There is such a need for the healing touch of Christ in our communities. I see this struggle in the body of Christ. I see those who long to serve God with an undivided heart but their heart is broken. I see those who feel pulled in two, torn between the grace and mercy of God and the pain and cruelty of the world. Those of us who have gone through similar experiences can share some of the burden of our wounded brothers and sisters, but only Christ can fully know what any one soul is bearing. So we take the load to Him.
Whatever you are carrying, take it to Jesus. That may sound simple and trite, but it is the very best choice that any of us can make. He who knelt in the garden and sweat drops of blood, who had His body whipped and ripped on a wooden cross, understands the agony that tears at your soul. As he knelt in Gethsemane, facing the horror of what lay ahead, he prayed,
“Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” Luke 22:42
There is a healing in the will of God, a pulling together of all the pieces of our lives. It doesn’t mean that we will always understand what is happening to us, but we bring our torn edges to Him who holds us together.
A year ago I was asked to write a call to worship, and I came across it today. And I’m kind of amazed at how much I’ve changed in this past year, apparent by my writings. So I thought I’d share what I wrote here….
I believe that every single move we make has a purpose, as minor as it seems. God has orchestrated our whole lives to fit into His purpose. 3 ½ years ago, he spoke through an old friend of mine, and she introduced me to Hope Chapel. I’ve been a Christian all my life, but non-practicing. I had the beliefs, but was clueless about the walk. I came here week after week, I’m sure you saw me. I was the one bawling in the second row. When you’ve gone through life not feeling Jesus, and then are suddenly surrounded by Him, it can be overwhelming. But I still never got involved. I’d been raised to experience religion in a very private way, and just to raise my hands in song was mortifying.
God’s reasons for bringing me to Hope were far greater than just learning how to worship Him. Two years ago, 7 ½ months into my third pregnancy, I lost my son to a cord accident. It was a total shock. But the biggest thing was, had I not been learning how to feel closer to God, I don’t know how I would have coped.
After Connor died I was a walking mess. I’d love to say that I leaned into the Lord and everything turned out ok. But that’s not exactly how it happened. The good parts were that I saw my church family react in a way I had never experienced. Members of the church I barely knew attended the funeral, donated food for the wake, and helped serve at my house afterwards. For two weeks after my son died, my family’s meals were provided for. I would come to church and receive love and support from strangers who I would soon see as my church family.
But the bad part was my marriage and family failed. I don’t want to get into the whole mess up here on stage, but this has been the hardest year yet of my life. And I am still trying to pick up the pieces of myself that I’ve lost along the way.
But in this walk, I have seen myself grow in ways I never thought I would. I am an active member of this church, and now I am free to worship the Lord and get as involved as I want to. I am learning how to open up to other people, and accept their friendship. And I have learned a ton from leaning into the Lord.
These past two weeks have been a blessing in this journey. I started the bible reading program we’re doing, and it has gotten me back into the habit of getting into the word, and praying everyday, something I haven’t been very good at. At the same time, I started my online blog, and now get Christian support from friends on things I had previously kept to myself. And in all of this I am turning to the Lord more and more, and feeling a new peace about me. And it makes me wonder why I didn’t do this before.
I still have my struggles. My divorce is not an easy chapter in my life. But I have learned that through Jesus, I am equipped. He is my armor and keeps my heart safe. It still hurts and I’m not perfect, but when I feel life’s struggles starting to overwhelm me, I just keep looking ahead. The Lord has a purpose for me. There is a reason. And he is working in me now to get me to where I will be years from now. I don’t know what the full answer is, but I have already been witness to some changes in me and around me that His plans have brought me to. I know there is something far greater to come in my life here on earth, and now, instead of dreading it, I understand my suffering is for that reason.