and the countless symptoms that had kept me from God. In brokenness I was able to realize that I’m powerless to heal my state of despair or save myself from the condemnation of this filthy flesh.

The medicine that can heal us of from our diseased flesh isn’t something coming in the future. It’s already here. It was already FINISHED when Jesus defeated death and was raised up and resurrected by God. That living water can be inside of me right now. I can eat of it and be healed. I can walk in HIM and be made whole. I can pick up my cross and follow Jesus out of this darkness and into the light as soon as I’m ready to make the choice to leave this fallen state and be transformed into a new creature – an everlasting creature – a son of GOD (John 5).

Lord, today I thank you for making a way for me to be healed. Father, I thank you for the unthinkable sacrifice and pain and hurt that you took on for our sakes in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ so that we may have life, be cleaned of the death and decay and that we may have life through HIM. God, I know that many things remain a mystery to me, but I thank you for opening my eyes more each day, in the work that you are completing in me as you lead me to your truth and understanding of what I am, why I’m here and what I was created to be. Father, I don’t deserve anything but you give me life because you love me. You restore me and heal me and bring me out of the darkness into the light because you love me. And I can only love you because you loved me first and I thank you and thank you again because you love me. Thank you for the brokenness that led me to you and thank you for the trials that have shown me my weakness, necessary in order for me to see your strength. Father thank you for your promises and the everlasting hope that we have in Jesus, for which my soul rejoices in confidence that my best days are yet to come. Thank you for giving me the choice to choose life and for leading me to the freedom found only in Jesus.  Father thank you for not simply putting us down and throwing us in the trash after we became infected with sin, death and decay.  Father, thank you for being the Lord who heals us, strips away layers of sickness and fills our hearts with your Son, the Living Water that restores us to you.

In the mighty name of Jesus Christ, Yeshua Hamashiach, My Lord and Savior I claim the free gift that you have given to me and open my hands to receive you today.

Sometimes when I receive something from the Lord, explaining that idea or thought to another seems almost impossible.  Perhaps this is why Jesus, himself spoke in parables.  God has been revealing to me throughout this season of my life the important role of brokenness.

Broken starts a process.

A few nights ago in meditation and deep thought about my own process, the Lord reminded me of a discussion I’d had many, many years ago about the process of giving birth to a child.  I’m not going near that conversation in this post for the sake of delivering the gruesome details.  But to make a long story short, the process of child birth is beyond invasive to the female body – breaking many things, in order to deliver the one thing that the mother is anticipating – that beautiful new baby.  Quite amazingly, all of the pain and brokenness is soon forgot and heals quite nicely as the focus is shifted on new beginnings and new life given.

Broken is necessary for transformation.

We know that trials and troubles are purposed in our lives because HE said that the righteous will suffer many afflictions.  He also said that all things are purposed for the good of those who are called according to his purpose.  So in understanding that the ones who are made righteous through the blood of Christ are called according to his purpose, it’s pretty clear he’s talking about us – WE are the ones who will suffer many afflictions.  But why?  Along the same lines as the example above about giving birth and the process of new life beginning, I was led to research the butterfly, late last night while designing a logo for Broken is Beautiful.  I’ve never been a girly girl type and I’ve never had any interest whatsoever in butterflies.  So it was interesting to me that the butterfly was the first thought and the absolute thought that landed in my mind.  Interestingly, the caterpillar goes through a very strange and borderline suicidal process on its way to becoming a butterfly.  Oh and, as a disclaimer I’m so far from a science expert so if my words seem out of line with what you’ve been taught in textbooks it’s because I did not get my ideas from them.  Anyway, the caterpillar basically decides its going to stop living.  It starves itself, denies its body the necessities that the flesh craves, curls up in a ball and then digests itself, (sounds kind of gross, I know).  Then this amazingly beautiful process happens and that caterpillar wakes up as a beautiful butterfly that can soar through the skies.  So much for living life squirming in the dirt – I refuse to be a caterpillar anymore, I’m dying to this flesh and moving onto something better!  Sound familiar?

Jesus said we must die to our flesh.  He said we must deny ourselves, pick up our cross and follow him.  In another interesting exchange, Jesus told the people that they had to eat his body.  This is where most of the disciples that followed Jesus decided to leave him – few could comprehend and accept such a thing.  They though he was mad, suggesting that they EAT his body.  And I’m pondering the way I felt when I learned that a caterpillar digests itself..  Anyway, when he broke bread for his disciples he passed it around and said eat this, it’s my body which is broken for you.  Think about that… Broken FOR YOU!  As a mother I remember thinking that so many times when I looked at my children, hurt or upset with them in the midst of a situation, asking myself, “How can they not know everything I’ve sacrificed for them?”  And tonight as I look at this little season of parenting, I realize that my sacrifices for my children are nothing, (not even in the same universe) as the sacrifice that God made for me.  When I slave to make a way for my kids to have a better life, I’m broken with a purpose in LOVE.  When I do without something that I WANT so that I can help a neighbor to have something they NEED, I’m broken with a purpose in LOVE.  When I fall on my knees and ask God to have mercy on a family that I’m following on facebook, that I’ve never even met, with tears streaming from my eyes and a heaviness weighing on my heart, I’m broken with a purpose in LOVE.

Broken is Beautiful….

Broken is beautiful, not because it’s a place that anyone wants to live inside of.  I’ve never heard of a woman in labor, laying on a hospital bed, screaming at the top of her lungs, “This is amazing!  I just want my life to pause right here so I can spend eternity in this excruciating pain!”  Of course that would never happen.  No one likes the pain, but we endure it because we know what it accomplishes.  We bite down, grit our teeth and battle to get through it because we KNOW WITHOUT A DOUBT what comes next… and we know it’s beautiful.  And if broken things birth beautiful things – if afflictions are where we are living when God’s hand comes down and DELIVERS us out of that affliction, then isn’t broken a necessary, crucial and even beautiful part of our process?

If you’re broken tonight…. I pray that you see past your pain into the moment when that lifeless, suffocated, starving caterpillar wakes up to its new life, spreads its wings and soars through the sky as a beautiful butterfly.  If you’re broken tonight…. I pray that through your brokeness, you can focus your ears on the moment when the laboring mother hears that baby cry, and new life is born.  If you’re broken tonight, I pray that the Lord give you understanding of the cross of Jesus Christ and the promises that will never return void – understanding that the old man must die in order for the new creature to be born IN HIM.  If you’re broken tonight I pray that you know, i mean REALLY KNOW that God will not leave you there – but that the best is yet to come.

I love you all and I’m sorry if I struggle to communicate the things the Lord reveals to me.  I’m also just a caterpillar in the process – learning each day how to lay down my life for Christ.  I’m tired of creeping through the dust and I yearn to become that butterfly – seeking His kingdom first and wanting to know Him deeper with each day that he gifts me here.

God Bless You All.

 

 

I once thought faith was as simple as taking an oath – agreeing to believe in something with my mind.  For those of you who have read my book, you know that I was taught a hard lesson about faith.  With absolutely everything stacked up against me, the Lord taught me how to completely surrender to his will.  When that happens, even hope is changed – diverted into a desire to just belong to Him in a startling realization that HE is all that is, and I am nothing outside of Him.

Faith has a certain freedom to it – throwing my hands up and saying “It’s not up to me… I can’t do anything without you Lord.”  Faith also has a battle to it – a pattern that I’ve learned to recognize.  Every single time the Lord revealed something great to me, I had to see the opposite of that thing I believed in, before it would manifest.  And there we have a little taste of spiritual warfare.  For we walk by faith not by sight. (2 Corinthians 5:7). I feel like I’ve been in that battle stage for several months now on behalf of a very special person in my life.

Yesterday God opened my eyes to see the story of another – a story of broken dreams, extreme hardship and the overcoming blood of Jesus Christ.  And in prayer, I realized that it was no coincidence this person was brought into our lives.  Sometimes when your heart reaches out to help someone, the Lord reveals that he has sent them to help you.

When we see someone who’s hit rock bottom in their lives, we don’t say, “I want to be like that guy.”  For me personally, I never understood the unfairness of life – some get their dreams handed to them on a silver platter, while others work so hard towards a goal only to run into a brick wall that shatters them into thousands of pieces.  In my attempt to make sense of a just God, I assumed that karma played a role somehow in our different journeys.

To say that the Lord has adjusted my thinking is to wildly understate the transformation of my mind.  I never knew how valuable the broken ones are.  Today, they are beyond valuable to me.  I know what’s inside of them.  I know their compassion and their hearts.  I know they are guided by the Almighty – qualified and ordained for assignments that few can take on.

I realize this is a very vague post and I’m sorry for that.  Details just aren’t on my heart – but the message is.  And that message is simple.  Seek the Lord for understanding in all things that he gives and takes away (including people).  And when we have a problem that we lay down at the alter of our Heavenly Father – wait upon the Lord, open your hearts to his voice and trust that nothing is outside of his purpose.  It may seem like nothing his happening. It may even seem like all hope is lost.  But that’s never the truth.  Sometimes the very things and the very ones the Lord has sent to you, have been standing in place, waiting for your eyes to be opened.

Tonight I’m thankful for the humble… the meek and the lowly.. I’m thankful for my precious brothers and sisters who have been given the gift – “For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake;” – and I’m thankful that the Lord has brought so many of these beautiful souls into our lives to fellowship with us and bless us with their stories of redemption through the blood of Christ Jesus.  He truly does use the broken.. <3

A new chapter begins.. and we live on in gratitude.  Following the completion and release of our new book, Father Please Let Me Live, (now available on Amazon), I’ve spent some time searching for “what’s next”.  And as a natural, and I believe ordained by God, next step in our journey, it’s time for us to embrace where we are today.

Looking back is painful, yet beautiful too because our journey through the unknown allowed us to find God.  But as Father Please Let Him Live wraps up at the tale end of survival, our walk through the wilderness now continues on.  We have problems and we have great loss.  We live in a world that often makes us feel like we don’t belong.  But that’s not just our story – that’s the story of so many people today.  The difference between us and folks who have perfect health is that we get to wear our brokenness on the outside.  We don’t have to pretend anymore that life is easy and we have everything under control.  You can look at us and know right away that nothing is easy and that we struggle greatly.  But our hope and our wisdom we’ve gained through these tough trials has led us to a new truth – that it’s worth it.

Our testimony continues and so does yours.  We are broken, just like so many of the apostles and prophets written of in the Bible.  We are not from here – but we are sent here by God – not to have a party and try to create heaven on earth, but to learn who HE is.

We invite you take the journey with us and to be part of our mission in finding truth.  Not only do we hope to minister to others, but we look forward to you ministering to us.  We want to help you by sharing our journey but we need your help to – and we ask you to share your journey with us.

Our story is far from over.  May the Lord keep us and walk with us as we endure the wilderness and seek his kingdom – with strength in Jesus to overcome the giants along the way.