I was so impacted by this one sentence I read in Ann Voscamp's book called The Broken Way that my spirit jumped within me.
I have been wrestling for weeks now with an issue of whether or not to succumb to external pressure and continue to silence the words God has been pounding on my heart to share with the world or … choose to be free.
God never fails to speak when I openly ask for wisdom without telling Him how I want things to go. Here is my answer.
This morning in my devotions it started with that quote above, where the whole chapter made me quake in my boots. It was all about the pouring out of one's brokenness. So, I put that aside and picked up another book. The next chapter I was to read was called "Thy Will Be Done." So, I put that one down too.
Then I picked up the sacred Word of God and I read Psalm 92 … thinking a calming Psalm when the Spirit is pricking, poking, and prodding, may be just the soothing balm I needed. Wrong!
I read …
God asked me … does this mean just privately? Or does it mean with your life, every fiber of your being, as you walk, talk, as you write, as you share me?
I read on … my fingers trembling upon page.
The message was clear. I was not to expect everyone to understand what God has called me to do.
Now my heart was kicking. I was listening. By the time I got through a number of verses on enemies, the wicked, workers of iniquity down to verse 11, "Those who rise up against me." I understood clearly … don't expect to do the Lord's work and not have those who will rise up against.
Then the crowning joy, the reason one would step out and obey, the reason we listen to the Holy Spirit … There is a dying hurting world around us who need our story, our authenticity, the hope that Jesus can heal their broken heart, their abuse, their brokenness. Who else would they receive this message from and believe in healing, other than through the one who was abused, who did have a broken heart, who has suffered like they have suffered? Why does God choose to use our brokenness? I don't know but He does. I think it has something to do with the fact he was broken Himself for our sins, for our failure. He does not want us to be self-centered, worried about self-image, too proud to tell of our brokenness and how He healed us. He does not want us to be a "cell" that only benefits ourselves, for that is nothing more than cancerous. What He says in His word is this …
Oh, the beautiful calm and peace in surrender. I realized that what I want, what I desire, more than life itself, more than the strife that will come against me, more than the pain inflicted by those who you would expect it from least … for they profess the name of Christ; I long to follow where Jesus leads.
Jesus was all about the down and outer, the broken, the bruised. He was not for the art of self-preservation, nor for the self-righteous, or the cell that serves only itself. Jesus was for the ones who need to hear hope. And we as Christians have the very hope-giving truth to pour into their anemic veins, if we but humble ourselves before the Lord and tell our broken story and how He … "O Most High" has redeemed, renewed, revived, replenished, restored. If we are not too proud to be real as the very Scriptures are themselves from beginning to end. Adam and Eve brought sin to the world, Abraham was a liar, Moses was a murderer, King David was an adulterer, Mary Magdalene was delivered from seven demons, Paul killed Christians, Thomas was a doubter, Peter was a betrayer and on it goes. If the very word of God is not afraid to tell the story from sinner to saved, why are we? For we have all fallen short of the glory of God and can only be saved by His grace.
I encourage as you go about this week. As you call out to the "O Most High" in the morning and in the evening and in any waking moments in between, ask him how you can be more authentic, more real, more open in your sharing of His amazing grace, and I will do the same.
With such a message hammered in three-way, surrender is my only option. And so I fall on my knees. I ask God for his power to wash away the encumbrance of what people think of me. I ask that my brokenness be a bridge to others of what my amazing Savior has done to save and to heal. For I want to bear fruit for Jesus … more than life itself. I desire to obey and in so doing …be a light, be that encouraging word, be fresh and flourishing until my days on earth are done.
Listen to Psalm 92 done to music by Paul Baloche "O Most High" ... Wonderful.
1) Ann Voscamp, The Broken Way, (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2016), 95.
2) All Scripture taken from NKJV, (Thomas Nelson, Inc. 2007)
Dear Jennifer. Thank you for your encouraging words. And yes, I am not through the book yet, but wow does she make you think.
This is a beautiful example of a heart that desires obedience to God above the opinion of others! I love your heart for Jesus Sis!
Thanks dear sister of mine ... you have walked the road less travelled and know what sacrificial living is all about. I knew you would understand what this was saying.
Less of me, more of Him... thank you for your vulnerable words and for sharing your heart, Blossom. God has been whispering to me about FRUIT from many different sources— clearly, I need to listen!
Blossom, dear friend. This was another outstanding blog. You have a true gift of disclosing God's truths with clarity and understanding. I enjoy every one of your blogs. This one really resonated in so many ways. I particularly love this: The cells that only benefit themselves are known as cancer … Cancer is what refuses to die to self."1 Oh my goodness, this statement is so profound. Thank you for sharing your wisdom about it and much more with us. God Bless you!
Thanks Janith. The way you encourage is a beautiful gift. So many times you have encouraged my writing. I do believe that one of the ways your fruit grows and flourishes is in your encouraging words to others. Keep up His kingdom work.
This post is incredible and profound! I love how you share your heart with us,
I am in awe of God’s timing and how he works through you to speak to others. He has been working on my heart about this exact subject for some time. Galatians 1:10 comes to my mind often. Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings or of God?
My heart is also to follow Jesus. I want to bear fruit for Him, to obey and be a light.
The thought of making myself vulnerable, exposing myself for all to see still holds me back. I continue to fear those that may come against me.
I believe the reason we are afraid to tell our stories began with Adam and Eve. They realized they were naked and they used fig leaves to cover themselves. They hid themselves because they were afraid to be seen, to be exposed and vulnerable. And so are we.
It is a difficult thing to open ourselves up to criticism, to possible rejection; but being exposed and vulnerable is the only path to healing.
God is waiting for us to begin the process of healing. And in time, if we are willing, He will heal us enough to tell our stories and help others.
I am a work in progress and I know He will get me where I need to be. He has already brought me so far and I am grateful.
Thank you for this wonderful post! Thank you for being vulnerable. You pave the way for us to be vulnerable too. Bless you!
Dear Suzie, I agree we are all a work in progress and the goal is to be healed. Then we can help others on their path. Your wonderful words of encouragement are a balm to my soul and a fire that ignites the passion within me. To have someone who gets what I am talking about is so wonderful. Thank you.
My Dear Sweet 🐝 I always love reading your blog and being challenged.
Thank you for being obedient to the leading of the Holy Spirit. Only that kind of courage and strength can come from the Lord. So continue to be strong in Him!
The words you write on the page are full of life and from a heart that is healed.
You are a light in this dark world! I love you Sis!
Dear Donna, You have a world that touches the lives of the elderly through the help of your hands and feet ... you understand what it means to help a world bigger than yourself, no wonder you get what I am saying. Thanks for your encouraging words and the light you shine in my world.
Great revelation - thank you for showing your journey and desire to serve God and your honesty / humanity with the struggle we all have in worrying about what others might think. Thank you for challenging me to be more open, share what God has done for me, knowing that he will use that. You are an inspiration
Dear Monica, Thank you for your encouraging words and the authenticity of your life. You too have an amazing story of grace that the hurting world is waiting to hear. Our childhoods are mirrored in a lot of ways, and the damage done to us as children and how it impacted our adult life is so relevant to a hurting world. You are an amazing encourager.
Proud of you mom! You’ve spent too long living in fear of what the Pharisees and hypocrites will think of you. Be free, tell your story, make a difference in the world.
Dear Daughter, The truth is we are all hypocrites at times but taking time to look at the log in our own eye rather than see the speck in another person is a tough but necessary disciple. I don't see those who come against me as any more or less than me ... a sinner saved by grace. But I do so love how you encourage the telling of my story and how you believe the truth shall set not only my family free but other hurting souls.
Powerful to say the least. Do I proclaim His love for us with knowing that people will judge what they don't understand, or do I keep silently proclaiming His love in the privacy of my heart. It's like my mental health....should I hide it or be proud of how I'm taking steps to improve. If I am silent....who will know the possibility of freedom from my life's example....
Dear Eleanor ... you are so right. Every step you take forward in your healing is a tremendous story of hope to another, unless you hide your pain, your journey, your struggle then who would know that there is someone out there (you) that can identify with their agony. You go girl. Your story is powerful.
Living out our faith is not an easy thing to do--and we're told in God's Word that we will suffer for it. I think the hardest thing is when we're up against our own family--but God will always bless obedience. Your story is one that can (and will) offer hope to those who truly need it. You've lived in chains for much too long, my friend. The enemy will use whatever he can to keep us from using what God has done in our lives to glorify Him. Be strong and trust your heart.
Dear Jennifer, Thank you my friend for your kind words of encouragement. Life is often fraught with decisions and circumstances we did not ask for, but as you said, God will always bless obedience as we live out our faith. May your life be blessed as you write words for Jesus.
Helping those in pain, through our life experiences, takes courage, obedience and strength. God bless you.
Thanks dear sister Faith, you truly do understand the meaning of living out your your faith, you were well-named. Thanks for your encouraging words and your encouraging support. You truly understand my heart and desire to help others along their path.
What a moving story of your call. Knowing a little of your history, I'm sure you have much to say that will help many. The challenge is always how to authentically tell your story without hurting others. Some stories are not ours to tell. And some must be told even though the telling affects others. But I will pray for discernment for you. God who has walked with you so far will walk with you in your next season. Excited to see what lies ahead for you.
Thank you Karen for your insightful words. You are right, some stories are not ours to tell, and all others should be written with discernment and love. I appreciate the fact I know I can ask you to pray for wisdom for me and you will. You are a blessing in my life.
Love this post. You bless people by showing your own vulnerability and by being so authentic. Wow. I love reading your journey in walking with Jesus. It takes courage. 😊❤️
Dear Holly, you are an amazing woman of God. You are vulnerable, authentic and I look forward to seeing how God is going to use your story in the future. Thanks for your encouraging words. They mean a lot.