Crazy! I know. It’s 5:06 a.m., and here I sit blogging. There was a lot on my mind, and my adrenaline was pumping so I figured, why not? It’s been awhile. So many changes and big things and little things have happened since I last wrote about my life. So, here’s the long and short of it…
It all starts in February — well actually in January… In February, my husband and I attended a conference. At the conference, the Lord did a huge work in my life to bring needed-revival to my heart. I felt more alive than I had in a very long time!
During that conference, I told my husband I had this odd feeling that we were going to get pregnant. (Didn’t realize I already was at the time.) Now, I knew the timing of everything, and I knew it would be even more of a miracle than pregnancy normally is. So, I forgot about that… for awhile.
In February, we also celebrated a big birthday for me! I’ll keep you guessing on what age that might be. 🙂 Definitely older than 21…! I also had a large group of ladies for a visit to celebrate the special occasion. The morning of the party, I took a pregnancy test because I knew that something was off… With wonder, I gazed at the two lines that appeared in the window of the pregnancy test and realized that I was indeed pregnant! And pregnant with my fifth!!!!
Among my conservative homeschooling buddies, a family of five is not big at all — might even be considered small. But, among the rest of my friends and acquaintances… five is a LOT!
The next four months would find me battling the fun of pregnancy woes and discomforts and all-out sickness. Plus, during the entire month of April, my family battled a re-occurring bout of the stomach bug. Someone or some of us were vomiting every week. You talk about piles of laundry and disgusting bathroom messes!
Then in April, I was diagnosed with Subchorionic Hematoma. I was put on a form of bed-rest. I was not allowed to do laundry, grocery shopping, lifting anything considered heavy, vacuuming, cooking anything beyond simple meals, weeding, washing my floors, etc… During that time, my husband also had to work crazy hours. Did I mention he was also sent away on a business trip while I was on bed-rest and the kids were vomiting? Crazy?!!! You betcha!
In the midst of all the craziness, God was still so good!!!! My parents helped with transporting kids to and from school, my mom went on a field trip with my one son, a friend came and brought groceries and also cleaned my house, my precious husband came home late at night to do laundry and trash, and some friends brought meals over the next few weeks of bed-rest. Talk about feeling loved and blessed!
By week 14, I finally got the all-clear sign to resume most of my normal activities. I still had the hematoma, but it was half the original size.
A few weeks later, I am enjoying seeing my house resume a somewhat normal state. I still struggle to keep up since the dirt piles up and in as fast as I sweep and carry it out. My husband appreciates having me “back” again, and I am thankful to at least remove my responsibilities off his busy schedule.
Oh, yeah, and I am up now because my husband was never able to come home last night as he had so much work to do at the office he had to work through the night. Oh, and did I mention that the lovely meal I made for dinner this weekend I forgot to put in the fridge last night after letting it cool down? Ugh. The stuff of life…
So, you might wonder why I am telling you all of this. Why would I share all my dirty and depressing stuff with you? After-all, you have your own dirty and depressing details at times.
I share this with you because, friends, I get it. I know what it is like at times to see an ugly house, to be ugly, and to have ugly kids. Because life sometimes does stink. There, I admitted it. I say this not to glory in the ugliness, but to admit and therefore begin the process of transformation.
You, see. Sometimes, we are so busy pretending to be strong and perfect and beautiful that we really aren’t so much. We put on the happy faces and say the “right” words. We urge others to do so. We shy away from the ugly, uncomfortable, sinful, and suffering. We surround ourselves with everything bright, beautiful, fragrant, pleasant, godly, “perfect.”
The question is, “Why is that?”
This is what struck me. Do we shy from the broken people and things in life because we are so broken ourselves we can’t handle anyone else’s brokenness?
I think of Jesus. He especially visited the broken people. He sought out the sinful, the suffering, and the sad. In fact, the perhaps surprising thing is they seemed to be His priority — not the religious and beautiful and elite.
But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
“Whole” people are able to deal with broken people. Broken people may have friends that are broken, but they can’t handle much of the others’ brokenness. Broken people want to share their brokenness, but they don’t want to share yours.
As Christians, this is where it gets really important to grasp it. So often, in our churches, we find it awkward to deal with the drug-addicted individual, the affair-ridden marriage, the unwed teenage mother, the unruly children, the exhausted young mother who might need to vent that morning, the broken people.
In fact, how many of us have either heard or said to someone else that they need to just be a good testimony and not say anything negative? How many times do people ask how you are doing but get that glazed look and quickly lose interest if you begin to share anything beyond the chipper “Fine or Great!”?
We put on our happy faces, but the fact is so many people are hurting. I have friends whose parents are battling terminal cancer, who are going for tests because they too might have cancer, whose children are sickly, who are fighting sleep-deprivation with a newborn and screaming toddlers and who wonder if they will keep their sanity for the next few minutes. You see, that is life.
Life is ugly and smelly and depressing at times. It is full of sin and sadness and suffering.
And yes, thankfully, it is also full of beauty, grace, and light that filters in through those cracks of brokenness!
In order to see the beauty and light and to experience the grace, we must first recognize the ugliness and our own brokenness. You see, we are broken. You and I? We are all broken! We all struggle with the ugly. So, why do we pretend to be so strong? Why do we think we can just hold it all together and put on that pretty facade?
The truth is our strength is limited, and it will let us down. The truth is our kids, our spouses, our friends will let us down. The truth is sickness and suffering will come. The truth is most of us will face death eventually.
But, friends, that isn’t the end!!! That is what Jesus came to show. He came to reveal to us our own brokenness so we could get “fixed.” He came to show us our own blind darkness so we could see true light. He came to show us the ugliness so we could find His beauty.
We are broken, but we can be healed! When true healing occurs, we can then have something genuine to offer to all those other broken people.
Christians, of all people, should not shy from the ugly and broken because we should have something of true substance to offer! We should have the Solution that goes beyond a temporary, outward transformation to an inner reformation. Jesus came to not offer empty platitudes but to bring a total transformation, complete redemption!
Dear young mommies, it’s okay to acknowledge your weakness today. It’s okay to have a good cry. You don’t have to be strong. You just need to look to Him Who is Strong!
Dear friends, whose parents are fighting terminal cancer, it’s okay to admit you are scared and worried and concerned and exhausted because you have a God who does care and who will comfort you!
Dear parents, who have no idea if your rebellious teenager will ever repent and turn to the Lord, it’s okay to be concerned and to cry buckets because your God does hear your heart’s cries! And, He cares for your children even more than you do!
Dear expectant mom, who is extremely miserable and can’t wait for the new baby to be born, it is okay to admit you are tired and miserable and can’t wait to hold your new baby because your Heavenly Father can’t wait to see your joy too when you hold this new blessing from Him! He knows, girls, and He cares.
Dear single, it’s okay to admit you are lonely because you have a God who promises to be a “husband” to those without. He will love you like no other, and He never forsakes you. No never!
To all of you fellow broken people, it is okay to admit that you are struggling, that your kids aren’t perfect, that some days are plain rough. You have a God Who is big enough to handle any and all of life’s conundrums and to not just handle them but to transform them, to bring beauty from ashes and light to shine into the cracks of our brokenness!