Broken….boy have I been broken. That is what humbled me into changing my perspective. I'm now less judgmental, less selfish, more loving, and dare I say….tougher! Am I bragging on myself? No, because it's not me but Christ living in me. It's only possible when I stay connected to Him (John 15:4). When I do things with my own effort then I find myself slipping into my old ways of thinking and then I'm back to being judgmental, selfish, less loving, and irritable. But, back to brokenness. I'm going to step out of my comfort zone a little and show you my heart. My heart is for the broken of this world because I know how it feels to be utterly broken. There are those people in my life who know what I've been through, but only God knows ALL that I've been through. It is amazing to look back and see the incredible work God has done. God the Father is a Master Mosaic Maker. He has taken all these ugly broken pieces of my life and turned them into something beautiful. It's what he does. He makes all things new. And only He can do it. I have literally seen this verse lived out in my life...
"...but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us." Romans 5:3-5
It's not me who is able to do this but God working in me that even makes this miracle possible. And it is not an exaggeration to say it's a miracle. As I write this I feel inadequate to explain to you all Christ has done for me, but I shall try. I could name the many things I've suffered but that's not my focus. Suffice it say I've cried many tears; from losing loved ones, to being rejected & betrayed by those who are supposed to love me most, to parenting struggles, to sitting in a doctor's office waiting for test results; just to name a few. If you are breathing, you can relate. Because we all suffer on some level, and if you haven't suffered, you will. I say that not to be negative, but so that when the trials come, you will lift your eyes to the only hope we have in this broken world and that is Christ. He doesn't make our problems magically disappear. He doesn't always give us what we want. And sometimes you wonder if He's even there. In those moments when I am looking up to God and saying, "Really? Come on!" I have to CHOOSE to believe in Him and trust Him. And after that is when He honors me for that choice. After that comes the tidal wave of joy and confirmation that He is there, He does love me, and I do belong to Him. He always honors us when we choose to believe and trust. On your hardest, darkest, most lonely day, I encourage you to choose Him. It is a choice. I could have chosen differently and I sometimes wonder what would've happened if I had not made the choice to trust in Christ. Would I have even survived? I am certain of one thing, even if I would've survived, I know I would be depressed and miserable, stumbling around in darkness, making poor choices and suffering from the consequences of those choices. But praise God that's not how my story turned out! Instead I have JOY!!
I realize there are those of you reading this thinking that Christianity is my coping mechanism. I completely understand your point of view. However, I challenge you to search your heart & mind right now and think of what gives you joy. What is your identity? If you lost your job, your possessions, your loved ones, your beauty; how would you make sense of it? Who would you turn to? God says, "Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you." (Hebrews 13:5) He also says that NOTHING can separate us from Him (Romans 8:38)!! It's supernatural. You just can't understand it, until you've received it. And you can't receive it until you ask for it. I know I sound like a religious nut to some, but those who have the Holy Spirit know just what I'm talking about. I'm talking about the gospel. The "good news"!! If you haven't chosen to trust in Christ and follow Him, I would love to talk with you about that. Message me. I welcome your questions. You're reading this for a reason and God has placed me here as His ambassador to you (2 Corinthians 5:20). I am here to love you! I could go into a long explanation of salvation but to put it simply, we have all sinned. Remember the old saying, "Nobody's perfect"? That is why Christ died. Because we are sinful. Even if you are the most moral person on the face of the earth, your heart would eventually fail you in that you would become proud. And pride is sin. We just can't escape sin. Christ became sin for us. He took the punishment. And Christ is the ONLY way to the Father (John 14:6).
So there it is!! That is how I gained my new perspective. It didn't happen overnight. It was a process. Be patient with yourself and let God do what he does best….which is transform us, sanctify us, to be more like Christ (2 Corinthians 3:18).
For my brothers & sisters in Christ who are struggling or suffering. Remember this, you are not alone. God will never leave you or forsake you. And whatever it is that He has been doing in your life, he will carry it on to completion (Philippians 1:6). I would love to pray for you. For now, I leave you with this prayer/Scripture:
"For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen." Ephesians 4:14-21
Be blessed and much love to you all!!
Sunday, October 28, 2012
You are not alone! I think one of Satan's strategies is to get us to think that we are the only ones going through whatever it is we're going through. One thing I've learned about this…you are NEVER the only one. No matter how strange or unique the situation may feel at the time, there is always someone out there who has gone through or is currently going through your same situation. I experienced this a lot when my two boys were babies. For some reason I got it in my head that I was flawed as a mother and as a human being for thinking that motherhood was not for me. Some days were so hard for me that if there had been a "QUIT" button, I would've hit that sucker!! Of course, my feeling that way had a lot to do with my maturity level at the time, but that's another post. Looking back on it I have learned that I needed to give myself more grace, especially considering the crazy trials I was living through at that time (yet again, another post!). Let's face it: Motherhood is hard. Life is hard. And we are flawed human beings. Things got a lot easier for me the day I got on my knees and cried out to God to give me wisdom; to have mercy on me and to grow me into the best mother I can be. I can honestly say He has answered that prayer. It changed my life. Christ has changed me, sanctified me, through my kids. It's been the hardest time of my life, but I'm so grateful for how God has refined me and made me into something more beautiful. I now enjoy motherhood because my perspective is different. More on that new perspective in my next post! Stay tuned...
Posted by Jennifer Legate at 2:21 PM