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Monday, August 5, 2013

I am one of them. (so are you.)

Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins
    and will raise up the age-old foundations;
you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls,
    Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.
Isaiah 58:12 (NIV)

Your testimony may not leave YOUR walls and
 YOUR heart shattered like glass.

None of that matters. Tell your story anyway.

I am one of them. (so are you.) She who has been broken. You see, it’s not just the wall, it’s the lives; our lives. We are the broken walls, and we, through Him, will be called those who repair them.

There are so many psalms that speak to me, but something about 51 resonates. Despite that David’s circumstances (adultery) and mine are not the same, 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.” I get that. Why you’ve been broken, your particular sins are unimportant to God when He Redeems you and sets you aside for His Purposes. Despite my brokenness, I desire to be used. What I’ve learned, what I explore in my walk, in my writing, in my life, is that I must be broken to be useful. While you may not have named it before, you are one of them. You are me. We are the sisterhood of the brokenhearted.

10 times in one year I wrote about being broken, and now I can appreciate it as an evolution of my faith (our faith continually evolves as we live.  While we change continually (change or die, the choice life presents us), He Changes Not. God and His Presence are Constant. Omnipresent. Everlasting. Eternal.) In the beginning of my brokenness, I resisted. I was only “broke down, but NOT broken.” I wasn’t ready. Later in that year, having suffered the battering of life and its challenges, I began to understand that God breaks new things in us in order to reign victorious. As you know, it is not easy to embrace being broken. It is not generally something of which we are proud, something about which we brag incessantly, often something we are loathe to confess except to those we most trust as being broken  can only mean that something is horribly wrong. I needed to understand, soul deep, that it wasn’t me. He used me and my circumstances, to minister to me.  Who also used my life as a witness to those who watched. (we often can’t see God in the midst of our trials; it is because we are covered, consumed even, in His Presence; hidden in the Shadow of His Wing.) There, in the depths of this breaking, I had time to reread , pray over, and reflect on what I'd written down 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 (and successive) immersion in His Redeeming Love; the first time you acknowledge 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. Sometimes it takes us a while to call it by its name.

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. 
it’s not just the wall, it’s the lives. Though born profane, we are made Sacred by His Redemption. Though we begin as broken walls, it is we through Him, who repair them.

You are me. I am you. We are fierce, fragile, and beautifully human, made so in the Perfect Image of God. We live BROKEN. Christian author and speaker Elizabeth Elliot makes plain the utility of our shattered state…
If my life is broken when given to Jesus, it may be because pieces will feed a multitude when a loaf would satisfy only a little boy.

So, dear sister, that is our story, and for the experience of coming to understand it, Lord, I am deeply grateful. Thank you, Lord for brokenness. Embracing our vulnerability reminders to lean and depend upon The One.

I leave you one final encouragement…your testimony may not be the story that convicts you. It is not yours. It is too close. You lived it, maybe barely surviving it, and there were so many times when God was so close that you couldn’t even see Him. (if you’ve ever wondered what Hide me Lord meant, now you know.) You testimony may not be the story that leaves you washed up on the Throne of Grace like so much sand and sea matter after the storm. You testimony may not be the story that leaves your walls and your heart shattered like glass, striking down strongholds and breaking apart chains. None of that matters. Tell your story anyway.

Linking up with my sister Christine at Rebuilding the Walls, the series

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