Broken but not Forsaken

“The Lord is close to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit” Psalm 34:18

 Brokenness hurts.

Experiencing a break up was the last thing I imagined myself going through. “He was the love of my life” I thought. “I wouldn't be able to live without him.” And in an instant it was over. Pain, hurt, confusion and loneliness began to take a huge toll in my life. I didn't know who I was anymore. I couldn't eat, I couldn't sleep. I couldn't help but ask God why. Why did he allow this to happen? But despite all the hurt and pain, it was in my time of brokenness and loneliness where I found God more than ever. It would be hypocritical of me to say I am completely healed but here is what I did learn:

1. The Lord loves the broken in heart, who draw close to him in their brokenness.

There is something about reaching a breaking point that causes us to seek the Lord more sincerely. At our greatest time of need, when we feel the most alone God is the closest to us. When we feel brokenness, God compensates (Isaiah 57:15). Brokenness has allowed me to be transparent with myself and with God. Bringing all my hurt and burdens to the Lord has allowed me to experience the Father’s love like no other. Being naked and real in the presence of God can be uncomfortable but so beneficial.  He desires our attention and intimacy. He desires us to be open and transparent with him. It’s in that time of vulnerability where Gods love engulfs us. His love is like no other (Jeremiah 31:3). No man, no friend can love you the way Christ loves you.

2.God breaks us to bless us.

He chips away anything that keeps us from finding our true life in him.

I thought I knew what true love was. I thought I knew who I was in Christ. It was until my time of brokenness where I realized my perception of love was wrong, who I thought I was is not who I am today. It took that time of intimacy with God to realize that he targets areas of our lives that we’re unwilling to submit to him. Perhaps it was an unhealthy relationship. It could be laziness thats stunting your spiritual growth. Or even a bad habit that’s standing in the way of experiencing the fullness of God. Our tendency is to hold tightly to these things because we believe it’s what we want. We’re convinced they please us by providing the joy, pleasure and fulfillment we seek. But God knows the truth. Only He can truly satisfy our deepest longings. All else is counterfeit to his will for our lives. God selects the tools it takes to break our self-sufficiency and causes us to turn to Him. When we give up our independence, we gain a new perspective of God’s plan and purpose for our lives. I can't help but think about Romans 8:28 “

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Notice the verse doesn't say SOME things work for the good of those who love him. It says ALL things; the good, and the bad. When situations don't feel like they are favorable they are.

There is purpose in brokenness!

 3. You can find wholeness through Christ.

Wholeness is what we want. Wholeness cannot be found in others, or even within ourselves. We are not defined by our feelings. We are not defined by the opinions of others or by our circumstances. We are not defined by our successes or failures. We are defined by God and God alone. He identifies us as his own ( 2 Corinthians 1:22). If we want to be whole in body, soul and spirit, we cannot try to be whole on our own. To overcome our brokenness we must realize that we have to be healed by a power greater than ourselves. I found myself trying to mend the broken pieces in my life on my own and was not successful. It was then when I came to the conclusion that the type of transformation that brings a sense of wholeness can only be done by God himself. Achieving a good degree of wholeness on your own strength and abilities will not work.

Only when we admit our need and ask God into our life, can God begin to make us whole. Only when we confess that we are broken can God heal us. Once we let go of self and place God at the center of our lives, everything else falls into place (Matthew 6:33).

 If you desire to be whole you must invite God into the deepest part of who you are - so that from the inside out, you can be transformed into the type of person God wants you to be.

4. Trust in His timing.

Like Ecclesiastes 3 says “There is a time for everything....  he has made everything beautiful in his time.” The process may be long and frustrating but know that God is the ultimate healer (Psalm 147:3). God is molding us and is chipping away at the things in our lives that do not belong. Like a diamond, we must go through incredible pressure, cleansing, and refining. The great aspect about this illustration is that the diamond shines bright and is worth so much more after the process.

When we understand God’s sovereignty over our lives we are able to have peace knowing this too shall pass. It is our natural instinct to do things in our time. But Gods plans may not always be our plans (Jeremiah 29:11). We are aware that we are not perfect and that we fall short of the glory of God but that his grace covers it all.So feeling broken doesn't mean we stay broken. We get back up stronger than ever and fulfill the calling God has over our lives.

So maybe you didn't experience a break up like I did.  Maybe you haven’t had traumatic life experiences or relationships but have been relying on your own strength to make it in life. Your pride caused you not to embrace the love of God in a deeply personal way, and in your will you choose to depend on yourself and not Jesus. You haven't yield control of your life to God so you are still not enjoying the deep inner peace and wholeness you could have. One thing I am certain about is that God delights in brokenness. He gives us strength in our time of weakness. Grace when we’re undeserving and love when we don’t feel it ( 2 Corinthians 12;9-10). There is peace knowing brokenness is only temporary and there is purpose and beauty behind it. And in his time we will flourish and be exactly who God has called us to be. 

Ariel Castillo 

Stay Gold, Be Bold

Being bold about your faith is not easy…

Like most high school, teenage girls could tell you, there are days amongst your peers you would rather not speak to anyone, Let alone share your faith with them. The world we live in now is very self-absorbed and the last thing that any hurting worldly person wants to hear is how there is a God so big and so great. People tend to feel that the presence of a “Big God” minimizes their own problems, and those who live in a life filled with problems, this might question their identity. So the question is, How can I be bold? Even when I don’t want to talk, even when people don’t want to listen. How can I, share my faith in this world so that it can resonate with others?

A simple acronym can shed light onto the path of being bold.

B- Be Bold and Believe~

    Have you ever heard someone talking about something they seemed to know nothing about? Did it make it harder to trust their judgment on the topic?

This is the same way. In order to testify to God’s love and mercy in your life, You must BELIEVE in God’s love and mercy and you need to be sure that you do. This starts with evaluating yourself and your life. What kind of life have you led because of God’s mercy? What situation have you been in that God has taken you out? What blessings do you have that you don’t deserve? But the ultimate question is

What price did you pay for the sins you freely commit every day?

And the answer is nothing. If you have no other reason to believe in God’s love and mercy, His son willingly dying on the cross for your sins is definitely a good reason to believe. Knowing and being positive about your Lord and the amazing things he has done for you, will attract people and make them curious about your faith.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. ~ John 3:16

O- Be Bold and Overcome~

    Today, Society has so many standards to be met, and expectations to be fulfilled for young women. Something we must always remember is that what society perceives as “expected” or “normal” is not always, or more often than not, what the bible asks of us. Societies expectations can be frustrating, they are often unrealistic and are not in agreement with the bible. This can make it hard knowing where we stand as young women in this society. Being unable to rise to the bar of these standards can be extremely detrimental to how we perceive ourselves. Its important that we know who we are in God’s eyes, and to rise above what society wants and start reaching for what God wants. It’s time to empower one another as young women and start putting as much effort into fitting the credentials as women of God, rather than women of this world. It is time to overcome worldly social standards!

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will~ Romans 12:2 NIV

L- Be Bold and Let God~

    A flaw of this generation is that we demand control of every aspect of our lives, without control we feel anxiety, nervousness, and frustration. Almost as if we are out of touch with the things in our life. We must learn one simple yet hard lesson~ God is in control! He has this unimaginable overview of our life, he knows what had happened and what’s to come. He sees everything that’s coming your way and sometimes we don’t understand what he is doing but that’s okay, We will never fully understand God and we don’t have to know everything he is doing. Truth is, it is not our territory, Our job is to glorify him and spread his gospel here on earth. Whatever God’s plan may be, it is perfect and we just need to trust it. What God has called over your life is better than anything you could call for yourself. Trust what God has for you, Be bold and let him do what he needs to do in your life!

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus~ Philippians 4:6-7

D- Be Bold and Defeat~

    This last point might be the most simple, yet the most difficult. In order to be bold, and step out in faith towards sharing the gospel, we must step away from our past and break the chains that have kept us in stagnant waters. I am a firm believer that our past sculpts and molds us into the person we are today, that God uses even the hardest moments in our lives for his own glory. However, If God has been gracious enough to move you out of your past situations, you must be faithful enough to stop living in them! God doesn’t renew your soul so you can continue to do the things that broke it in the first place. If you haven’t confronted past issues in your life, God is calling you to do so, so that the space it takes up in your heart, can be filled with the presence of God, which empowers us to be bold. The loss of any negative thing in your life, is not a loss, but a victory. Moving on can be hard but the past is the past, the past is defeated, and God hasn’t left anything in the past, that he wouldn’t be able to replace with something better in the future. Only if we are bold and defeat the past, are we able to move on to the blessings in the future.

    I pray, that each and every reader will be encouraged to be B.O.L.D, to step out in faith and believe, to overcome, to let God work, and to find the strength to defeat the things of the past. God Bless each of you. I pray for God's perfect will upon your life.

Jalynne Medina