Sitting in church one night I allowed myself to get still, reflect and let my vulnerability be set free. I sat there spiritually bruised and crushed, but what was so amazing was God reminded me in the midst of my turmoil no matter what is thrown my way He is love and He is just. I had been feeling like such a failure in so many different aspects of my life. To this day that is something I struggle with. I constantly continue to put pressure on myself to try and be this perfect Godly woman as well as being a wife, mother, friend, co-worker, etc. I try endlessly to be an example for my children and my husband but yet I fall short daily. Throughout my life I have felt as though I have fallen from God’s grace one too many times but then I realize that it is through my imperfections that I set the greatest example to those around me, not through my false ideas of perfection.
God gives us His priceless gift of grace that we don’t deserve, yet we question His plan for our lives. I look to the cross in my hours of pain but I need to remember to look to it in my times of joy as well. God is always there to heal and mend but I tend to forget that He is also there to rejoice with me.
Looking back at my life in my darkest hours I can vividly remember the time where not only was I brought to my knees with uncontrollable tears but I was sweetly broken. I went through periods of my life where God seemed silent in my times of needing Him. This particular day I am referring to is one of those times. Just four months after I had left my abusive husband with my children in tow I found myself in lowest place I had ever been. Yes, I was now safe from harm but the struggle to keep moving forward and not be pulled back into that hell that I was used to, was a constant everyday battle. I was now in unfamiliar territory, the unknown and the unexpected. At least in the hell I was in I knew what to expect and became an expert on assessing the situation. It seemed like one barrier after another kept finding its way into our lives. Not even after a month of being in our newly rented home (not in the best area of town) we were burglarized. I was devastated. Everything I had worked so hard to obtain now had been tainted and taken. A once safe place, a new start, new life and a place to finally call home was turned into fear and violation at its finest. I remember asking God Why? At times I even shouted and cursed at God telling Him that I had listened to Him and stepped out in faith to leave so why would He allow something like this to happen. I felt that God had turned His back on me because I was not worthy, loveable or deserving. I was angry, so angry. I remember crouching down on the floor up against my bed that was donated to me by a friend and just wept. All the emotions that had been built up for years started gushing out. It was like the flood gates to my life just opened up and all the hurt and pain I had ever felt since I was a little girl had been released.
In that moment I recall asking and pleading with God saying, “You can move mountains and You are mighty, why can’t You be mighty and move these mountains in my life. Have I fallen too far from your grace that You no longer love me?” I felt broken beyond repair and believed in my heart I would never find God’s favor. I remember the song that was playing in the background in my room that January day and the lyrics have never left me.
“At the cross, You beckon me
You draw me gently to my knees
And I am lost for words, so lost in love
I’m sweetly broken, wholly surrendered”
From that day on I referred to being sweetly broken by God and though I may fail a thousand times His mercy remains. I surrendered to Him that day on that floor. I don’t think I have ever wept like that to this present day. Having been beaten and raped, from having a miscarriage to the loss and breakdown of my marriage, from being cheated on and battling anorexia nothing comes close to the feelings of hopelessness. I will never forget that day. Though I had thought that God had left me little did I know he was there the entire time waiting for me to surrender all my pain, hurt, shame, guilt, hopelessness, fear and worry to Him. In that moment of being so broken I felt worthy, valued and loved for the first time in my life. I learned that what I see as imperfections and disgust God sees a way to use them for His glory.
I know I will stumble again and again but my faith tells me that His light will shine when all else fails.