the secret to being brave.

I am still alive. I know I haven’t written in weeks. I could make up some story about how busy I’ve been… or I could tell you the truth and just say this: I do not have this faith thing all figured out. Sometimes I fall flat on my face. Just because I’ve been ordained and chosen ministry as my full-time passion and purpose doesn’t mean life doesn’t knock me down sometimes. It doesn’t mean disappointments don’t cause despair or unkind words don’t threaten to unhinge my heart. It also doesn’t mean Self becomes magically silent and surrenders.

God did not promise easy…
Or pain and persecution free.
He said to expect suffering…
A daily dying to self.

And so as Ann Voskamp said in her beautiful new book, The Broken Way: “I’ll take it. I’ll take his words like a daring covenant, not knowing yet what’s to come: there is no growth without change, no change without surrender, no surrender without wound—no abundance without breaking. Wounds are what break open the soul to plant the seeds of a deeper growth.”

And so I must cling to Scripture as if it were breath in my lungs… and prayer as if it will keep my heart beating… and I must believe God for who He has always been. And then I can get back up. And I will be stronger. Of this I am certain…

Bravery comes through brokenness.

I tell you this only for one reason: I know I’m not the only one who gets knocked down or falls flat on my face. I know I’m not the only one who hurts and gets beaten up by life. If that’s where you are, you are not alone. And you will rise again. And maybe some of the lessons I’ve learned in the last few weeks will help you. I’m determined not to believe or perpetuate the lie that my story is only good if it is perfect. Instead “He’s inviting me to heal, but also to see my most meaningful calling: to be His healing to the hurting.” { Voskamp }

So with that in mind, I offer these lessons God has taught me:

1. Don’t wallow in your wounds; work while wounded.
2. Set expectations for no one other than yourself.
3. Pattern the picture and the plan after Christ.
4. Don’t hurry healing; perfecting comes through the pain.

And finally, #5…
The miracle comes in the breaking. 

Trust me on this one. It was true in the feeding of the 5,000, “Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves.” { Matthew 15:18 } It was true in the Lord’s Supper: “and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” { 1 Corinthians 11:24 }

The miracle comes in the breaking, but that’s not all. Notice that gratitude was given… first.

May we give thanks, May we be broken. May we be the miracle.

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