I began 2016 by asking God to break me by any means necessary in order to mold me moving forward. Beyond my wildest imagination He did. I would tell you to be careful what you wish for, but I’d rather explain why I’m writing this to tell you that I don’t regret it at all.
It was painful—easily the hardest year of my life. Meaningful relationships were severed and I spent more time in the hospital than ever before. The sting of loss was the theme. The reality of a broken creation full of sin, and heart defects was the setting. Satan saw a lot of opportunities and had his way more than once.
I went to the darkest place of my life. And I’m here to report back that when I arrived, God met me. When I felt alone because I thought my problems were unique enough to allow social isolation, He simply said get up and walk with Me. I told Him that first step on the water looks iffy and I’m really not even sure if I want to live right now. Ironically, He made me read my own words through my own tears.
So I took that step.
2017 is about to be my year and I’ll tell you why—He answered that prayer a year ago. The Creator of the universe listened to me and found my request fit for His will. And now I know 2017 is about to be my year because I’m walking into it so broken that tunnel vision has set in directly on the cross. Nothing else matters anymore, and it never should have. For however much it has sucked getting here, this is an incredible place to be. It’s here that you find no reason to fear being broken because you get reacquainted with how much you already are, and the only real fear worth harboring would be of God abandoning me to my brokenness. That’s a terrifying possibility for millions of people who don’t know Him.
There is an incredible need to identify, isolate, and uphold truth within our own hearts. When God creates something, His definition of it must reign so supremely that we are literally offended by any other notion of what it could be. The greatest example is love. What has been abused and counterfeited more than love? I can’t imagine anything, but hope might be holding down a not-so-distant second. My ultimate fear is that if I manage to redefine these concepts and gifts from God mistakenly in my own mind, my fellowship with Him will be broken because I’ll be worshiping and praying to a self-conceived idea of God, and not Him. This is exactly why we must learn to approach God not for the benefits of a relationship with Him, but for that relationship itself. It’s there that we actually experience that love and that hope. They become crystal clear and allow us to instantly recognize the tyrannical idols we had been hoping were loving us, but only led to emptiness.
I’ll leave you with the verse that inspired that prayer. My redemption and restoration has begun. I can see His fingerprints all over it, but if you so happen to be in the miserably comfortable position I was in when I asked to be broken, it’s time to rise and refocus. Most people will spend their entire lives desperately crafting their comfort zone. God looks you in the eye and proclaims that real life happens outside of it and in His hands.
4 And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter; so he made it again into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to make
Note: The featured image of this post (pictured below) comes from the incredibly talented artists at www.fullofeyes.com