I escaped into my closet for a moment to myself. It wasn't the spilled milk all over the floor, or the peanut butter on the wall...it was just everything, all of it. Those things just happened to be the last straw.. And I ran to my closet trying to catch my breath. "Lord I am about to break. This year has been so much, too much. I can't handle one more thing. I could fall apart into a million pieces if this doesn't get any easier." I am sure you have prayed like this before. My hands clenched tightly and my jaw pressed firm together, I did my best to calm down before I walked back out to the living room to assess the situation and somehow, someway lead my four children past this moment and into the rest of our afternoon.
I know I am not alone in this feeling. My desire in my writing today is to come alongside of you and say my heart longs for peace too. My mind longs to not race with questions, doubts and what ifs as well. Friend, you are not alone.
We have had an amazing year but a hard year. Saying yes to God is a dream fulfilled but no dream comes without risks. No stepping out in faith feels easy does it? Faith is the space between what you once knew and what you know to be true and that in-between space reveals your faith. Sometimes you don't like what you find.
The season of fall often leaves one reflecting and maybe you could look back on the past 11 months and see many moments that have left you hurt and questioning. When the tension rises and life feels uncertain it can take your faith and your assurance of things right there with it. Everything starts to be in question, the doubts flood your mind, and life feels too heavy and too much. And you cry out to God in desperation and you wait for any sign of His existence. This is the moment when you really need Him to show up, part the seas, say your name, knock on the door, put a word in the clouds, something... anything, please...
Well the Lord answered me in my honest prayer. Want to know what He said? He simply said, "How about instead of breaking apart you break wide open."
There is a difference isn't there? Breaking apart reminds me of a grenade. A grenade full of shards of glass that, when it explodes, it hurts and hits everything in its' path. Leaving a mess that is not easily cleaned up or swiped away. Breaking apart feels like a momentary burst of uncontrollable emotions left unchecked. Yes it brings a momentary relief but it doesn't really fix anything. It usually makes the situation much worse, it leaves a mark.
But breaking wide open, now that's another choice, another way of living altogether.
Could breaking wide open be an act of true surrender? Like Mary pouring out her oil, her alabaster jar broken wide open for all to see onto the One who is truly worthy. Could breaking wide open be a life of totally letting go, giving in and giving up all control? Is this the every day surrender we often hear preached about? Is this the freedom we all crave?
When you break wide open it uncovers and reveals something in you that you have never known. A faith grown and changed, a perspective that keeps growing and doesn't stay the same. Yes, the breaking wide open is a life poured out. I believe if Mary could talk to us from heaven she would say, "He's worth it, I promise. Every drop, waste it all!"
I don't have a four step process on how to do this. I truly don't think it exists, but I can give you this. What I keep seeing when I pray for this and through this is this picture.It's the Japanese art called kintsugi. It's the art of taking broken pottery and putting it back together and painting the cracks gold.
You see when we break wide open this is possible. This is the redemption work of our Redeemer. This is the refiner's fire. And when we break wide open He reveals Himself in ways we never knew and He shows us more of who He created us to be, and picks us up and puts us back together more beautiful than before. And our cracks now shine as our testimony for another. For that is how we overcome. By the beautiful blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony.
So I dare you to break wide open today. The gold paint is waiting to be brushed on you in all the areas you never thought could be beautiful. Let the Artist do His work, for we are His workmanship after all.