Burned to Bring Light

thWe’ve all been burned in some way or another.  Maybe from a past love, a boss or coworker, an old friendship, or even by a child or family member.  Many times it stems from something we’ve done ourselves – a mistake or misstep in life; a misspoken word;  an emotional reaction to an intense situation, or simply a rebellious season in life that changed our entire path.

Whatever the cause, I’m a firm believer that ‘God will allow anything and everything to happen to us as long as it brings us closer to Him‘. I heard that phrase years ago spoken by a pastor I truly admire, and honestly questioned the phrase at first.  Why would God ALLOW us to endure trials, pain, suffering, abandonment, rejection, loneliness, or any other hurtful life experience?  What is the purpose of being a Christian if God is going to just sit back and watch us implode and make stupid mistakes that not only adversely affect our own lives, but the lives of others around us – our parents, husbands, children, etc.

I now realize that I wouldn’t be the person I am today had I not gone through those trials and challenging times.  Even the rose, as beautiful as it may be, has thorns.  I try not to look back and wonder ‘what if’, but rather to look back and say ‘because that happened, I am (blank) – stronger; learned what not to do; became more compassionate towards others; have more faith!  I think it’s all those things and more!

Living a problem-free life is not the solution, and although I wish I had less problems, it doesn’t guarantee my life would be any better without them.   As a matter of fact, it could even be worse if I hadn’t learned the lessons I did when going through those valleys.

Today, I can honestly say my sempathycars are part of who I am.  The trials I’ve endured have brought me closer to the person God is molding me to be…and as much as I’d like to go back and make some better choices, I’m not sure I would be able to help others if I had chosen differently.  Having empathy for someone who is walking the same path I did allows me the unique ability to stand beside them – to be a source of strength and hope.  Because I, having been burned many times before, can now shine a little light to help others.

Grace Found On the Broken Road

Today starts a new chapter in my life, and the life of my family.  I won’t share the details, but suffice it to say that the changes taking place will forever change the course of my path, and theirs.  God already has a plan for each of us in all of this, I know it.  It may not be the original ‘Plan A’, but I’m confident that God will continue to bless my family in new and different ways because of His love, mercy and grace for each of us.

I wonder at times if these changes will open the doors for new opportunities and even allow us to see life from a new perspective.  I hope so.  Perspective is such hard thing to have at times when we focus in on the one part of life that hurts, or the one thing that makes us angry or sad.  It’s difficult to retract our view and behold the situation in its entirety.  Once we can do that, whenever that time comes, I believe that’s the moment we will understand the ‘why’ and ‘how’, and begin to open our minds to the possibility that maybe, just maybe, this was the road we were MEANT to travel.  That all the challenges, road blocks, detours, pot holes, forks in the road, downed power lines and trees, the roads less traveled, even the moments of smooth roads, will have led us to right now.

From as far back as I can remember, I’ve been moved by music – their words, the notes, the beat…all of it speaks to me at a level I can’t even explain.  Being a singer and piano player since I was six explains most of that connection, but it runs deeper than that.  So, to accompany today’s blog, I have selected a song.  It’s one by Rascal Flatts…(love them!), ‘Bless the Broken Road’.  The words describe how God blesses even the most broken of roads and that they can lead us to new places with new meaning – places where we can start over and learn from our past travels.  They may even lead us to a beautiful future we never expected or thought we deserved!  Despite what we tend to believe of ourselves, how our mistakes define us and because of them we don’t deserve a good life, THEY DON’T.  In God’s eyes…WE ARE WORTH MORE!  God wants the best for us…imperfect, washed up, dirty, scarred and broken.  In my humanness though, I have limits and sometimes those limits define me and what I’m capable of doing.  Thankfully, God is LIMITLESS and nothing can separate us/me from His love! I believe He truly wants to bless our broken roads.   

I forget that too often, and today on my run…I was reminded of my brokenness.  I am like the uneven, broken, beat-up sidewalk my feet pound against, one foot after the other.  I need that road to get to where I am going…broken or not.  And to be honest, the crockyroadondition of the road when its smooth and perfect, is far less exciting to run on.  It is easier, don’t get me wrong, and I’m longing for some smooth roads ahead, but they are also uninteresting and plain.  I’ve never been a fan of plain anything – especially plain vanilla ice cream.  NOT a fan.  I do however, love me some ROCKY ROAD!  Chocolate, nuts, marshmallows…YUMMY!  Yep…totally taking a blogging break right now to go get me some.  Woohoo!  

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