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Tuesday, January 1, 2013

My OneWord is…

My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit;
    a broken and contrite heart
    you, God, will not despise.
Psalms 51:17 (NIV)

I’ve never done this before; never chosen just OneWord  Could I do it? Should I? Initially, it seemed a little constricting. Life and faith have changed me so much in the two years since the birth of my little blog, that the notion of focusing on a single element no longer frightened me.

BROKEN. That is my OneWord,
and for it, for the experience of
coming to understand it,
Thank You, Lord.
SHARE MY OneWord with a TWEET
In 2012, life chose my OneWord for me, and it was SURRENDER. I talked about surrender, but didn’t really begin to understand it until later. I still struggle with it, but my struggle is to achieve mastery. On the day I get it right I am humbled by the notion that tomorrow will mean I have to do it all over again. Humble, by the way, is good, but it’s not my OneWord

Another thing I learned in 2012 was to pray first, be silent, and listen for a Word from the Lord. Stillness. I aspire to it more often than I practice it, but I am thankful to have arrived at a place in my life where I can appreciate it. Stillness. Time spent in quiet before the throne. Not talking. Not doing. Not figuring. Just actively practicing the presence of God. I call it hiding. Stillness is beautiful, and I’m getting good at it (remarkable, if you know me), but it’s not my OneWord.

There are so many psalms that speak to me, but something about 51 resonates. Despite David’s circumstances , and that mine are dramatically different, the notion of brokenness fits.  Matthew Henry, whom I love, describes 51 as one where the “psalmist prays for mercy, humbly confessing and lamenting his sins. He pleads for pardon, that he may promote the glory of God.” That gets to me. We’re getting closer, now. I’ve talked about being an empty and transparent vessel. I want to be used, or I thought I did. What I’ve learned, what I’ll be exploring in my walk, in my writing, in my life, is that I must be broken to be useful.

10 times in a year I wrote about being broken, and looking back, I evolved. At first, I was only “broke down, but NOT broken.” I wasn’t ready. Beginning late in 2012, after all my family had been through, I understood that God broke something new in me in order to to reign victorious during my most desperate trials. I needed to understand, soul deep, that getting through, carrying on was never me. God used me AND my circumstances to minister to me.  I have had time to reread, pray over, and reflect on what I'd written and lived through, and got it. 

Breaking is a process…Brokenness is the point at which you meet God. (Over, and over, and over again.) It’s the end of the line you’re on, the very last stop before your first immersion in His Redeeming Love; the first time you figure out that whatever you’ve been doing isn’t working and the only way out is through your pain and into His Arms. We don't sacrifice to God once, we live a life of sacrifice. We live broken. WE LIVE BROKEN.

In writing about the 51st Psalm, Matthew Henry reminds us of the many differences between the Sacred and the profane…
Men despise that which is broken, but God will not. He will not overlook it, he will not refuse or reject it; The good work wrought in every true penitent, is a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart, and sorrow for sin. It is a heart that is tender, and pliable to God's word. 

WE LIVE BROKEN. We don't break once. We break continually, offering ourselves, as living sacrifices. Brokenness is the point at which I meet God. AGAIN. God breaks new things in me, and I'm thankful. Because though I am broken, He did not build us to break beyond His redeeming, restoring Grace. And He never meant for us to go it alone.

About brokenness, Matthew Henry says,
It is a sharp work wrought there, no less than the breaking of the heart; not in despair (as we say, when a man is undone, His heart is broken), but in necessary humiliation and sorrow for sin. It is a heart breaking with itself, and breaking from its sin; it is a heart pliable to the word of God, and patient under the rod of God, a heart subdued and brought into obedience; it is a heart that is tender, like Josiah’s, and trembles at God’s word.

I am broken. I live broken as an acknowledgment of my surrender to His Will. I LIVE BROKEN, and broken is beautiful. You see, sometimes you need perspective. Sometimes you need to know, sometimes from a place entirely different than the one you’re in, (as David’s circumstances in the writing of Psalms 51 having nothing to do with my life) that it’s going to be okay, that God has never forgotten you, and that the solution to all you’re going through is to live your life on God’s termsBeing broken is beautiful, and ALL things really do work together for the good of those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose whether you currently understand them or not.

I am fierce and fragile. I am beautifully human. I live BROKEN. That is my OneWord, and for it, for the experience of coming to understand it, I am deeply grateful. Thank you, Lord for my brokenness. I embrace my vulnerability as a reminder to lean and depend upon you. For me there is no other way.

OneWord 2015

OneWord 2015

C'mon. Follow along. Please?