In all honesty I’ve been having a rough time the past week or two. Life circumstances have unfolded in a way that’s been “pushing some buttons” in my heart. I would be lying if I said that I didn’t want to just give up the fight at times. What fight? The fight to let love win within my heart. The fight to not allow myself to run from the pain, but to embrace it in the process of healing. The fight to press on through the hurt and frustration rather than letting my heart shut down. The fight to receive love even when it seems like the hardest thing to do.
In fact, earlier tonight I was sharing a bit of my struggle with a close friend. She wrapped her arms around me, her embrace letting me know that she was there with me through the fight. In that moment, there was a song that played in my head. The chorus declares, “You are the God of the broken, the friend of the weak. You wash the feet of the weary, embrace the ones in need…” As I sat there, I took a deep breath and fought the lies of the enemy vying for my agreement, choosing instead to cling to the truth of who my God is and thanking Him for a friend who allowed Him to show me His love through her in that moment.
Later on I sat in the prayer room and journaled some of what was going on inside of me while the chorus of that song faintly played on repeat in the back of my mind. After about an hour of journaling, praying, and crying, I found myself saying, “You really are the God of the brokenhearted.” Wiping the trails of tears from my face, I pondered that phrase for a moment. Psalm 34:17-19 tells us, “When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all.” Perhaps I’m the only one who feels this way, but there’s something about brokenness that makes me so aware of His nearness that all I want to do is run and hide. When I come face-to-face with my nothingness, I’m all the more aware of my need for for Him, and sometimes that really bothers me! *gasp!* Honestly, though. His nearness is the most comforting yet disturbing reality. I know that it’s the only thing that keeps my heart alive and whole, and yet it’s so overwhelming that sometimes I just want to run from it with all the strength I have.
Upon reflecting on this for a moment, I was reminded again of how much of a blessing brokenness is. That might seem a little paradoxical, but it’s true. When I’m feeling good, nothing’s really going wrong, and I’m happy all the time, I’m less aware of my destitution and therefore tend to lean on my own strength more than His. But one can only lean on their own strength for so long before that strength is gone. That’s usually when brokenness starts to set in for me. Something happens that “pushes my buttons,” and I find myself hurt, offended, and exposed. But it’s in that place where I become aware of His nearness all over again. When all I want to do is run away from the pain, go into “shutdown mode,” and hide, I am so aware of His nearness that I know I cannot escape Him, no matter how far I try to run (“Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me.” – Ps. 139:7-10). It’s here that I am given only one option – surrender.
Surrender’s not an easy thing. In fact, I usually have no clue what it even means. But what I’ve found is that when I simply confess, “I surrender,” something changes. My heart opens, I’m able to receive His love and embrace His nearness, and I find a new measure of healing and freedom. I’m still in the wrestle. But I’m not giving up. I’m fighting to let Love win. I’m fighting to stay in the place of surrender to let Him bring to completion the good work He has started in me (Phil 1:6, 1 Thes. 5:24).
I’m not really sure why I decided to just share all of this with the entire world, but I hope it brought comfort and encouragement to your heart. Embrace your brokenness, embrace His nearness, embrace surrender, and watch Him set your heart free.