I’m so glad to be back!! It’s been a long break for the holidays followed by twenty-one days of prayer and fasting, and then jumping straight into my ministry and leadership classes. I intended to be back the last week of January, but as much as I want to do it all, I just haven’t found a way yet – haha! So in all transparency, I’ve had to re-prioritize my to-do list and get a grip on my crazy schedule! Our home church starts small groups back this week and my group will meet tonight for the first time of this semester… I miss my readers and I miss my small group girls! Looking forward to lots of new readers/followers this year and new ladies in my group on Sunday nights. But most of all, looking forward to seeing some ladies freed from the weight of hurt and divorce – through relationship with our God Most High! Let’s get back to the basics today – and surrender it all!
Ephesians 2:4-7 New International Version (NIV)
4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.
Fractured but not crushed. It’s the best description I have for the hurt and chaos that followed me from the time of my parents divorce all the way through my own divorce and the aftermath. Not until I encountered real relationship with Christ did I begin to see those little fractures heal. I had to stop focusing on me and what I could do to make it better and start focusing on My Creator and what He could do. And He far out-did even my wildest expectations! God’s big y’all…
Jeremiah 17:7 New International Version (NIV)
7 “But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,
whose confidence is in him.
But for some reason, after divorce, it’s hard to go all in and not think He needs our help sometimes – hard not to get caught up in worry, anxiety, and control. I personally believe it’s harder to surrender a fractured heart to Him than it is a whole heart (it shouldn’t be, but we make it that way). That may sound odd, but seriously! Isn’t it easier to give someone something when it’s in one piece? If something has been fractured, it requires us to hand it over piece by piece. So if our hearts were whole, surrendering to Him and trusting God would look much different – with one swift action, we would be able to hand over our entire hearts. For some reason, when our hearts are fractured, WE complicate it. We try to give Him little pieces – here and there – where we know we won’t get hurt or the areas of our life we know we have already aligned with God’s word… you know, piece by piece, like I said before.
Proverbs 3:5-6 New International Version (NIV)
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.[a]
Ever had anyone trust you a little bit, maybe with some things, but not with others?? I have! I’m gonna use my teenager as an example… since God is our Father, I’m gonna use a parental comparison. My daughter has never asked me if I have enough gas in my car to get where we are going. She never questions if her things will still be in her room when we get home. Never, not one time, has she asked if I was gonna pay for our families meal or if she needed to… lol! She sincerely trust that I already know to make sure we have gas, she trusts that I didn’t throw her things out of her room – except a few dirty clothes…lol, and she has never been responsible for providing dinner for our whole family so she has no reason to question that. <<< She fully and completely trust me in ALL of those areas (and many more)! BUT she doesn’t fully trust me for advice in her social life (because I am FARRRRRRR from cool) nor does she think my motives for not letting her participate in certain social events are pure. In fact, she likely thinks I’m just being mean for not letting her ride across town – on the interstate – in a car full of teenagers – in five o’clock traffic to go to a school basketball game!?! As a parent, my intentions and motives are absolutely in her best interest. I can see what is ahead of her and I’ve already been in many of those situations. I know what kind of decisions she will be faced with and to keep with my transparency – I know the consequences for some of those bad decisions. Oh how I wish she would just trust me! I wish she wouldn’t question my judgement – I really don’t NEED her help. However, no matter how many times she questions me or how many times her decisions don’t align with mine – it doesn’t lessen my love or my hopes and dreams for her future. Sound familiar????
Isaiah 55:8-9 New International Version (NIV)
8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
The hardest part about fully surrendering our hearts – and all the fractured pieces at once – is TRUSTING Him. When we question or worry frantically over things, those are areas that we haven’t fully surrendered to Him. When we try to control the outcome of situations or our environments – we aren’t fully trusting His ability to handle what isn’t naturally in our control. But He DOESN’T NEED our help. He truly has good planned for each of us. He’s already been here and lived where we are. He has experienced rejection, physical pain, ridicule, and exhaustion. He knows what it is like to not fit in or no longer be accepted where we once felt at home. HE HAS BEEN THROUGH IT HIMSELF. He knows what we are facing and He knows what consequences await our bad decisions. We still have the opportunity to seek Him and His ways and fully trust Him. Do we want to continue to fight and struggle through wrong turns and consequences or do we want to go all in now? I know in about ten years my daughter will finally see the answers for all my “no’s”. But wouldn’t you go back and listen and trust your parents sooner if you could? I hate for her to make the journey rough or harder than it needs to be, but I will stand by patiently loving her all the same until she comes around. God will do the same for you.
2 Peter 3:9 New International Version (NIV)
9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
To be honest, it’s much harder to surrender a fractured heart because we try to hold onto to some pieces and handle them ourselves. He wants all the little pieces. He doesn’t need us to ration it out. It’s much harder for us to fix things – we didn’t create them… He did. He knows how every little detail of our lives has come together, He can single handedly move those pieces to make our mess something beautiful. He doesn’t need help or instructions. Only surrender. Full surrender. To partially surrender is a constant battle between serving your flesh and serving your Creator.
So on my first blog of 2019 – I want each of us to fully surrender every area of our hearts to Him. He can’t heal or restore the pieces we don’t give Him. So all those ugly little nuances from your divorce – you know – the ones you said, the ones you did… the anger you carry around, the guilt, the bitterness, the jealousy, the fear… GIVE IT ALL TO HIM. Join me on this journey allowing His love and His grace to make your fractured heart whole again! Let’s start putting the big “D” behind us and start focusing on the Cross before us….