Monday, August 11, 2014

Redeeming The Broken Hallelujahs

I remember her, skipping along the row of lilac bushes, her skin naturally bronze as if she had been kissed by summer sun year round and her tousled hair, curled natural with perfect ringlets framing her darling face.  She was a beautiful child who ran as if she didn't have a single care, but I knew her life wasn't easy.

And as she grew up sometimes our paths just seemed to cross.

Not that she knew who I was, but I noticed her. I can tell you that she grew up into a stunning woman and gifted artist. One who tried to hide her pain behind a beautiful smile.

And too soon, long before you would think it could be time, another cherished soul slipped beyond the thin veil of this earth, into eternity.

It has left me wondering if she always felt hopeless. 

I get that she just longed to numb all the pain and sweeping emptiness inside of her as she slipped her hands around another drink.  And was there really anything at all to ease the throbbing pain that pulsed deep in her heart? But the hardest question that presses into my earth bound skin is this: Did I speak love and life enough to her, when I had the opportunity?

Smack in the middle of one of the hardest, seasons of my life is when I first saw her scampering across that yard with her little cherub face.

I was walking in darkness that can be felt. Agony that burned deep, which no drink, no drug, no human could alleviate. In that season I learned that time does not heal, even though so many people said that it would. Maybe they were just hoping that it was true, because they had no real answers to help someone feel whole, who had their life shredded. 

I see it all the time. Women like her, women like me, acting and reacting to the deepest places of their brokenness. All of us with these unique blends of  history, circumstances, desires and dreams. 

Behind the lifestyle I could hear the heart crying out. I could see my old self, my young self, in them. I know that there is a longing to be something else besides the choices.

Often we see the rubble of someone’s poor decisions and think they should just stop it. Just shape up and live a better life or admit you have a problem and pull yourself up by the bootstrap and do better.

But trust me, I know, it doesn't work like that.

And another funeral and another beautiful life lost, reminds me that, well, it could have been me.

Don't be fooled that time marched on and I am just so amazing that I stopped traveling the road of self-destruction and trying to kill myself, one poor decision at a time and now everything looks all glossy and lovely.

If you knew me three decades ago, you know that it's hard to recognize the person I am now. 

Not just because of  age, though there certainly is that, but I would hope you hardly know the woman who's words you read, because, that younger woman was lost, careening down a path, heading for a fiery crash.

But God.

My deeply damaged heart, all wounded from life and loss, could not be healed with another self-help book or pep talk. It is only what Jesus has done in and through me, that I am profoundly changed and not reduced to the sum of a single dash, between two dates, all set in stone.

I could have been any one of the women I've met, who can not seem to stop wallowing in the aftermath of the life handed them. It was me who was angry, bitter, abandoned, the one people walked away from because it was just too messy to stay.

But then, I believed.

With faith like a child I believed in this wild, beautiful hope that scripture lays out for us.

Once I believed in what Jesus did on the cross for me, you know, that He left His throne in Heaven, was born a baby on earth, lived a sinless life, died a horrible death on the cross and was raised from the dead -yes even after I believed in that hope alone, it has been a journey to release the deep places to the light of His Word and let Him heal me, redeem the years stolen, and to fight for me. 

A journey for me to give my deepest, darkest most painful places to the Lord. To allow Him to fill, heal, satisfy those place. In fact, He alone has stitched together all the tattered pieces.

Someone else said it, "we have to be broken to be healed and empty to be filled." And the empty places were designed to be filled by God alone friends.

If you knew me before Jesus, then you knew me when it was just ugly.  

Some people can't even get past who I was then. Bless them, I understand.

If you know me now, you are looking at what Grace has done. 

And in response to being rescued from the very deepest pit of hell, I will speak of where my freedom comes from, until I have no breath left in my lungs. And I will write about it, I will sing it out loud and I will have it etched on the stone they lay over my body when I am gone. 

I believe in Jesus.

He is the Healer. 

If you come here, that is what you will hear about.  

What He is doing, teaching, moving, speaking into my life. 

Because there are still hurting people everywhere, and Jesus is the answer that they long for. 

This life is short. Pain runs deep and it lies to us and tries to boss our hearts around.

So that beautiful, messy woman whose life is gone, she reminds me not to waste time just talking about my favorite brownie recipe. Though there is certainly a little time for that, but I want to spend my life loving people even though they hurt me, even though they make the worse choices ever. I want to tell their stories. I want to hug them and have the most important conversation that any of us can have.

Do you know Jesus?

Is today the day that you could just trust Him with all your broken hallelujahs?

What is holding you back? I'd love to talk to you about those things. 


Post a Comment

I love hearing from you! Thank you for stopping by.

© Rhonda Quaney