Saturday, November 19, 2016

"You never have to overcome your      brokenness to claim God's love.
  His love has already overcome your  brokenness and claimed you." 

My shoulders lower three inches upon reading these words penned by Ann Voskamp in "The Broken Way".
My jaw loosens and those eyes of mine shimmer with unreleased tears.

For I am broken.

"No one could tell me how to get the dark, the ache, the fear, the hell out of me. No one could tell me how to find the place where you always felt safe and secure and held."

It was like a thunderclap of my soul from the inside-out.
I am broken.
The pieces are scattered across the floor and I am bent over them, kneeling into the gritty shards of my sin and darkness. The busted up pieces of loss and shame and the gravelly crumbs of innocence lost that look impossible to gather up. Much less put back together.
I needed safe.
I wanted held.

"How can it be? When we're naked and ashamed and alone in our brokenness, Christ envelopes us with His intimate grace. When we're rejected and abandoned and feel beyond wanting, Jesus cups our face. 'Come close, my Beloved.' When we're dirty and tear-stained and despairing, Jesus Christ is attracted to us and proposes undying love. 'All that you're carrying I take....and all that I am is yours.'"

Hope rises.
Jesus is attracted by brokenness.
By my brokenness.
It's why He came.

"You're guilty, but not condemned.
You're busted up, but believed in.
You're broken, but beloved."

I can do this.
I can be broken and beloved in a single space in time.
The two can link arms and walk straight and strong.

"Heart-shattered lives ready for love don't for a moment escape God's notice." Psalms 51:17 The Message

Monday, May 16, 2016

No Pulse

I did not know there was an Enemy in the camp.

Here I was, fully immersed in the life and kingdom that I had so carefully arranged and had dominion over. 
The dishes were washed AS they got dirty and I implemented the same strategy for the relentless laundry.
Back-to-back dentist appointments were scribbled in red ink for Tuesday. 
Said a prayer for my neighbors, daughter's dog AND the pope on Thursday.
A family reunion complete with a bubbling casserole and peanut butter whoopee pies tucked into a picnic basket for Saturday.
And always, always church on Sunday. I was the pastor's wife. I needed to show up.
Every morning as soon as I became conscious, my legs would swing out of bed and my feet would hit the floor running. My husband and four squeaky-clean children needed me for their very survival.
The floors had to be swept and vacuumed, the dog bed needed fluffed, there was a glaring streak on the window that faced the morning sunrise that I never stopped long enough to watch and there was only one pickle left in the pickle jar for goodness sake.

And while I was debating dill versus sweet in the grocery aisle, a battle raged inside my little boy's body.
An unseen and aggressive cancer was quietly grasping and clawing and consuming his entire right kidney for its own and creeping its way to nearby blood vessels and lymph nodes.
We did not know that time was against us.
The only red flag flapping gently in the wind of life wasn't very red at all; fevers that came on swiftly and left even more abruptly only drove me to buy more Tylenol and stock up on freeze pops.
We were all sleeping soundly at night while the disease multiplied and advanced.

As clueless as I was about this nefarious cancer being camped out among us, even more unaware was I, that a different sort of enemy had long ago coiled itself around my beating little-girl heart and had stolen my identity, dreams, hope and purpose.
Any and all red flags on this sinking ship of mine were lost on me.
I was numb.
I barely had a pulse.

Little did I know that a daring and risky rescue for my heart was being ordered and executed as my own son's imminent battle with The Beast began.
I can almost hear the valiant call to arms with swords clashing, arrows launching and shields deflecting. Here began a frightening and exhausting, earthly fight for my child's life and an all out, unseen, spiritual war to cut me loose and lead me out of the dragon's lair.....