Turning Pain into a Gift of Grace

So many friends going through losses right now, soul crushing losses(myself included).  Life is unfair like that.  Sin crept in and messed the world up and thousands of years later grace crashed in and gave us the power to overcome. Not that the world became perfect but that we are enpowered to use what the enemy meant to destroy us for our good and the good of others.

It is some kind of messy, beautiful, difficult journey we fragile humans walk through with hardships and friendships and with the grace of God upon us, within us and around us.  It can sometimes feel lonely even in a crowded room, it can feel overwhelming even when you know God is there, it can feel terrifying even when you know God is for you.  Our humanity is tested, flesh is poked and prodded until we simply surrender.   In the brokeness He sends those to extend mercy, minister hope and bring refreshing so that you can once again push through the pain.  It doesn't mean there is no weeping, no pain, but it does mean we know joy comes in the morning.  Not sure which morning, but eventually it comes.  The pain lessens, hope brightens, revelation comes and with it something new is born in and through each of us.

Our humanity becomes humility.  We allow for the breaking to bring beauty.  Each of us are born to birth the Kingdom into the world.  Birthing something is painful, transition is difficult, pushing is labourous but we don't do it for ourselves, we do it for what it brings into this dark world.  We do it for the light that will shine forth from the brokeness, not from a place of perfection but from the humility of a laid down life that is enveloped in grace even in the midst of the trauma of loss. We do it because what will be birthed is worth every bit of the pain.  

We do it imperfectly, we do it afraid, we do it broken, we soldier on wounded and battle scarred and that is the beauty.  That is the freedom.  That is the brave thing; to be honest in the midst of the disaster. To live in a place of truth is to live surrounded by the grace of God.  He loves authenticity.  He resides in the place of truth and establishes His freedom there.  There is no pressure to be anything but authentic.  Be real, sometimes life seems unbearable, pain continues on for far longer than we can maintain our composure, hope seems a distant untangible thought but don't give up, it is in those midnight hours that the Lord can finally push through His purposes.

In the authenticity, in the pain be sure you have invited the healer in, the grace upon grace to seep into your pain, to change it, redeem it by His power. When you stand in the pain of the fire may you glow with the grace of another, for He is with you.

Whatever pain has inpregnated your spirit, has crushed your soul, may you nourish it with the word of God, infill it with the redemptive power of God and may you birth it into the world not as pain but as a gift of grace.

May it reveal the Kingdom of Redemption.  May it offer to the world a picture of hope, a revelation of grace and a tangible delivery of redemption.

Love you my tribe, with every ounce of my broken being.

P.S. #preaching to myself

Thank you Lord.

I have tried for days to think how I could possibly write about what I am experiencing in this season of my life.  How could I possibly share this part, this pain?  How could I possible call myself authentic if I don't share this part of the story? I would have felt like a liar telling only part of my story.  I am going to tell my story, the whole story because in the telling there is healing.

There is more than one way to deal with this type of tragedy...For me, I choose to invite it in and laugh with it. Yes, there are still tears and there is much work to be done in my heart but there is also hope.  Sooooooo, I am going to write and share and maybe it will help someone else, because let's face it we all need hope.  

You will find no juicy details here.  For now what you will find is a woman who wears the scars of a marriage destroyed by chronic infedelity (this news was as if someone had ripped my heart out and for weeks after I lived in a state of stunned devastation). I was a woman who felt humiliated and victimized for almost a month after I found out and then I decided....enough is enough.  I will not be defined by this situation.  I have lost a son, a marriage, a job, a church, but I have not lost the most important thing and that is my faith. This is not the ending of a story, this is a new beginning.  This unintended journey, is still a God journey.  This is not what I would have chosen, I wanted a happily ever after story.  However, in the midst of this pain there is a purpose and I choose to lean into it and be better for it.

Here is the deal.  I could continue to cry and lament(and I may still some) about what I have lost and let's just be honest I have done that already... I could keep doing that or I can turn my thinking around.....
I am thankful for twenty three years of marriage.
I am thankful for the life my husband provided for me.
I am thankful for all the good parts of my husband.
I am thankful for my children.
I am thankful for all the good times and family vacations.
I am thankful for being able to travel around the world.
I am thankful for the opportunity to do missions trips to Kenya.
I am thankful for the opportunity to partner with God and build an amazing church.
I am thankful for the community of believers that taught me love.
I am thankful for the person God has made me through all of my life experiences.
I am thankful that in the midst of broken dreams, broken vows and broken hearts there is laughter and the will to go on.

The enemy is chasing me, there is a wrecking ball in my mind(you can surely imagine) but I run into the Holy of Holies and he doesn't dare enter there.  So that's where you will find me.  When you are there, whether it is in worship in a church or prayer time in your home know that we are connected through the Spirit. I miss so many of my sweet friends but I know our hearts are forever tied together.

By the way, I still believe in "Happily Ever After" I just think it is going to look a lot different than I expected.  I am thankful that we live in resurrection power, He can resurrect my broken heart.
As a matter of fact, I think God is doing an upgrade.

So....this is the beginning of my sharing the most brutal of experiences and how God is walking me through it.

Love you my tribe!


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