Redemption in the Brokenness

redemption story

“I’m so broken, I can’t even write.”

I sobbed these words to a friend, recently.

Writing is my release. My heart dump, if you will. It’s where I get all the feelings out, even if I never share them publicly.

I have a process. I open a document for each month. That way, I have somewhere to bang out a few sentences with no pressure to make them into something coherent. I’m currently writing this in a document aptly named “October writing.” This document actually contains some sentences….finally.

Because these last several months? Even though I’ve sat down to write 1000 times, ALL of those documents are blank.

There are no paragraphs. No sentences. No words.

This last year has been ridiculously hard for Todd and me. One of the hardest. And we’re still in the middle of the yuck. So much so, I can’t even get into details without breaking down.

I’ve felt so weighted down by all the things we’ve been walking through, oftentimes it feels like I’m just going through the motions. I want to be joyful in hope, but some days, the best I can do is thank Jesus I made it out of bed.

But God is faithful, y’all.

He continues to love on us, encourage us, and strengthen us.

Through His word, His Spirit, and His people.

They point us to Truth when we feel we’re drowning in lies. They pray us through the days we can’t seem to form our words into prayers. They remind us we’re not alone on what feels like an impossibly lonely road.

I don’t know why we’re in the midst of this battle. We certainly wouldn’t have chosen it for ourselves. But it’s in this battle we’re learning to filter life through God’s Truth and trust His will.

It’s in these hard places we see Him fighting for us.

And here in the brokenness, we can’t help but praise Him, because we know His is the victory.

Friends, sometimes life is just hard. If you find yourself battered and broken tonight, please hear me when I say, it won’t be hard and yucky forever. God’s working on our behalf.

And in the meantime? Let’s lean into Jesus and allow Him to use our brokenness to let His Light shine through.

He will use this redemption story He’s writing in our lives for His glory.

Because He is good, y’all, even when we’re tempted to let our circumstances convince us otherwise.

The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18

Lord, we find ourselves in such hard places right now. It’s hard to see the Light in the midst of all the darkness and it’s hard to trust Your will when we don’t understand the pain. Jesus, draw near to us, cover us in Your peace, give us rest in Your presence and help us trust Your sovereignty even when it’s hard. We love you, Jesus. Amen.

Be Still.

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Guest post by Ashleigh Murr

“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah” Psalms 46:10-11 ESV

While talking with a dear friend several months ago, I learned an important lesson I would love to share. It has forever impacted my life, and more importantly, my walk with Christ.

It’s so simple:

Be still. Be still and know that He is God. (Psalm 46:10)

It is indeed a simple concept, yet one of the hardest lessons God has ever taught me.

I am a planner. I enjoy having a plan A, and if that doesn’t work-a plan B, and chances are I have a way to make things happen if that one falls through! But when it comes to God’s will for my life, I must take a step back. I am NOT in the driver’s seat. I am not in control; He is. “Stop the worrying. Stop the wondering. Stop trying to take control,” I tell myself over and over, but this proves so, so hard when life throws you curve balls. A year ago, I pictured my life much differently from what it is now. I couldn’t see God’s plan for me, but He has proven that He always has my good and His glory in mind! I am so thankful for the way God changed my life from what I thought it would be, and I’m very thankful for the growth I experienced in Christ during that time.

Even in those times of uncertainty, God has my best interest in mind. He goes before me, and He’s with me all along the way.

“‘It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.'” Deuteronomy 31:8 ESV

If my eyes are towards the Lord, I will have security; however, when I put my focus on this life and not the eternal life I have in Him, I lose security, I lose hope, and I lose peace.

As my wise friend stated “God calls us to be still in the hallway. If He opens the door, we walk in faith. If He closes it, we trust that He will open another and praise Him in the hallway. All along the way it is extremely important we seek Him and trust Him daily.” (Paraphrase) Okay y’all, so we know that sometimes we JUST DON’T KNOW, but please do not underestimate that season of uncertainty. It prompts humility and trust in the One who holds our future! It grows us. It humbles us. And, it leads us to trust our Creator and Lord in His perfect plan for our lives.

So when these times of trouble come, and they will, be still. Trust in the Lord. Seek Him daily. He will DAILY bear you up!!

“Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears us up; God is our salvation. Selah” Psalms 68:19 ESV

Ashleigh Murr

Ashleigh Murr is a senior in high school that loves the Lord more than anything. She plans to attend Meredith College in the Fall of 2017 to pursue a degree in Elementary Education, and she plans to do big things for God and His kingdom through that. Ashleigh is humbled that her Savior continues to use her when she is so undeserving!

3 Things We Can Do When We Don’t Know What to Do

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Life is just hard, y’all.

Even when I know in the depths of my soul that I’m blessed beyond all I could ask, hope or imagine.

I still feel like I’ve been suckered punched in the gut sometimes. Especially right now in this season of life.

My stomach hurts. My palms are clammy.  My eye is twitching.

And this life stuff that’s got me all out of whack? There’s absolutely, NOT ONE THING, I can do to fix it.

As a doer, this is a HARD place for me. And I know it’s a hard place for you, too.

I wish I had a fairy wand to sprinkle “LIFE IS FABULOUS” dust all around, but I just don’t.

What I do have are some suggestions on what we can do when we don’t know what to do.

I’m sure there’s more than three. But these three?

Tried and true, my friend, and I’m speaking from experience.

  1. Pray  Sometimes the best we can do is whisper the name of Jesus. And that’s ok. Our prayers aren’t powerful because of us, but because of Him.


    Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

  2. Stand firm Our faith can get shaky when we’re in the midst of life’s battles, but we must hold fast to what we know is true. Our God never fails. 


    Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. Do everything in love. I Corinthians 16:13-14

  3. Rally the troops God didn’t create us to do life alone. When the weight of this world threatens to crush us, reaching out to others can help us share the burden. Even when #mypeople don’t have the answers, their prayers and words of encouragement are like a balm for my soul.


    Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2

Father, God, thank you that you hear our prayers. Help us to trust Your plans even when we don’t understand. Let us stand firm in our faith in You. Lord, we know You are faithful. Surround us with people who love you and who will help carry the burdens of this life and help us to recognize those in need and do the same for them. We love you, Jesus. Amen.

Faith vs. Fear and Chaos

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I’m struggling lately y’all, and I can’t even explain why. My teeth are clenched, my neck and shoulders are tense, and I’m just out of sorts. It was a tough weekend here with Hurricane Matthew and with all the other stuff going on around me, I keep finding myself anxious and overwhelmed.

I’m reaching up and out to invite God to calm my spirit, but it’s tougher than I want it to be, because my focus keeps wandering from the One who calms my spirit to the chaos I see playing out in front of me.

Why is it so easy to forget where our help comes from, when we know the One who knows our name?

In the midst of our fear and desperation, we frantically look around trying to find something, anything, that will fix our specific brand of misery, and we get lost in the chaos, losing sight of who God is because we focus on everything but Him.

We surrender the spaces in our hearts and minds to our pain and our fear, and our faith is forced to the forgotten recesses.

It’s a miserable place to be, where my soul is worn and my heart cries for peace.

But in the moment I bring my focus back to the One who guards my soul, before I can utter a word, He hears my cry and His Truth whispers to my weary soul.

“Peace! Be still.”

And just like that, His Light invades the darkness, and my faith bursts forth from the recesses, driving out my fears.

What an amazing Jesus we serve.

Lord, thank you for hearing the cries of my heart, though they be silent. Thank you for Your Word that speaks life to my weary soul. I love You, Jesus. Amen.

Unlovable Me

What if we really treated others like we want to be treated? What if we really loved them like we love ourselves?

I find myself heartbroken and frustrated over the divisions I see in so many relationships around me. We take the smallest things and make them into mountains no human can ever scale. Someone looks at us sideways, talks differently, dresses differently, or worships differently; and we jump at the opportunity to rip them to shreds with our poison tongues.

 

No wonder the world calls us hypocrites……we can’t even love on one another, let alone those outside our “Christian circle”

When we refuse to see beyond ourselves, we miss the opportunities God gives us to minister to and encourage one another. God tells us what He expects of us and His instruction is very clear:

“and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:30-31

Ya’ll….I am going to be very real with you. I am writing this because God has convicted me that I fall terribly short when it comes to loving others.

I try to love people, but have mercy, some people are just hard to love.

Of course when I started whining to God about how “I’m tired of trying to love on so and so” and “I don’t feel like loving on people today,” He showed me:

I am one of those hard to love people.

UGH. It’s true.

And you know what else God is showing me? He doesn’t command me to love people when I feel like it, or when they do things I approve of, or when they deserve it. The commandment to love others is not conditional.

Let’s not miss this.

God’s commandment to love others is not conditional.

It is not dependant on how we feel or whether someone deserves it.

It is dependent upon God and the love He has shown us and commanded us to show others.

Here is my challenge for us.

LOVE on someone you find difficult to love. Reconcile a relationship that you have allowed to falter. Encourage someone who needs encouragement. Pray for the people God has placed upon your heart today.

Be proof that God’s love is true and that His grace can really change a heart.

So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving each other whoever has a complaint against anyone, just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. Beyond all these things put on love which is the perfect bond of unity. Colossians 4:12-14

Father God, forgive us where we have placed ourselves and our opinions above Your truth. Help us to see people as you see them, let us see beyond the surface and minister to their hearts. God, help us to live lives that honor You. Help us to love like you love and where we have hardened our hearts, soften them and draw us closer to You. Use us as instruments of peace and do not allow us to be used for division. We love you, Lord, because You first loved us. Thank You for all that You have done and that which You have yet to do. In Christ’s name, Amen.