Heaviness and heartache are two things that have defined many seasons of my life. I am familiar with the pain of loss, the emptiness of abandonment, the fear of the unknown, and the constant concern that I would never be free of the weight I’ve carried on my shoulders for years.
Painful experiences cause the heart to shut down and most people medicate the pain with anything that will temporarily relieve the hurt. Unfortunately, the relief really is temporary, and many times, a greater price is paid in the long run for medicating instead of dealing with our heartaches.
Giving voice to our hurts and fears, turning to face them and learning to push back instead of running from them is not easy, but is possibly more honest, and more effective in moving a broken heart toward healing. When we live wounded and act like it is no big deal, we lie to ourselves and turn a blind eye to how the damage done to us (or by us) affects our future and our interactions with others. Time, by itself, heals nothing.
Beauty can come out of ashes if we will let it. It doesn’t happen in the timeframe we demand. It doesn’t always look like we would have planned.
In Jeremiah 30:17 there is a promise. “‘For I will restore you to health and I will heal you of your wounds,’ declares the Lord.”
Years ago, during the toast time at my wedding, my father shared this verse during his speech:
“And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.” 1 Peter 5:10
At the time, I was overjoyed to be starting a life with my love, but I was a seriously broken individual. Over the past 9 years, this verse has encouraged me, and I have seen God do every one of those things in my life, little by little. God is in the business of restoration for even the most-broken. Brokenness might be the story of my past, but it is no longer the story of my present.
If you’ve ever tried cleaning up shards of shattered glass, maybe you realize that the putting back together a shattered life is a miraculous endeavor…one that takes time, and care, and power beyond what we have in and of ourselves.
Sometimes it is still a struggle to recognize how far I’ve come. My past tries to act like it is my present and keep me from acknowledging the goodness of this present season. It doesn’t help me to ‘forget the past’. I can acknowledge it. See it there for what it was, and realize that what is real for me now is healing. The past need not have any hold on me today.
Wherever you are in your journey, I just want to say, please don’t give up hope that there is goodness and joy to be had. For you. Not all paths lead to the same destination, not all decisions are good ones. But Jesus is a good decision, and He leads the broken into life. One with joy and purpose and goodness and peace.
He desperately loves you, just like He desperately loves me. Many people think they have to be cleaned up and ready to put faith in Him, worthy to receive the riches of heaven. But none of us are worthy. Not one. Not even after we’ve been trying to live a holy life for a while. And yet He invites us in. If you’re looking for peace or longing for restoration, put your faith there. Jesus does not disappoint.
“Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of Christ.” Romans 10:17
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him; and apart from Him was not anything made that hath been made. In Him was life; and that life was the Light of men. And the Light shines in the darkness; and the darkness does not comprehend it…As many as received Him, to them gave He the right to become children of God, even to them that believe in His name.” John 1:1-5, 12
61. creative time with friends, 62. new skills, 63. ideas, 64. leisurely morning, 65. hope, 66. homemade pizza, 67. wall print with a message, 68. restoration, 69. quick calls of encouragement, 70. my dad, 71. insights from Ephesians study, 72. communication, 73. happy attitudes, 74. my camera, 75. deep breaths