Monday, November 15, 2010

beauty in the brokenness

Hello! The days are counting down to the end of my time here as a Big. It is absolutely crazy! I think at this point I have more days that I am off then I am actually on before I go home for Christmas! That is crazy. I have a week off for Thanksgiving and I took 3 vacation days and my regular two days off a week! Crazy! I am not ready to say good-bye to so many people here...Lord, prepare my heart for whatever you have planned for me. This has been my life for almost 11 months! Its weird to think of leaving...and it freaks me out. So I try not to think too much about it! :)

I am going to miss some people over Thanksgiving break! I will be gone 8 days, but that seems like so long. Days here are so filled - its like you're gone a week if you are off for a day. Seriously. I don't even know how to explain it. I am driving home on Wednesday to Austin to see friends and family. I will celebrate Thanksgiving, however I will actually be here on Thanksgiving Day. I am actually kind of excited about that because a lot of the other Bigs will be here, too, and in ways, they have become like family. I mean, we do all live in the same house! :)

I spoke in chapel last Thursday. I played the song "Healing Begins" by Tenth Avenue North (my fave!) and talked about stepping out into the light, finding healing from our shame possible only because of the gospel of Christ. I read the story about the woman who was caught in adultery and brought before Jesus. The crowd was about to stone her, but as Jesus pointed out that they were all guilty of sin, one by one they walk away until only Jesus is left, and He does not condemn her. Its such a beautiful story because it reflects the rich grace and compassion of our Lord. Only before His grace and mercy can we deal with all our junk openly and honestly. However, as we do, we find healing, freedom and life. Its amazing! I was really encouraged by people's feedback, and especially touched by a handful of guy Littles who told me they really liked what I shared. I just pray that the Lord uses it as He wants to to draw people closer to Him.

So there is one relationship with a Little here in particular that the Lord has been growing each day and overwhelming me with by what He is doing. I get to learn something new about her everyday and am amazed and blessed to get to watch Christ literally transforming her heart. Last week I went on a walk with her. The weather here has been beautiful - cool, crisp autumn air, amazing sunsets and beautiful fall colors. (The reds are my absolute favorite! I wish fall in Austin was like this...) We walked and talked a little bit, but we were quiet at times, too. Its nice to be able to just walk with someone and not have to say anything and it not be awkward. On our last lap around the loop around property, I picked up a leaf and explained to her a metaphor I came up with because I love metaphors. :) I explained how the leaf was dead and it had fallen off the tree. It was dried up, and it seemed hopeless. However, there is the hidden hope of spring. We have different seasons in life - fall leads to winter, which is often a depressing time of the year, everything dead & dormant. But under all that lies the hope of spring, of new life. In life, sometimes things have to die before they can truly be alive. We go through times where we feel like we are dying, but there is the hope of new life, of healing, beauty, peace, and grace possible in Christ. Amen.

I gave her the leaf to keep. I found a note from her on my bed later in the week, where she made a new metaphor. The leaf was torn in pieces and in her note she talked about how she felt like she was falling to pieces. It broke my heart to read, but I also loved her honesty and metaphor that she said was more relevant to her. So I gave her another metaphor! :) I tore the leaf into even smaller pieces then glued them on a note card in the shape of a heart and wrote out Hosea 6:1-3:

"Come, let us return to the LORD. He has torn us to pieces but He will heal us; He has injured us but He will bind up our wounds. After two days He will revive us; on the third day He will restore us, that we may live in His presence. Let us acknowledge the LORD; let us press on to acknowledge Him. As surely as the sun rises, He will appear; He will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth.”

This is what God does. He tears us apart then puts us back together in a more beautiful way. It can be painful beyond belief, but He is good and He has the power to heal, redeem and restore. This is my prayer for her, to truly come to know Christ and to experience the power of His love, grace, forgiveness and healing from her shame and hurt and find true peace in God. She gets closer each day and leaves me encouraging notes that make me really excited. The Lord is so faithful and overwhelmingly good to me. As He has brought healing, hope and freedom to my life, I get to show others the way to Christ to find the same hope. He alone is worthy and I am humbled to be able to do this with my life.

I pray that you are coming to know Christ more. Whether you are in the process of being torn apart or being put back together, or anywhere in between, I pray you know that you are being held close to His heart. The Maker of the Universe is making something beautiful out of you for all the world to know Him more. How incredible is that? Only Christ can take what is broken, bruised, tattered and turn it into something beautiful. Only a holy God can takes the things in our lives that have brought so much shame and hurt and use them for His redemptive purpose and glory. This is the Lord who I want to give my whole life to. To Him I owe my life, my everything. May you know Him more today. I love you & miss you all. Thank you so much for following me on this journey, for your prayers, love & support. I can not walk this alone and I am so grateful for each of you. Hope to see you soon! :)

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