Beauty: A broken heart and crushed spirit

 They have come into the very midst of your dwelling place,
    roaring like beasts, setting up their banners to flaunt their conquest.
Now everything is in shambles! They’ve totally destroyed it.
    Like a forest chopped down to the ground,
    there’s nothing’s left.
All of the beauty of the craftsmanship
    of the inner place has been ruined,
    smashed, broken, and shattered.
They’ve burned it all to the ground.
    They’ve violated your sanctuary,  
    the very dwelling place of your glory and your name.  Psalm 74:4-7 TPT

Who are they? 

They are the enemies of God. Satan himself and his demonic fraternity of evil intent. Those who seek to kill our hearts if not our flesh and steal our joy if not our salvation.  They pursue destruction throughout eternity as a means to prevent beauty from heralding the glory of God on earth as it is in Heaven.

Who let them in?

I did.  I was completely contented to play, laugh and sing without a care for what anyone thought. I was beautiful. My voice important. Who wouldn’t want to dance along to this triumphant drumbeat? My world was a beautiful adventure…

Slowly and without fanfare, the whispers of doubt crept into my thoughts. The lies swirled creating confusion about the goodness of God. And I began to ask why instead of why not. I agreed with the doubts and gave freedom to my insecurities as I suddenly recognized my own nakedness. Shame from guilty choices consumed my waking thoughts and I hid. My voice was silenced for the hope that no one would notice the beautiful secret heart had become ruins.Ruins @ Cumberland Island

One day though sitting in my ash heap of a life my heart was stirred with His gentle whisper of my name. He was willing to take my ruins and create a new heart. Would I take His Hand and walk with Him? Would I receive His invitation to abundant life? Would I trust His goodness to breathe beauty from ashes?

I wish I could say I jumped at the opportunity in an instant. I did not. In fact, I asked for three days to consider His invitation. I counted the cost of taking His Hand. Was I willing to try just one more time when I really just wanted to give up completely?

After three long tearful and anguish-filled days, I knew my choice was one of obedience. Would I declare my allegiance to my King once and for all regardless the cost? Yes! A resounding and quaking to my core – YES! I will go with You… come what may…

I’m finding beauty sprouting out of the ashes.  Beauty is my heart garden open for others to visit. I’m grateful Father, out of His abundant goodness, is allowing my voice to return. He’s giving me plenteous opportunity to share my broken heart and crushed spirit which birthed freedom to be who He created me to be. And in the beauty of His re-creation, I invite all broken hearts and crushed spirits to find His rest!

It’s true. Your ruins can be made beautiful. Will you take Him at His word? Will you receive the Hand He’s extending to you in invitation? He will make beauty from your ashes. He wants to do it because He loves you best!

Eyes on Jesus… you’re shining!

~Lisa

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beauty-FMF-Square-ImagesToday I am joining Kate and her wonderful community of faith writers for some Five Minute Friday writing fun.  The word prompt for this week is {beauty}  If you’re in the least bit intrigued, come join us for the Five Minute Friday link up

All you have to do is ponder the word prompt, set your timer for 5:00, and start typing. When time’s up, publish and link up.  Oh so simple!

And sometimes, oh so difficult to stop at the timer.  I went over five minutes this week but had to finish my thoughts once I was spurred in this direction.  Thanks for understanding!  I’m looking forward to reading your thoughts on {beauty} too!

He is near in our crushed brokenness

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18

December 1st.  I’m amazed!  The date on the calendar shows we have just entered the last month of the calendar year.  As I listen to conversations all around me I recognize, I’m not the only one who feels this year has raced past as a hare to beat the tortoise.

Regardless here I am on December 1st trying to wrap my brain around the idea of Christmas.  I don’t feel at all like celebrating Christmas in a traditional American sense.  Our hearts are too broken and our spirit is crushed.  Crushed psalm34

Thankfully, our Father has an answer for this condition.  The Lord Himself, He says He is close to those of us who are brokenhearted and crushed in spirit.  These few words bring such comfort and draw me back to a time as a baby girl when I would enjoy curling up on a protective lap.

Today I am focusing in on the nearness of God through His Spirit – His indwelling presence.  I have to stop and really concentrate on the fact that He is not just hanging around the house with me – though He is Emmanuel, God with us – He lives IN me.

Father, thank You for being near us in our crushed brokenness.  Thank You, Jesus, for knowing better than anyone else what that feels like.  May I – we – be so tangibly aware of Your presence as we draw near the celebration of Your birth this year – 2017.  For Your glory… for Your glory, and for our healing and purification.  Amen.

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Linking up with Kate Motaung and the Five Minute Friday community of faith writers today.  Kate’s word to ponder and write about:  {near}

Come join us today.  Ponder the word {near} Set your timer for 5 minutes and write with us.