It has been one year since the shock and pain rocked us. 2019 was painful. One year later my husband and I walked on a beautiful beach in Sarasota. We reflected on the hurt, the challenges of the year, and also we marveled at the way the Lord ordained our steps. Seeing how He opened doors and made a way has made us so thankful. No doubt He redeemed things and placed us where He called us. Which is so exciting. Although that is true, we both agreed that it doesn’t remove the pain of what happened.
For the first time in a year, I am thankful for the pain. It broke me. But I realize that brokenness did something that no amount of joy and happiness could do. It etched something in me. It left some spots jagged and sharp. God is working on smoothing some of those over. Those edges make me want to hide and retreat. But there is beauty peaking out from those spots. Beauty that would not be exposed without the waves, without the cracks, without the breaking.
On our walk on the beach I picked up a beautiful shell. What makes it beautiful are the parts that are broken. Those parts show etchings underneath. A design that is unique and special. That design would not show through unless the rocky waves broke some parts of that shell. You see, God is always working in us. And we all have a story and a plan. We have etchings that will not be seen by others unless some parts are broken.
I thought this year broke me in half. I thought it made me useless for ministry. What I didn’t know is that it was making me better for ministry. More powerful because there is something etched and designed in me that won’t be revealed without that pain.
That design is part of Gods plan for me. I have prayed my whole life that God would use me. That I would walk in His plan. I have God-given dreams. Dreams that include ministering and caring for those who care and minister. In a previous blog I quoted Rick Warren who said:
“Your greatest life messages and your most effective ministry will come out of your deepest hurts“.
That hurt is etching and exposing a beauty in me that would not be seen without this pain. That deep hurt is being used to make my ministry powerful because I can reach people I never could have before. I can minister in a way I couldn’t before. It has given me a sensitivity I didn’t have before.
Here is the caveat. You have a choice to make. You can hide and retreat after brokenness. And I wouldn’t blame you. You can protect those sharp edges. You can cover the etching and design. But no one will see the beauty. God has so much to do through and in you. That hurt has also done something else in me. It has been a year of tears. Of loss. Of confusion. Of questioning. It has riled up that voice of rejection that I struggled with my whole life. I continue to hear “you are not good enough.” I hear “you can’t help anyone”.
At first I gave into those voices. But now I refuse to. I still hear them. But when I do I talk about it. I tell my husband. I tell a trusted friend. And they help me through it. The enemy wants you to listen and believe those voices that came out of the painful experience. Fight it! Don’t do it!
If you let God reveal the beauty that came from the pain, you will have a more powerful story that will reach people in a more effective way.
We sang a song in church today about God standing in the fire next to us. He is there in the pain. He is there in the hurt. He is with you in the battle.
There'll be another in the fire
Standing next to me
There'll be another in the waters
Holding back the seas
And should I ever need reminding
How good You've been to me
I'll count the joy come every battle
'Cause I know that's where You'll be
Have you ever felt like you were too broken for ministry? Our team would love to hear from you. Comment below and check out our website. www.joyforministry.com