Out of brokenness comes life.
Out of heartache come new possibilities.
Sometimes it happens quickly. Most of the time, it’s a journey.
This summer, I’ve been going through my sermons, my teaching plans, and devotions I’ve written in preparation for several retreats I’m leading this fall and spring. Even though I’ve written or spoken on a diverse group of topics and scriptures, there seem to be several consistent themes:
- The extravagant love of God
- Hope in the midst of loss
- God always meeting our needs
- The abundance of God (thus the name of this blog – “Something More”)
- The need to make space for God
The last theme, space for God, shows up time and time again. I’ve taught classes at church, spoken to ministry workers at professional conferences, led weekend retreats, led day retreats, written devotions and sermons and the list goes on. It’s not that I’m an expert on the subject. Far from it. As a matter of fact, I didn’t really know anything about the subject the first time I sent a proposal to a national conference. I sent it out of my own desire to create some space for God in the midst of the brokenness of my life.
The theme began to show up in my work around 2005, just a few years after one of the hardest battles of my life – depression. It’s a long story that I probably will tell one day in more detail. For now, just know that I was broken – some days hopeless, some days anxious, and most days trying to smile on the outside but crying on the inside. I doubted my own faith: “Maybe I wasn’t spiritual enough. Maybe my faith wasn’t strong enough. Shouldn’t I be able to pray this away? Didn’t I believe that God could heal me?” Healing did not happen instantly. It took prayer, time, therapy, medicine and support from my husband and friends.
Yet, God did what God does – redemption. From this painful time, new possibilities came forth. From my own brokenness, came new life. And God continues to redeem my brokenness.
I’m still learning about what it means to create space for God. I learn from you, from my experiences, from my failures and from my wonderings.
So there’s the thought: from my own brokenness, God gave me experiences to share with others. He continues to redeem my brokenness for new possibilities.
Now my request: I’ve learned from years of preparation that I have better understanding of creating space for God when I listen to the stories of the people around me – those I know and those I don’t know. There are similarities in stories as well as new expressions and examples of meeting God. Would you be willing to share your experience and thought by completing a short survey? You can find it at the link:
It is completely anonymous (no names or identifying info – unless you write it). Someone asked me yesterday what I was doing with the research. Good question. I’m looking for themes, new possibilities and clearer understanding of God’s movement in the lives of those around me.
Maybe by completing the survey, you might hear God speak to you of His movement in your life. Maybe your experience of Christ is a story that needs to be told so that it might touch someone else’s life. Maybe today is the day to share it.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me.