A recent wedding of a friend had me pondering life and the way God restores our brokenness. I have seen Him work His grace into heart after heart, including mine. Yet, there have been times when I questioned whether that same grace was restoring anything at all. Often looking the past is detrimental, but there are days like today that it is encouraging and fruitful. I had to look back for a moment and remember the person I was four years ago. I cringe when I remember her. I also took a moment to look at my present and my future, my thought processes then vs. my thought processes now, and my heart’s desires then and my heart’s desires now. The darkness of the past could not even begin to compare to even the smallest of changes that had started in my heart.
All that to point out the beautiful tears that were shed by my friend’s daddy, her fiancé (now husband), and herself as her daddy gave her away to a man that had loved her like Christ loved. My own tears ran at the beauty of it all, reminding me of the things that are being restored in my own life. The pureness of this moment was only added to by a message straight from the heavenlies. The man who spoke shared much, but what stuck out the most to me was the grace and mercy and love Christ had toward us. How this extended into the beauty of this particular wedding and marriage.
So I pondered on my way home, pondered life and all that God is doing, and asking questions. Having gone to bed several hours after I flew in, I woke up hoping that some of my questions had vanished. But, no, they still lingered, poking my heart in agitating ways. Sharing them with Jesus, I got into my car and went to work, expecting to have to fight all day, forgetting for a moment how gracious He is. That moment came when I got a text from a dear friend asking me to stop by this week sometime. Time allowed me to do so today. I smile because Jesus is phenomenal at taking care of this heart of mine. Walking to my friend’s front door, I wondered what it was that she had brought me there for. As I saw what she had, I almost burst into tears. Her gift was a gift that spoke of the volumes of her heart for me (her heart mirrors what I know Jesus' heart is for me). And I was again reminded that the way I see myself is not necessarily how God sees me. We sat with cups of coffee and stopped for a brief but full moment to chat. Rain dropped lightly as she allowed me to share something woven deeply into my heart. Once again I was blessed to see that the things she said were things I had been bringing to Jesus.
Now, I don’t write this to write about myself, but to encourage those who have questions or are in a season of dryness or some other heavy moment. Maybe it’s your past creating chains that burden or maybe it’s a worry that you may never be fully healed from a painful experience or maybe it’s something else entirely. He is good and faithful to care for your heart in the middle of it all. The truth is this sweet friend of mine who got married, and my friend who listened to my heart today, and I, have tasted and seen that the Lord is good even in the middle of pain and crazy. His love is truly better than life. Jesus is the Redeemer, the Restorer, and the Healer, truly indescribable. His grace IS sufficient. His discipline is actually quite kind, though at times painful.
So, in summary, the things I’m learning are these: life is not about me but about the glory of God and who He is and what He has done for and is doing for us (hence this muddled post). I am also learning that God has many people who plant seeds and many who water those same seeds, but it is always, ALWAYS God who gives the growth and will someday (if not at the time) receive glory for what He has done. And finally, I am relearning His vast love for me and that I really do not have to have it all together before I fall at His feet. His graciousness is amazing.
“O God, you are my God; earnestly I will seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water. So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory. Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you. So I will bless you are long as I live; in your name I will lift up my hands.”