Monday, November 19, 2012

Being Grateful for Brokenness

My intent was to finish what I had started at the beginning of the year.  I wanted to be purposeful in concentrating on what I had to be grateful for, and writing it down so I could go back and read it later.  I stopped the day my mom died, and figured November was the perfect month to begin again.

I failed.  I didn't even complete a full week.

I allowed life to consume me, and by the end of the day there was no energy left.

And I chose to wallow in life's hurts and disappointments.

So much so, I ended up in the ER yesterday morning with severe stomach pains.

I started feeling bad on Wednesday night and it progressed over the next few days.  It had gotten so bad even swallowing water put me in severe pain.  Yesterday morning I was in so much pain I was sweating and crying, so we headed to the ER.

After several test, it was determined the culprit was most likely an inflamed ulcer.  They aren't certain, but everything seems to point to that.

Stress.  Stress that is so heavy it causes you to crumble.

All around me life is crumbling, and there isn't anything I can do about any of it.

I can't change it.  I can't fix it.  I can't make people behave in a way they should be.

And I'm having a hard time accepting that.

I'm a fixer, and it's so hard for me to watch people I love hurting and being self-destructive.

And I've allowed wanting to fix it all to become an idol.

The pain of watching the lives of people I love deeply crumbling has put callouses on my knees.  I've had friends praying with me.

I have literally begged the Lord to take us home and just get us out of this messy, hurt-filled world.

And then I've gotten up from my knees and walked away with the very issues I laid at His feet.  Instead of leaving them with The Fixer of all things, I thought I might be better at it than Him.

Or at least quicker at coming up with a solution.

Not so much.

If I had a penny for every tear I've cried over the past week, I could pay off our national debt and start a savings account for our country.

Darryl sat in silence yesterday afternoon as I rambled non-stop, and when he got up to get me Kleenex to keep snot from flying across the room and landing on his shirt, I keep repeating, "I don't know what to do anymore.  I don't know what to do."

As he handed me the box of Kleenex, he simply said, "You can't do anything.  You are going to have to trust the Lord."

He's right.

It's hard to find things to give thanks for in the messiness of life.  Underneath the rubble of brokenness what is there to be grateful for?  How can I be thankful in the midst of fragments of glass and soot.

I can be grateful for the brokenness.

It's in the brokenness in which I've been given much grace.  And endless, boundless amount of grace.

It's in the brokenness Jesus has drawn me to Him.  It was His brokenness that saved me.  His brokenness has allowed me to sit at His feet for hours.  Sometimes quite, but often times begging.  Waiting for healing ... for me and for others.

And as my friend ... my big sister, Connie, always reminds me, it's through brokenness Jesus creates a beautiful mosaic of our lives as He puts us back together.  Healing in only a way He can.

"Beauty from brokenness."

The beauty of grace.

When I think back over the past several months I can pick out things I am grateful for.

And when I gather them all together, it's simply one beautiful mosaic of God's grace.

A grace that has carried ... and continues to carry me through seemingly unbearable pain.

I can be grateful for brokenness.  I just have to keep it in the light that Jesus shines upon on it to see the beauty of the stained glass that He will one day will become a mosaic of grace.

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