Today, I am re-posting a blog that I wrote a few years ago. While the circumstances of my life are different now then they were when I first wrote this, the truth remains – Jesus never lets us go and He is all that we need. And He is always inviting us to draw near to Him. I pray that wherever you are today, you will hear His voice calling you just as you are: broken and weary, content or full of joy. His arms are open wide and His plans and purposes are for our good and His glory. And there is always beauty to be found. Even in our brokenness.
Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall
All the kings horses and all the kings men
Couldn’t put Humpty together again
I lived a lot of years like Humpty. Broken and miserable, desperately hoping that someone could put me back together again.
Since I was a little girl, I dreamed of the Cinderella life I was going to have. I used to watch those Hallmark type movies and I would literally fantasize about how I was going to meet a boy, we would get married, have 4 kids, live in a beautiful house, and live happily ever after. I put everything into making sure that dream came true. In college, I found “my prince” and had the perfect beautiful wedding (complete with a Cinderella dress). We started our lives together, and a couple of years later had a beautiful baby boy. I was a wife and a mom!!! It was what I always wanted. During that time, I also developed some really amazing friendships with other young mothers. We would meet weekly for play dates (really more for us, not the kids!). Everything was turning out just as I had planned. Or so I thought.
As the months and years passed, I was completely disillusioned. I had everything I thought I ever wanted, but felt empty. I had a relationship with God and would have some times of deep connection with Him, but in general, it seemed shallow and lifeless. From the outside, my life looked great and people even commented on how I had everything together so perfectly. But I knew deep down in my heart that something was terribly wrong.
So, like Humpty, I looked to everyone around me to fix me. I thought that my husband, my friends, my family, my job, etc. would be able to give me what I needed to make me whole, to put me back together again. I poured everything into those relationships. When that didn’t work, I decided I needed to fix them. I began thinking that if, for example, my husband would just change a certain behavior or habit then everything would be just fine. Or if my kids would just start acting better, everything would be okay.
Nothing was working. I was desperate. I was sad, miserable, discontent, and exhausted.
Shortly after my fourth child was born, she was hospitalized with viral meningitis. As I sat in her hospital room, scared and unsure of what was going to happen, I knew I desperately needed more of God. This was my prayer:
“God, I just want to know You more. I feel like I’m missing something and not seeing you as You really are.
Whatever it takes I just want to really know You.“
God heard my cry and He answered my prayer. And not at all like I expected. My world seemed to be falling a part around me.
A tremendously difficult season in my marriage
Major financial stress
A disappointing and scary diagnosis with one of my children
Strain and distance in some of my most important relationships
My world was spinning. And in the midst of my pain, fear, and sadness, I did not remember the prayer I had prayed just a short year before. Instead, all I could see was the pain. So I was crying out to God and begging Him, “Please rescue me from this difficult place. My heart is broken and I am hurting. I feel like I can’t breathe. The pain, confusion, and uncertaintly is too much to bear.”
And then I heard Him …
Carrie, don’t you see, I am making you more like me. You told me months ago that you wanted to know me more. I know that you are hurting. I know that you are in pain. I know that it all seems like too much right now. But I am at work. I am reviving you. I am breathing My life into you.
I am molding you and shaping you. I will make you whole again.
The word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord saying, “Arise and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will announce My words to you.” Then I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was, making something on the wheel. But the vessel that he was making of clay was spoiled in the hand of the potter; so he remade it into another vessel, as it pleased the potter to make” (Jeremiah 18:1-4).
I had a great plan for my life that I was never in control of to begin with. And the more it played out, the more I realized it wasn’t working out the way I had hoped and planned. And the more the more I became aware of that realization, the more I tried to fix the problem or looked to someone else to fix me. “But all the kings horses and all the kings men couldn’t put Humpty together again.”
In His infinite mercy, grace, and love, God began stripping from my life all of the things that I turned to instead of Him. All of the things that were more important to Him. The things I worshipped. The things that, while good and precious by themselves, I had abused and placed above God. He began to reveal to me that my husband, my marriage, my family, my friends were idols in my life. I had placed most of my value, worth, and security in them. I had this little shelf in my heart with all these idols on it. God was even one of them. I was looking to them to do for me what they were never meant to do. I knew I was broken and I thought they could meet all of my deepest desires, wants, and needs.
In Christ alone my hope is found,
He is my light my strength my song
This Cornerstone, this solid ground,
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm
What heights of love what depths of peace
When fears are stilled when strivings cease
My Comforter, my all in all
Here in the love of Christ I stand
Only Jesus can put me back together again. He alone can meet my deepest needs. He alone can give me the love that I so desperately need and desire. He alone gives peace in the midst of chaos. He alone brings joy amidst the pain.
In this realization, life has not gotten easy. In fact, it’s still quite hard. But in the midst of the difficulty, there is an overwhelming peace in the realization that Jesus is my Cornerstone. I have fallen in love with Him and He is showing me that He is all I need.
Recently I read this prayer on a blog. “God, please don’t take me from this place. Don’t take me from this unstable place that provides such sweet, stable communion with You (from goodmorninggirls.org).” Though not always easy, I am experiencing a fellowship with God that I never had before. He is taking me from a cognitive knowledge of Him to a real, experiential relationship with the Jesus.
In Psalm 23, God’s Word says that He chases after us with His love all of the days of our lives. He never lets go of His children (Hebrews 13:5-6, Deuteronomy 31:6, Joshua 1:1-9). He is always molding and shaping us. In the NLT version of Jeremiah 18, it says, “the vessel He was making was spoiled in the hand of the potter, so He CRUSHED it into a lump of clay and started over again.”
That crushing can be so difficult, painful, and never ending. AND the truth is, if God is always molding me and shaping me, then His hands are always on me. He is always with me. He is working in my life for my good and for His glory.
So, I’ve said goodbye to the Cinderella dream of a perfect, “happily ever after” kinda life. I am beginning to recognize that it’s in surrendering to the process, to the great work of the Potter, that I find the peace, joy, and stability that I was looking for for years in all of the wrong places.
As Katie Davis says in her book, Kisses from Katie, “Jesus wrecked my life, shattered it and put it back together more beautifully. I am in love with Him. Period.”
I still recognize that, like Humpty, I’m broken and desperate. BUT GOD. He is writing my story. He shattered my dreams, and He is putting my life back together the way He sees fit. He is making me whole again.
Anchored in Christ,
** I am SO excited to invite you to join us as we dive into the Psalms through an amazing Bible study, Beauty and Brokenness, created by our Called by Such a Time team. Focusing on the truths found in Psalms 27, 30, and 51, we get to see the beauty of who God is, what He has done, and what He is doing for us and in us even in the midst of our messy lives, pain, and brokenness. He is offering each of us the healing, wholeness, grace, freedom and joy that we so desperately need. I hope that you will consider joining us on this journey! There will be several groups meeting in the Columbia area and an online interactive group as well. You can find out more by visiting http://beautyinbrokenness.com/.