I once believed that brokenness was for life. I would never become unbroken. I might never be able to move on.
How wrong I was. Just as God took chaos and spoke this beautiful earth into place, he can do the same for us. He speaks over each one of us: “But you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings and you will go out and frolic…” (Malachi 4:2)
Healing comes through relationship. As we honour our God, put him first, love him with all our broken hearts, he does his part. He rises like the sun over our dark and hurting lives. He brings us healing and joy.
Photo by Javier Allegue Barros on Unsplash
Something spooked my father and we fled until he felt safe – a thousand miles. We finally set up tents on an Arizona mountain, beside a road built by prisoners of war. For three weeks we camped in that desolate wilderness.
In the silence, I played my accordion. My melody echoed with the remembered chisel sounds of those prisoners. I too was a captive to someone else’s fear. Yet my fingers played something far more captivating…
“Oh the deep, deep love of Jesus
Vast, unmeasured, boundless, free
Rolling as a mighty ocean
In its fullness over me, underneath me, all around me
Is the current of your love
Leading onward, leading homeward
To your glorious rest above.”
Jesus holds us tight in a love that understands.
Composer: Samuel Trevor Francis (1834-1925). Photo: OB OA on Unsplash.
May I share with you what I have learned…
God always speaks out against the injustices we suffer. He always upholds us when we are wronged. He walks with us through our hard times. He never lets us down.
I have also learned that even though everyone has a choice, we can’t make anyone choose to do what is right. And, even though their choices may ruin our lives, God always has another way. He redirects our eyes to something new.
Because we understand grief, we can comfort those who grieve. Because we suffer injustice, we can fight for those who are crushed. God doesn’t consider our past as wasted years; it is the foundation on which he builds hope.
Photo by Dawid Zawiła on Unsplash
He said, “Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction. I found myself immersed and, as I read, I kept wondering how a story like this could take place. I wondered how much more psychological battering the key player, a daughter, could take, and what motivated her religious parents to act and speak as they did.
This account relates how a daughter’s freedom was seriously restricted, even into adulthood, and how she was repeatedly devalued and considered to have no potential. I expected her to become embittered and broken, to rebel against religion. But, for the grace of God…
Her story is well told, engaging, and not quickly forgotten. I was challenged by her resilience and positive attitude, that she survived and then triumphed, that beauty grew in adversity.”
Thank you, friend.
Yesterday I met a stranger who is fed-up and utterly underwhelmed by his job. He said, “Sometimes I lose the will to live.”
I had no wise answer, no words of encouragement, even though I have been in those same shoes as well. But I made a comment and this person started laughing. And then I remembered, this is how God often comforts me.
For, “we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” (2 Corinthians 1:4) In my troubles God gives me laughter. A clumsy mistake with a funny antic. A sudden ACHOO in a silent library. Watching a duck skid on ice.
Each of us can pass on the comfort God gives us.
Photo by Jan Tinneberg on Unsplash
On Unclipped Wings goes deep into the heart of what it means to be free. Can the manipulation of others, their forcefulness and control, imprison us and tear away our freewill? Or can our hearts still beat with passion and joy?
This true story demonstrates that, no matter the circumstance, we always have a choice, we can always relate with God. No person, no society, no situation can stop us.
On Unclipped Wings is a testimony written in third-person about a young woman called Toma. Through her griefs she finds that God is true. And, even though her circumstances take a long time to change, she learns that she is no longer a victim, or even a survivor. She finds out that in God she can thrive.
Available on Amazon as a paperback or e-book. Here is a link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Eva-Leaf/e/B07ZMJXL8R?ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1&qid=1572790644&sr=1-1
A few days ago I was formatting my testimony, getting it ready for possible self-publication. But, instead of pushing the SAVE button, I pressed PUBLISH by mistake. Oh, the panic, I wasn’t ready. I don’t mean the manuscript is unfinished. That was done years ago. I’m talking about my heart.
Yet, there are times when God lets these mistakes happen, because he knows that we will delay. He knows that we will sit there, and for me that meant wanting to get properly publishing, instead of doing it myself. But there is a verse that deeply encourages me, “‘Do I bring to the moment of birth and not give delivery?’ says the LORD. ‘Do I close up the womb when I bring to delivery?’ says your God. ‘Rejoice with Jerusalem and be glad for her…'” (Isaiah 66:9-10)
So, REJOICE WITH ME! My story is unexpectedly born, and it is now ready for you to read.
I have waited four long years for the release of my memoir. At first I gave power to the person who threatened it with legal action if I published it traditionally. But two months ago, a new realization dawned on me. God is bigger than any situation. He is stronger. He is good. And, HE is the one in control.
I don’t know why it has taken me this long to understand, but now I have a different perspective: “We wait in hope for the Lord, for he is our help and shield.” (Psalm 33:20) No more do I hope for that person to change their mind, instead I hope in God. HE is the one in charge. HE will do what is right, and HE will do it at the right time.
It can take years to realise that we have been unfair to ourselves. We can give all our energy to help others fulfil their dreams, but forget about our own. We can enable others to flourish, but neglect ourselves.
Just last night I read a verse I have read a hundred times, and for the first time I noticed a word – YOUR. “Enlarge the place of YOUR tent, stretch YOUR tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen YOUR cords, strengthen YOUR stakes.” (Isaiah 54:2)
God gave everyone of us a tent…
- T – talents to develop
- E – emotions to listen to
- N – needs to fulfil
- T – time to be ourselves
Finally, I too am paying more attention to my tent.
Photo by Yash Raut on Unsplash
I too have been looking back, aching over a broken relationship. But I hurt so much, I lost my sense of direction. I lived in the past and forgot about now.
Then I came upon a verse, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing!” (Isaiah 43:18-19) Forget? How could I?
But forget also means to deliberately stop thinking about something, and not to bring it to mind. Because sometimes we slip into a relentless time-warp, where we relive our grief again and again.
And when I could choose to turn my head from the past, I began to see what God is doing, giving me something new. A strength of heart to live with love and joy.