This month at Facets of Faith we’re answering the question, “what do I have to offer?”. Tracy and Jen have shared their heart-felt responses, ones you don’t want to miss. Take a moment and jump over to their pages to see how they responded.
I (Kim) was terrified. The divorce was final and I had started the slow rebuild of all that was damaged. I felt unsure, unsteady, and unworthy. But there I sat at the computer, rereading the email for the eighth time.
We’d love to have you back to share the story of the death of your daughter and how you trusted God.
It took a few moments for the invitation to sink in. I spoke at this church a few years prior and shared my story of trusting God after the death of a child. I offered practical tips on how I learned to trust Him. But that was before the divorce.
I started to feel like a fraud as I read. What did I have to offer? My marriage fell apart and I almost did, too. I still cried. A lot. I questioned and wondered and struggled. I talked with God about my pain and loss all the time but didn’t seem to have many answers. I felt broken, damaged, and unusable.
All I wanted to do was to offer God my best. But during that season of my life, my best didn’t feel all that great. I looked around and saw other people doing great things for Him: impacting countries, writing transformational books, and making real differences in peoples’ lives.
And then there was me.
Broken. Grief-filled. Wrestling and struggling with life. Not all the time, of course. But it seemed every time I took a step or two forward, I got knocked back three or four.
I sat in front of my computer, hoping the answer would jump out from between the lines. I wanted to be honest — with Him and myself. Yes, I wanted to offer my best, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized what I really wanted to offer was perfection.
I wanted to show God the pristine pictures and put-together poses. I didn’t want to show the frustrations and painful places that still plagued me. I didn’t want him or anyone else to see all those broken pieces I kept trying to sweep up and hide.
Perhaps you can relate?
The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7b, NLT
My heart was broken, but it was still beating, even begun to heal. During those dark days I started to hear a quiet voice whisper soothing sounds to my soul. I experienced God in ways I’d only tasted before.
I love you.
But if you only knew . . .
I do know, and I love you. Nothing will ever change that or take you away from me.
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39, NLT
But what about the time I . . .
Not even that.
But I ‘m scared. What will people say?
It’s okay. I’m with you. I will never leave you.
I have nothing to offer you, nothing good. My life is full of broken pieces.
That’s enough. Trust me with them. Watch what I can create.
Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.” Ephesians 3:20
Broken pieces. A shattered heart and failed marriage. A life filled with sorrow and years of disappointment. Oh, and tears — gallons of tears cried in the shadows. To the world, my life looked like a mess, but to God? Well, to Him, there was value. There is value.
You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.” Psalm 56:8, NLT
Like a child offering a precious gift to a loving parent, I held out all my broken pieces and offered them all to Him. I named each piece and placed them at His feet. When I was done, I felt empty, yet somehow at peace. I trusted He would remind me of His love and grace on days I tried to take my offering back and on the days I felt strong.
I chose to trust He will do what He said and create something beautiful out of the ugly mess. So I hit reply to the email and said yes. After all, I had much to offer.
And so do you.
I waited patiently for the Lord to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along. He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what he has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in the Lord.” Psalm 40:1-3, NLT
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