Experiencing brokenness is painful. However, I never would have been satisfied with my Christian walk without it. There is this lie that Christians love to tell others who are suffering: "God will not give you more than you can handle." I used to believe this lie. I used to tell this lie to people. I did not know it was a lie and perhaps calling it a lie is a little harsh. So what is the truth, you say?
God does indeed give strength. But, more accurately, He IS your strength. He can and will indeed bring you to a place where you cannot rely on your own abilities anymore. This is brokenness. The moment you realize you have been self sufficient. It is the moment we give up all hope in self.
I read something recently that talked about brokenness in this way:
"We sometimes try to live FOR Him when He wants to live THROUGH us.
To ask God to help us live for Him is to request some divine blessing of our effort to 'do what He wants us to do.'
But that isn't what God desires. He isn't interested in what we can do for Him.
Christ is interested in living His life through us."
Grace Walk By, Steve McVey
When I first started having complications with my pregnancy with the twins was the moment I started experiencing brokenness. It was not a magical, one night experience. It was a process. It was a slow death in a sense.
I know I make this sound so awful. I do not want to instill fear. No, no...this is a message of hope. A hope that through something awful, God used it for His glory. It is a BEAUTIFUL story, albeit painful.
But, I would do it all over again.
About two weeks after the twins were born, I was met at the door by one of the Nurse Pracitioners. And I knew it wasn't good news. (Somehow, I always remained very stoic in front of others. Whenever someone medical would talk to me about the twins while they were in the NICU, it was almost like I turned my "nurse" hat on and listened like I was getting report for my shift. It was very odd...I think it was my way of coping). This was the day we thought Jacob was getting septic. This was one of several times where I felt my strength dying and God carrying me through.
I was not allowed to hold him. So, I stuck my hand in the isolette and held his little hand. I laid my head on the top of the isolette and cried out to God.
"God, I can't do this. You are going to have to do this for me because I can't.
I am helpless. I don't want to be angry with you, God. Please don't let me fall from your embrace. My flesh is angry, but my heart is desperate for you. No matter what happens, do not leave me.
No matter how much I may push you away because of my anger, please don't stop loving me.
Carry me through this. If this is your will, then you must supply the strength and carry me.
I am weak. I can do nothing else."
The picture above is of that moment. You can understand now why it is my "button" for my blog and why I changed the name "To Him Belong" (and also from hearing Ella sing the lyrics to Jesus loves me one day in the car in the midst of all this). I realized that God loved this babies more than me. That seemed impossible, but I know this to be true because I know how much He loves me. Gosh, and if He loves a screwed up adult this much, can you imagine how much He adored those tiny little babies?
Another defining moment in my process of being broken was when Audrey got so sick after we brought her home (you can read about that by clicking here). It was yet another moment where I wasn't sure things were going to turn out the way I wanted. Another moment, where I had no strength left.
I bargained with God. This is a common theme with anyone facing the death of a loved one. We bargain promising God things we think He wants to get what we want. I promised to give God my everything if He would just heal my Audrey.
God did indeed heal our Audrey. And sadly, this was not the end of my brokenness. Remember, I made promises to God. I would NEVER be able to repay Him for healing our Audrey. But, I wanted to. At this point in my journey of embracing grace, I completely forgot about grace and went back to trying so, so hard to show God how thankful I was. I don't think I ever worried He would take her away if I didn't "fulfill my promises", but I didn't want to "fail". I wanted so desperately to please Him. He had given us so much. He was indeed my strength in that time of my life (and all my life...I just never gave Him credit).
I went back to church. I prayed more. I spent more time reading my Bible. I tried so hard to show Him I loved Him. But, I felt so unfulfilled...which made me believe God was displeased with me. Which, in turn, made me shout out one October afternoon this:
"God, I am DONE with you. Leave me alone. Nothing I do will ever be good enough for you. I've done my best and it still isn't doing anything. So let me just live my life."
And because God gives us free will, He did indeed step back. I don't believe you can lose your salvation, but I do believe that God will take a step back when you tell Him too. I believe this because I experienced a loneliness that I think the unsaved must feel. I felt a separation from God. He did indeed leave me alone...and alone is what I felt.
(To be continued...and you don't want to miss the last part of this. I'm going to tell you something supernatural that happened to me. I will bare my soul and many will think it sounds crazy. But, it was very, very real. And I will then tell you how I came to have JOY in Jesus and His grace...and not just simply being a believer living in mediocrity.)