Saturday, December 13, 2008

Broken & Spilled Out

     Brokenness is a term tossed around in Christianity. The question often comes, "are you willing to be broken?" I don't know too many who would jump up with glee and say, "oh, yes, pick me!!!"

     A few years back after sharing, a woman came to me and told me that she'd had a vision while I was talking. In the vision there was a clay pot, broken into pieces. She saw the hands of Jesus taking one piece at a time and putting the pot back together as it was meant to be. What did this mean? Was I entering into a time of brokenness or was I already in it? I felt pretty broken. Life had been hard.

     I didn't realize until now what the picture really meant. I see something so precious that it rocks my world. God didn't break me. I was already broken. Instead of inviting me to be broken, He was telling me He was in the process of fixing my fractured identity.

     The one who loves me relentlessly was inviting me to be put back together as I was always meant to be. As was necessary, He invited me to face my broken places in order to be healed. Would I enter in? Or would I continue on, crippled but functioning?

     If a fractured bone hasn't healed correctly it hinders the limb from operating as designed. The doctor has no other choice but to go back into the original break and set things straight. That's a picture of true restoration. God sees me living in a crippled identity and wants to set things straight in me. He wants to take me back to that original picture of who He saw me to be and restore it.

     I think of the woman who poured out the expensive perfume at Jesus' feet. The story behind the story is; cost didn't matter. She didn't count the cost, she realized her gain. What mattered to her, was surrender to the one who would redeem her past. Though ridiculed in the moment, she would forever be remembered for her display of being spilled out because of love.

     He comes to redeem our pasts. Our pasts don't define us. Not in His book, therefore not in ours. Or at least that's how it supposed to be. Why is it that we keep account of things we've done or not done, as well as the things done to us when He doesn't? Those things become the ledger out of which life is lived. Until the debts are fully paid, forgotten, and removed from our record book, we still see life through debt colored glasses, totally oblivious that our vision is skewed.

     Many say that the past is the past, there's no need to look back. I can't fully agree with that statement. Until the effects of the past have been renewed, we are still captive to them. If He invites you into a memory, then it's possible it's His invitation to set things straight. Ask Him, He'll show you if there's something that needs to be restored there.

     He wants desperately to reveal places of captivity. Unforgiveness, lies, false identities, condemnation, guilt all secretly worm their way in. The deceiver convinces us that these things we believe are the truest things about us. Many of us don't even come close to realizing all that God sees in us.

     So, He comes in all His glory, envelopes us in His arms of love, and offers to heal us. It's love that invites us to surrender to the "setting straight" process of our broken lives. A Love that cannot bear to see us walk any further, crippled by the past that has held us captive. He's the Redeemer of all things. Not just our sins, but our heartaches too.

     It is said that on the cross when they pierced his side, blood and water flowed out. I've heard it said that His heart was pierced. Water and blood flowed out, fulfilling the sacrifice and cleansing my sin. He knows the pain of a broken heart. He entered into His so that He might heal mine and, yours. The invitation is not brokenness, but "fixing".

     The picture that was given to me, I now give to you. He sees the broken pieces of your shattered identity lying on the ground. With tender eyes of love, His nail scarred hand reaches out taking one piece at a time. He begins to put them back where they were always meant to be. His love seals any cracks, filling in the gaps, and making all things new.

     He came to heal the broken hearted, and bind up their wounds. Will you let Him bind up yours?

He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners. Isaiah 61: 1b

copyrighted: 2008 Julie L. Todd


Miss G said... Reply to comment

Julie, just last night I was thinking of myself as broken and "no good" and I had the slightest glimmer of realizing that it's okay for me to be broken. I don't have to "fix" myself. God can take me in my brokenness and make me beautiful. What a wonderful confirmation reading this this morning is. Thank you for sharing it. kelly

Laura said... Reply to comment

Wow, Julie. What an amazing story! I love the image of that pot being put back together. I love how you allow Him to do that for you. I am blessed by the work He does in you, friend.

Thank you for your sweet comment on my blog a few days ago. I'm doing better...

He uses it all.

Love to you,


elaine @ peace for the journey said... Reply to comment

As I was reading this, my thoughts lingered on the book "The Shack." Now, there are many things about that book that I didn't like, but one thing the author said in an interview I saw what that "the shack" represents the place we get stuck in our walk with God. In order to find healing, we must return to that place of brokenness and allow God his hand in the matter. Your broken pottery and the redemption therein speaks the witness of that truth.

I loved your thoughts about broken bones and being reset. A worthy ponder for me this night.

By the way, the book by LL Barkat is not "seedlings in stone" (that is her blog); the book is titled "Stone Crossings" and it is incredible for so many reasons.

Happy Sabbath rest to you and yours.


Amy said... Reply to comment

Amen, girl!! This is one of your best articles!

Keep shining!

Love you,

Lady Lynn's Boutique said... Reply to comment

I want you to know that your blog post touched my heart this morning!
Thanks for taking the time to be His hands.

Kimberly said... Reply to comment

This is definitely a time of "resetting" some broken places in my life right now. And though it hurts, I know it is so worth how uncomfortable it is.

I have spent so many years trying to put my broken pieces back together myself, and that just isn't possible. I am seeing how much of my life I still need to surrender to Him, to allow Him to fix.

Thank you for this beautiful picture.
Surrendering to His healing,

2nd Cup of Coffee said... Reply to comment

Beautiful. I remember the most broken my time in my life now with a bittersweetness.

Vicki said... Reply to comment

Thank you, Julie. {{hugs}}

Kathy S. said... Reply to comment

It is beautiful to be restored into His image. His love comes shining through your writing!

Bretta said... Reply to comment

You know where I am...and so does HE! Thank you. Hugs, sweet friend.

Laura said... Reply to comment

Hi, Jewelzie!

How did the cookie baking go? I love your new pictures...what a beautiful family you have.

Still thinking about being broken. This season makes me all gooey. Too many ups and downs!

But today is a good day.

Sending hugs,


Shanda said... Reply to comment

I love all the new pictures! You and your family are beautiful.

What a great post. The images are amazing and reveal so much TRUTH.

"Until the debts are fully paid, forgotten, and removed from our record book, we still see life through debt colored glasses, totally oblivious that our vision is skewed." My husband and I were just talking about how our beliefs, whether right or wrong completely shape how we view life. Even after having some of the wrongs made right, the tendency is to respond out of the original belief. This can be very hard to overcome, but God is working in both of our lives to correct our vision! Thanks so much for sharing. This speaks right to my heart tonight.

Angie said... Reply to comment

Julie---I have been that broken pot. Longing for HIM to repair me---and He has worked His work---as ONLY He can. So here I sit tonight...with tears after reading your post...thinking of the pain and even frustration that you might feel over this diagnosis. And I pray. For you all.

I love you dearly sweet friend. God is huge! I know that without a doubt! He gives us strength to pray and believe and have faith for whatever He chooses in our lives.

Call me if you need me.I love you.

Marsha said... Reply to comment

Julie, this is beautiful. Thank you, thank you.

I'm praying for your Dad's surgery.

Gail W. said... Reply to comment

Hi Julie! I came over from Angie's place, and I feel blessed:) Thank you for sharing these thoughts on brokenness - it is a word tossed around lightly at times, but you have captured the essence of how God sees our breaks and flaws. I am praying your father did well with his surgery today and that angels will be standing guard over you both tonight!