It happened again. Every last splinter finding its way into the spot it has already punctured in my heart. All those thoughts I had managed to take captive, now roamed freely through my head...and my heart. Things I hadn't thought about in months, now standing front and center in my mind. Hurting in so many places at once that I couldn't even identify where it started.
And there I stood like someone trying to herd cats. It's impossible to recapture runaway thoughts when your heart is leaking from thousands of puncture wounds. Every tiny drop draining you more and more until you want to give into that nagging desire to throw in the towel. What if this time you didn't try to take them captive? What if for once you quit playing the part of Daddy's girl and just let them loose?
But it isn't an option....not now, not ever probably...and so you look for another place to hide. Somewhere to cry behind closed doors. It's another one of those days that you can't even pray because if you did one of those thoughts might find its way out of your mouth. He already knows them, but the fear of how good it would feel just to let one escape is too great. If one leaves, its friend might follow.
And so you cry....one of those "hair in a ponytail, snot everywhere, sink down in the floor in the fetal position" kind of cries. And the Holy Spirit says, "Here she goes again," and He makes intercession speaking the words your heart is too broken to form. The thoughts leave you guilty, and broken...and fragile. The thin places stretched so tightly that you're sure this time they will rupture.
At first He doesn't answer. And then He sends a text from a friend offering a ride when you need it most. And then He sends a text from a friend who knows each and every one of the splinters and how they found their way into your heart. She's offering to call after work because she understands just as if the Holy Spirit wrote it on her heart too. You walk into the church basement at the point of exhaustion and find someone with a similar story, someone who bears some of the same splinters. You find yourself starting to feel encouraged, and then a couple of more arrows show up and you start to forget where He's lifted you too.
So then He sends it to you in writing. Two different pieces by two different authors about two different things. From the blog entitled "Grace Uncommon", "Lovely one, if you dare to dream, you must be brave enough to fight." And then from Ann Voskamp, "What was intended to tear you apart, God intends it to set you apart. Whatever has torn you, God makes a thin place to see glory. Whatever happens, whatever unfolds, whatever unravels, you can never be undone."
God paused just for you. He graced two ladies to write the words He wanted to speak to your heart. He had them write it in time so that it would be posted at the moment you needed it most. And you feel the touch of His hand....the puncture wounds closing tight around the splinters attempting to prevent loss of any more life-giving joy. The thoughts that once ran rampant begin to march single file into the darkest crevices of your mind.
The God who created the Universe is calling you to Himself. He wants to fill the places in your wounded heart that He alone can fill. The people around you leave you feeling empty, but those empty places were never meant to be filled by them. He is the lover of your soul. He is the One who brings healing to wounded hearts. He is the One who can touch all the broken places and close them tight again.
And as the healing begins again, you recall a quote from the writing of Ann Voskamp, "What was meant to tear you apart, God intends it to set you apart." And as you pause to ponder that statement, you hear that Still Small Voice beckon you to pick up the pen...
Well God,, here we are. The fifth day of November arrived at midnight last night as I lay listening to my IPod. Just another day to anyone else except for us. I was told that I shouldn't remember days because they were bad, but that isn't what you said. In the Old Testament many great men who followed You built altars of remembrance. Altars to symbolize where they met with You. Altars to remember Your deliverance and providence. So why shouldn't a girl in 2014 build an altar of remembrance in her mind? A place to look back and remember her meeting with God?
So in the past few months I have worked hard to take the stones that I might have thrown and to bring them to this place. I have worked hard to collect the rocks that stood as boulders, and rather than hurl them or let them deter me from the path I was to take, instead to gather them up into something that You might see as beautiful. And so on this private anniversary, I present to you my altar of remembrance and offer you my thanksgiving.
Thank you for listening to me scream and complain about how unfair it is. Thank you for allowing the Holy Spirit to give utterance when I had no words to describe the pain. Thank you for meeting me at all hours of the night. Thank you for the stars overhead that helped me to focus on You. Thank you for meeting me wherever I was whether in my bed, on the hammock, in the kitchen floor, or in a fetal position in the den. Thank you for teaching me that You are all I need.
God, I am broken. I am a mess. You asked me to jump and my fear of falling kept me from obeying. I held on so tight that You had to show me how painful it was to let go by being forced to do so. You watched as I experienced one of my greatest fears magnified more than I imagined. The reflection I saw of myself in the mirror changed to be unrecognizable. I am changed.
So God, as I find myself bowing at my self-erected altar, I know that I should simply be content with expressing gratitude. But God, I am human and in my humanness I need to make requests of You. God, please help me to look at my reflection and see that the reason I no longer see myself is because I see You in me. God, remind me that in facing one of my greatest fears I have found one of my greatest victories over Satan. Please teach me to let go more freely knowing it all rests in Your hand anyway. Heavenly Father please teach me not to fear, but to trust in You. Teach me to jump. Teach me that sometimes I will fall, but in falling I experience what it feels like to be caught in Your arms. Take my mess and make it my message. Take my brokenness and replace it with boldness.
So God, before I rise from this altar of remembrance, help me to look to the future. For in this year of brokenness and pain, You bestowed upon me a great gift. You have given me Your dream for my life. My Great Tailor has gathered all my messy broken threads and begun to use them to weave a beautiful tapestry. It sure looks like a mess to me right now, but You promise to make it my message. You allowed the pain in order to give me purpose. God, in the past year You have taught me what it feels like to fall. Could you take me now and teach me to fly? Even if it's with a broken wing? I have caught glimpses of what it could be like soaring in the sunset uplifted by the breeze of Your love and grace. God, teach me to dream this dream that came from You. Help me to give the comfort You have given me to others. And God, before I go....I love You.