Part One – God’s Love
Aimee means Loved. We never got to meet Baby Aimee, but her little life is challenging me to love and be loved more deeply than I could have imagined. I have been slowly working my way through Ann Voskamp’s The Broken Way with a lot of journal-ing and Bible study along the way. These are some of my reflections.
I talked in my last post about how I surrendered about the time Little Man got his fever in the middle of the night, while I was sick, and recovering from the D&C. It was a lonely night on the couch. But I realized I can’t do this without God. To try to get through this season on my own would be futile. I accepted that I am broken, that this is where I am in this season of my life. And how did I accept it? First, by talking to God, with a chip on my shoulder.
“Feelings are meant to be felt – and then given to God.”* What does it mean to give our feelings to God? It means being totally transparent. It means telling Him about your anger, your despair, your deepest desires. It means letting it all out. Write a letter to God. Let it flow. It’s humbling. “You are your truest self when you live with your heart as glass to God.” You don’t need to hide or stifle those feelings, even when you yourself don’t like them.
Webster defines identity as: sameness of essential or generic character in different instances. Identity comes from the Latin word idem, which literally means “same.” “It is your intimacy with Christ that gives you your identity” (emphasis mine). Your identity is who you are through all the changing circumstances of life. No matter the season. Your identity is all about intimacy – relationship – with God. How do we build relationships here on earth? By communicating with one another. By sharing our feelings with a friend. By being vulnerable. By accepting the love of another. How do you build intimacy with God? My guess is pretty much the same.
Everywhere I go people ask me how I’m doing. It’s a hard question, but one that always leaves me examining my well-being and my identity. Who am I today? Okay. Getting better. Physically healing. Still broken. Even the guy at the feed store asked me with a worried look if I was doing okay. “Sure,” I said. “The year has not started well for us.” Did he really want to hear how this season has been a whole lot of rain? But the sky breaks so the seed can break to break the ground to grow a garden of bountiful harvest. And it starts with a whole lot of breaking. To get to the harvest you have to be broken.
“What if speaking your most unspoken broken is what it takes to release a damned-up Niagara Falls of grace? … Grace is what holds you when everything’s breaking and falling apart, and whispers that everything is really falling together.” Be honest with myself, be honest with God, even when it hurts, so I can know my identity more deeply. Then I can face the rainstorm with a roof over my head, stego, because love bears all things. Surrender to God’s love. Surrender to God’s grace.
I am broken, I am beloved.
Whatever you are taking to God, it doesn’t change the way He feels about you. Because regardless of your feelings today, how you feel about God right now, God’s feelings were first. He loved you first. That is our identity as Christians.
“Can I remember? I don’t have to fix things, I don’t have to deny things, I don’t have to pretend away things…. Could I feel okay being un-okay, trusting that Christ is always making a way?” Because that IS the promise. “God is faithful and will not let you be tested beyond your strength, but with the testing He will also provide the way out so that you may be able to endure it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13) What is the way out? His Love. His grace.
“He binds up the brokenhearted.” Isaiah 61:2
*All quotes from Ann Voskamp’s The Broken Way, unless otherwise noted.