Chapter: Broken

Broken a chapter from my struggles book written in 2010 that was edited and tweaked along the way but finding its debut here. And this second of three important posts and a prelude to what's coming -- a testimony on Nan Jones' #FaithNotes.

God is in control. I have surrendered, waited patiently, kept silent and obedient {sometimes} without full understanding, trusting, and seen the finger of God in and on my life. Even this hour, He is moving mountains for me, and I don't question His methods. He is omnipotent -- all powerful -- and there is none like Him. I know that He's heard my cry and will deliver me from all my troubles.

So, what are you doing about your situation? Get on your knees and pray, press in, persevere and be patient. God is working out that mess right into a message—if you are willing. Being able is not the issue for you, but it's your will that needs sanctifying. Your will must be broken and in its place, the will of the Lord for you and through you.

For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
Philippians 1:21  


Born out of struggle—it is not the route I would have chosen, or maybe I did. At this point, it is too late to argue that it would have served the world and me better for another’s path for righteousness sake. I will take it like a big girl and keep the faith because I “glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope" (Romans 5:3-4).

God knows all about me. He knows my strengths and weaknesses, what I struggle with, and what comes easy. He knows those things that tempt me, and those areas I am living out righteously. There is nothing hidden from Him. Nothing.

Even though He knows my whole life story, even those parts written, yet not in motion; He persists that my life is a testament to His goodness. I should be a breathing walking prayer—every test leading to a testimony and every mess having a message.

God is interested in my long-range good. He is not a Band-Aid kind of god. Fill that hole or stitch that wound and be done. He is committed to the complete and finished work of making me whole and healed. Meanwhile, bringing me to the end of myself—fully surrendered and emptied for God to convict, set free, and empower.

Whenever I give a “Yes, Lord!” I am prepared for the arduous work ahead.

I heard a preacher say that if you have a critical spirit, stop— and praise God for your blessings. This takes the focus off the negative and accentuates the positive! An anonymous prayer says it best, “God if I can't have what I want, let me want what I have.”

As I stumble through the spiritual growth process of Jesus producing the good fruit in my thoughts, will, and actions, I considered an experiment called the 7 Days of Thankfulness. It was an action under the obedience of the Holy Spirit to honor my husband for seven days with a heart full of thankfulness and words that build him up. When I finished my seven-day challenge, I had a small bundle of index cards wrapped in jute. The added whimsical scrolls to the title card were a needed feminine touch that offset the stark black-and-white printed cards. It was a fetching pile of truth and life-giving for me as well. I lingered in the memories as I recalled what was good, and doubted the dreadful current eclipse.

Tweet: I lingered in the memories as I recalled what was good, and doubted the dreadful current eclipse. @cupgoodness http://bit.ly/2yHQ9Jt

From the beginning, I could see a heart change as I redirected the focus on what makes my husband the perfect man for me. I made it my will to take every negative thought captive to the obedience of Christ* while making room for love, grace, and thankfulness. It brought about a shift in my attitude and behavior, which moved me in the direction of who God knows that I am—wonderfully and fearfully made, and loving selflessly without keeping a record of wrongs.

While the world says one thing about how we should love, God's take is that love is sacrificial—agape love. Though it is not always reciprocated, and maybe at times rejected, we must put on love**. This is what He expects as we mature in our faith. It is a tall order, but we can and must do it.

This challenge is not something that will fix a horrible relationship or make a good one better overnight. Yet, it can push you through the darkness, resulting in a shift towards progress.

As we practice bringing our critical thinking under the authority of God's truth while being thankful for the gift of one another, we can see God at work transforming us. I pray the 7 Days of Thankfulness challenge is the start of your restoration from broken dreams and promises. Let the Holy Spirit speak to your heart, exposing the lies you believed and unveiling His truth. Surrender yourself to the possibility that you could be mistaken, and trust God for your tomorrow. I see you in the future, and you look (and feel) a lot better than you do right now!

 *2 Corinthians 10:4-6 (MSG) Tearing Down Barriers We use our powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ. Our tools are ready at hand for clearing the ground of every obstruction and building lives of obedience into maturity.

**Colossians 3:12-14 (MSG) So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It's your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.

This chapter may not be reproduced in any form by any means not all inclusive to digital copies or downloads, reprints, excerpts, scanning or recording without express permission from the author.

There is nothing wasted in Christ. Even our pit experiences give way to greatness in Him because we are refined like gold through the process. It will be His reflection in all manner and likeness. Where we're going, we must be prepared.

Being confident of this very thing, 
that He who has begun a good work in you
will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ. 
Philippians 1:6

Read my interview with Nan Jones author of The Perils of a Pastor's Wife.

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