You Are Not Too Damaged. You Are Not Broken Beyond Repair: God Is Enough!

I hear it and read it all the time. But mostly I see it: people who have barricaded themselves inside walls built by trauma, lies, fear.

It doesn’t mater who built these walls.

What matters is that the walls are still standing.

And sometimes I think we actually repair these walls around us. We reinforce the structures because it hurts too much to chip away at them. It hurts too much to tear them down.

Here is what I’m telling you: if you believe you are too much for God to fix, you’ve already released the transformational power of the Holy Spirit in your life.

Lies. Are. Powerful.

And no one but God gets the final say.

You aren’t too much. Your story isn’t either.

When you are overwhelmed by your story, GOD IS NOT!

You aren’t the exception. There IS no exception for God. Exceptions and God cannot co-exist.

God is not shaking his head over you. Crying because he doesn’t know what to do. Seeking outside counsel over the complexities of your horrible decisions, the outcome of your life choices, the sheer number of your personal problems.

If you’re too much for God, he isn’t very big at all.

You aren’t stuck. You’re free.

If you’ve been abandoned, shamed, molested, raped, hit, hurt, assaulted, manipulated or abused in any way, it is not your fault. It doesn’t matter. There are no exceptions based on past history. There is no scream too loud. No trauma too dark. No anguish too much.

If God can sit in the dark with lions. If he can stand amongst the blue-orange coals of a furnace. If he can save a so-called worthless woman with a red cloth in a stone window. If he can raise the dead. If he can quake the earth underneath the death of his own body…

If he can raise up a Church amid the ruble of a barbaric empire. If he can sit beside the plagued. If he can inspire hymns of truth and raise up leaders to end slavery. If he can silence an army and bring hope inside of death camps and cause children to be born and reverse cancer and heal spines and source Forgiveness for the unfathomable… then he is CAPABLE of healing YOU!

GOD CAN HEAL YOU!!!!!!! Make you new. Transform you.

This isn’t about claiming some vague promise. This is about believing that God is capable of healing you and also KNOWING that your healing is for his glory and his alone, whatever it looks like and whatever he chooses to heal this side of heaven. It points to him. It is all for him and for his people to witness.

Never have I heard so many stories of healing as I have within the walls of The Church. Never have I witnessed lives changed forever like the ones I’ve seen marked by Jesus. Miracles like this simply do not happen elsewhere.

Fact: God is Infinite. He stands outside of time and space.

Fact: God did not design your body or your soul to endure sin. Sin is literally what kills us.

Fact: All sin affects the body and the soul. Abuse and Trauma are sins that deeply affect the body and soul because their aim is to destroy and, ultimately, kill you as quickly as possible. (Ponder this…it might actually blow your mind!)

Fact: There is only ONE remedy for sin. Jesus.

Fact: The Holy Spirit is God inside you.

Fact: God is not afraid that your brokenness is too much for him. LET. HIM. HEAL. YOU.

Remember how CS Lewis put it? We are not a body. We are a soul. We have a body.

If we want to heal our souls we will not find lasting healing outside of everlasting sources. Your true healing begins the day you realize that this world cannot satisfy your longing for wholeness.

Who better to heal you than the Healer who designed you?

The Body of Christ Needs Women. Women Who Go Forth and Go Out.

“But God has put together all the parts of the body. And he has given more honor to the parts that didn’t have any. In that way, the parts of the body will not take sides. All of them will take care of one another. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it. If one part is honored, every part shares in its joy. You are the body of Christ. Each one of you is a part of it.” 1 Cor 12:25-27.

And then begins the most famous chapter ever written on Love…

And it is probably not a coincidence that an exposition on the Body of Christ is followed by a call to radical, true Love.

Continue reading “The Body of Christ Needs Women. Women Who Go Forth and Go Out.”

Abuse After Abuse: Finding Freedom From Past, Present, and Future Abuse

If you haven’t heard, the statistics say that once you’ve been abused, you are more vulnerable to abuse by any number of different people.

Continue reading “Abuse After Abuse: Finding Freedom From Past, Present, and Future Abuse”

I Am Not Content. And It Wounds The People I Love.

I have more material possessions than 95% of the current human population on this earth.

Continue reading “I Am Not Content. And It Wounds The People I Love.”

The Church Needs You. And It Needs All Of You.

The Church needs you. Like, it needs you.

The Church needs your story, your wrestlings, your questions and doubts, your open palms, your fears and authenticities…it needs your story of Gospel Redemption. It needs your life, not like the blood in your veins, although it needs that too…it needs your lifetime. Your day-to-day, your smiles and tears, your coffee pot and even your front yard.

Continue reading “The Church Needs You. And It Needs All Of You.”

You Don’t Have To Be A Foster Parent To Change A Foster Kid’s Life

Imagine that you have fallen into deep waters, but it’s your first time to swim. Fighting just to get a breath in; & then someone hands you a screaming child, a stack of paperwork, a bunch of trainings & appointment reminders. Then imagine being expected to complete it all while keeping yourself & that terrified child above water. Oh, & you can’t get the paperwork wet because, of course, it has to be legible when you turn it in.

Continue reading “You Don’t Have To Be A Foster Parent To Change A Foster Kid’s Life”

9 Lessons I’ve Learned In 9 Years Of Marriage

Let me just tell you that when I fell in love with my husband I fell HARD.

Like I lost my mind.

My grades dropped. I barely slept. I couldn’t get enough. I was basically obsessed. Continue reading “9 Lessons I’ve Learned In 9 Years Of Marriage”

I Collect Dead, Dying Things. I Collect Brokenness.

I found this coin when I was 10 years old. I was camping about an hour east of Seattle, deep in the mountains, and as I walked barefoot through the camp sites I suddenly felt something underneath my feet that seemed out of place. I looked down to see a square coin, and couldn’t believe my luck. A coin, IN THE DIRT, from half-way around the world.

I’ve been collecting coins ever since. When I go to another country or when friends go, I ask for coins, please.

And sometimes I collect things that celebrate the creative expressions of peoples all over the world. Sometimes, I revel in the art of countries I’ve never been to. I collect sacred moments, beauty, friends.

But sometimes, I collect dying things. Rotten, rotting things. Things that kill and steal and destroy.

Sometimes, I collect pain and I store it away and I hold it tightly and I let it simmer on the back burner and it’s ok for a while…until it’s not. Until your kitchen burns down. Until the flames reach up and up and quenching them is impossible. Until you barely escape with your life. Until your skin bears the scars of your choices.

And I think I’m starting to see the quiet power in releasing. The STRENGTH it takes to open your palms and say, “Here, it’ll only bury me in flames if I keep it.”

(This is what we mean when we pray for “the wisdom to know the difference.”)

This is what Jesus means when he says to “cast your cares on him”. There is almost a violence to it. Because casting well means you get to eat. Casting well means your family survives. And it’s almost like Jesus KNOWS what he’s asking. But he’s painting a picture of something hard, something that takes energy, a task, a behavior that grows more skilled over time.

He is asking you to shove your fingers deep into the heavy, crude nets of first-century Israel. He is asking you to grab them tightly, like your life depends on it, because your life depends on it. And he is asking you to take that deep breath, and ready your entire body, plant your feet firmly on the deck, and with every cell in your body, without a sliver of hesitation, heave those nets up and over the side of the boat and let them sink heavy-deep into the water.

Because if you can’t heave them over the side, you’ll never be able to heave in the abundance God will place inside those nets.

BECAUSE IF YOU CAN’T HEAVE THEM OVER THE SIDE, YOU’LL NEVER BE ABLE TO HEAVE IN THE ABUNDANCE GOD WILL PLACE IN THOSE NETS.

If you can’t give it, throw it. If you can’t release it gently, release it forcefully. If you can’t open your own hands, let someone open them for you. And if you find that you still can’t, even after all of that, it’s ok. Some of us need to WRESTLE.

God knows. He isn’t afraid of letting you wrestle. He’s not afraid that your struggle will affect his sovereignty, his ability to make all things new, his grace.

There is nothing you can say or do to make God love you any more or any less. Because his love isn’t tainted with sin. It is PERFECTLY. HOLY. WHOLE.

And he sees the weight of brokenness you carry on your shoulders.

And he just wants to take it.

It is a daily releasing sometimes. It is a repeating of obedience and trust that changes everything. It is one step, one movement at a time.

God never asked us to do easy things. He never even asked us to do possible things.

How do you move a mountain?

One shovel of dirt at a time.

How do you move a mountain?

You can’t. It’s impossible.

How do you move a mountain and change your life?

With faith in a God who can make all things possible.

Because he is making all things new and he will not stop when he gets to you.

God Doesn’t Make Mistakes, So It’s Impossible For You To Be One

I’ve heard God doesn’t make mistakes.

I’ve heard it is impossible…

Everything about you. Your nationality, your skin color, gender, hair texture. How expressive or reserved you are. How introverted or extroverted you are. Your ability to sing or create art or to fearlessly barrel race horses. Your laugh.

NONE OF IT IS A MISTAKE.

God knew exactly what he was doing when he reached across time and space and birthed you in the darkness and fashioned you into something spectacular.

You are not a mistake.

It is impossible for you to be a mistake. Because it is impossible for God to make mistakes.

I spent my whole life thinking I was a mistake. That who I was was so shameful. The way I theatrically tell stories, how I want to weep for three days every time I watch The Green Mile. How making a space look beautiful fills me up with so much joy I cannot even express it. How injustice makes my blood boil. How my idea of “good church” involves crying with and laughing with and eating with a handful of people at a time.

Because I always thought I should want other things. I should be less passionate. Less emotional. More practical. More extroverted. Less awkward for heaven’s sake (Lord, above have mercy).

But none of these things about me is a mistake.

It’s weird, but not weird at the same time, to say that THE WORLD NEEDS YOU! And it needs ME. And not in a self-absorbed way, but simply because we are here and because we exist means that God destined for each one of us to be here.

The family he placed us in is not a mistake. Your birth order. Gender.

The country we were born in is not a mistake.

Our skin color is not a mistake. And all those freckles you have or don’t have.

God isn’t surprised you made it earth-side. He isn’t surprised you think post-it-notes can save the world, or that you haven’t been able to find a pair of matching socks in your house since 2007.

God knit you together and created you exactly perfect. Where you are standing right now, that earth beneath your feet that bears the weight of your presence, it is sacred because a sacred being stands upon it: you.

You are priceless. Invaluable. Never compared against another. Never regretted by God.

You are not what has happened to you. What someone took from you or did to you. You are not what someone else says you are, or even who you say you are. You are deeply and irrevocably eternal and brokenness is not eternal.

Stand in this today. Say it out loud. Because a thousand voices are telling you otherwise. Speak this truth over yourself and your children and all the people…that you are not a mistake.

God doesn’t make mistakes.

I’ve heard it is impossible.

It is impossible for you to be anything other than exactly what God created. And this is not something to fear, it is something to rest in.

 

Child Abuse Is The Social Justice Issue We’ve All Been Overlooking

I listened to a podcast today that talked about how, in the Bible, there is no concept of separate justice issues. There is only JUSTICE and INJUSTICE. Preach! 

When you start talking about injustice, child abuse doesn’t really jump to the forefront of your mind. Because it hides in plain sight, and like a deadly bacteria that works its way deep into the crevices of your body, child abuse is an insidious destroyer of a sense of self.

Continue reading “Child Abuse Is The Social Justice Issue We’ve All Been Overlooking”

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