A little while ago I wrote a post about when the unthinkable happens, and all we can see or feel is the brokenness in our lives. It's in those moments that we are faced with the daily choice of whether to stay focussed on the pain ... or to recognise that we also have the choice to find beauty even in the midst of our pain. My journey these last 5 years has consistently taught me that there is One who stands closest to the brokenhearted and that He is more than willing to infuse me with strength and joy no matter how volatile the storm feels within, and that searching into His eyes calms the fiercest of storms.
At this point please allow me to give you a sneak peak into my humanity. Before you read the above and think even for a moment that I've mastered that art of choosing best all the time, let me assure you that I have by no means got it all together! Ask my family ... they will humour you with many stories of the work-in-process that I am. Take for instance this morning ...
Today started out rather flat for me. I woke up tired, with a 2 week-headache and just feeling worn out. One of my kids went off to school stressed out with tests and the pressure of school, the other has been booked off with shingles of all things and my toddler who goes to a school a few blocks away from home, today of all days, BEGGED me to walk him to school. I REALLY didn't feel like the exercise! As I walked home from dropping him off (absolutely exhausted, throbbing head and boiling hot) I decided to 'practice what I've been preaching' to some sweet ladies in my bible study and open my heart to joy. I had 15 minutes to grab a smoothie and race off (still sweaty and stinky) to an 8:30am appointment. I wasn't feeling bright and chipper, but my heart kept gently reminding me that I could choose either to be swallowed up by all the low emotions that were quickly building up, or I could open up my heart to search for His face. As I drove, His peace and gentle assurance began to rise over the heaviness. (I want to quickly add in here that choosing to seek His face instead of focusing in on our pain is by no means a denial of what we are going through. It does however allow for God's perspective to break through which opens the door to healing).
I arrived at the appointment I had been invited to. A very special potter had asked me to meet with him as he had something to share with me. He began to share a special story with me of a beautiful small pot he had made at a women's conference almost 2 years ago. It sat unfinished in his studio until last August when he was invited once again to share at a conference where we both landed up speaking at. He felt led to finish glazing the pots to use as part of the conference. As this little pot was in the kiln, another vessel burst under the pressure of the heat and broke the little pot. Assessing it, he realised he could not fix it and cast it away. That weekend the Lord truly spoke through him and the amazing pots he had finished to speak deeply to the hearts of the women. At one point, one of the most beautiful pots of all that had taken him so much time to make, unknown to anyone else, the Lord directed him to allow it to fall from his hands and shatter. I have never heard such a gasp and hush fall over a place! It was a profound moment. Little did he know that the message that I had prepared to share was titled "When the cup falls from your hands" (the above link I shared). When it was my turn to speak, the Lord clearly told me to share my story standing in-between the broken pieces of that vessel. Up until that moment I had felt very calm and strong ... but as I moved to stand in those broken pieces I almost felt like I was standing looking down on what had once been the most broken place my heart had ever been. It was one of the hardest moments for me to stand before those people and bare my heart and be completely vulnerable, but at the same time it was also the hugest privilege to have the opportunity to share that there is hope beyond shattered dreams. Healing can come. The one thing I said to the Lord that I did not have the ability to do that day (to physically break a beautiful vessel) is the very thing God led him to do, which enabled me to go on and share in vulnerability what God had placed on my heart to share. What I did not know that morning was that as I spoke about the beautiful Japanese art of fixing broken vessels, God was whispering something into this dear potters heart. He reminded him of the broken little pot that had been thrown away. He told him to go home and find all the broken pieces and to mend it. He told me how he went home only to find half of the pieces. God would not allow his heart to rest until he kept searching for the rest of the pieces. I don't even want to know what a pain staking task that must have been as there had been the other vessel that had burst in the kiln too ... but eventually he tracked down the rest of the pieces in the vacuum cleaner and began a long process of mending that sweet vessel. He had invited me over to show me something beautiful ...
As I opened the box my tears fell. In my hands I held the most beautiful little pot I have ever had the privilege of holding. Something that had once looked beyond repair had been lovingly restored to something of more beauty than before it broke. Not one piece was missing. It was mended back with a beautiful golden thread of hope, destiny and purpose. This little pot was made with God's intention to one day belong to me. This dear man and his beloved wife will never know how precious this gift has been to me, as I will never have enough words to describe the Father's tender kiss to my very soul and heart through this incredible gift of love. It came to me not on a day when I had it all together, but on a day that I needed to be reminded of God's passionate heart to see to EVERY small detail of our hearts and His patient devotion to heal, restore and redeem with hope.
Each day we are given the opportunity to choose. For me there has never been a better choice than to seek the loving eyes of the Master Potter who sees, understands and loves with a love beyond words or reason. 1 Peter 1:2 declares that He has given us a "living hope through Jesus". That hope is alive and strong to carry us daily and heal even what we deem beyond hope.
My sweet little golden vessel will always be a daily reminder to me of the One whose eyes never leave me, but watch over my heart daily. Those same eyes are watching over your heart in tender love and infinite care too.
All my love xxx