Last week I was reflecting on all God had done for me over the last 15 years. I found myself crying out to him, giving thanks as, story after story, I saw how he mended, repaired, loved, showed up, and was just there with me, loving me.
When Jeremy and I first started dating again after college (8 years after college), I was living in the only thing I could afford at the time, a small, run-down apartment attached to a water factory. It was yucky with yucky memories of a previous life and was a place where I had to call the cops twice a month because there was always suspicious behavior going on around the back of the water factory. One time a guy was arrested because he had picked up a woman from Dollar General, and drove her behind my apartment. It was about midnight so I called the cops and they found an illegal sized knife in his bag, duct tape, and rope. Another time, my car was broken into and everything stolen. Where I lived just looked like a part of the factory, not an apartment so people always thought it was just an empty lot. Meanwhile I’m peeking out of my window every time I hear a car outside and making sure my door security bar was tight.
One room was where I would get ready and there was a broken mirror that sat on a basket on the floor. I would sit on the floor and get ready every morning. I had done it for years. It just kind of became a way of life. Jeremy says when he saw me sitting on the floor in front of my broken mirror his heart broke. Not just because it was a broken mirror, or even all the other physical brokenness of where I lived, but because for several years prior I had lived in so much brokenness this was a kind of representation of it all.
So, a few weeks before our wedding day Jeremy said he had a surprise for me. I went over to his house, soon to be “our” house, and he took me to one of the spare bedrooms and opened the door. I just stood there, soaking it all in. My eyes moved around the room. It was an entire room for me to “get ready in.” He, himself, built custom made closets and shelves that spanned the room wall to wall on two different walls. He painted it one of my favorite colors of pink. He put down a beautiful rug. And the last thing he wanted to show me was a sitting area with a beautiful little seat, a desk to keep all my girly stuff, and the biggest WHOLE mirror I had ever seen. He said there would be no more broken mirrors.
It was seriously like the time Patrick Swayze said, “Nobody puts Baby in the corner”! I had someone fighting FOR me! I had someone come along and start to love me out of brokenness. I cried and was beyond thankful. For the room yes, but more for him. After everything I had been through in the few years before that moment he was like my knight in shining armor times ten. That previous life made me KNOW, deep down in my heart how much he loved me. It made me never want to take him for granted. I knew what life was like without this kind of love and I would never be there again.
It’s the most beautiful image of how Christ comes in when we let him, and he covers us with love and protection and he picks up all our broken pieces and makes us whole. Whole in him. His love for us is the most wonderful love story in history. A short time before my husband and I would see each other again for the first time in 8 or 9 years, in that run-down apartment, with all my hurts and weakness and pain I found myself laying on my face in the bathroom floor. I was weeping unlike anything I had ever experienced. I was in so much pain and had so much brokenness in my heart that I KNEW I needed God. I knew that I had gotten myself in this place because I didn’t have a relationship with him. Because I had walked away from what I did know of him. I turned my back on him because I thought I could do a better job of making life decisions. And then the day came when I realized how far OFF course I had gone. How deep I was in pain and yuckiness, and all I could do was cry out for him to help me. If he would still have me. I remember saying, “Could you possibly still love me? I am SO FAR from you. I am desperate. Desperate for you to save me.” I was moved more than I could ever write about with the overwhelming love and comfort I felt deep down inside. I felt him saying I love you. I have been waiting for you. And I cried out, “But I have NOTHING TO GIVE YOU.” And I heard, All I need is your heart. Broken and all.
So that day I gave him my broken heart. I wanted him so badly in my life I didn’t care what I had to give him or what he wanted to do with my life. From that point on, I started running everything in my life like a conveyor belt that had to pass by God before it came/stayed in my life. I started growing in the Lord. I was walking WITH him in life, in relationship. And he mended, loved, and nourished me back to wholeness in Him. He loved me out of my brokenness. I am still growing, still working out my salvation, but now I KNOW that he is my refuge, my hope. My husband is an earthly picture of Christ’s love for me. A love I never thought I would have on this earth. The Lord has a purpose for me in this life. And for you too. If you do not have a relationship with him, enter into one with him. Ask him to save you from your sins and give your life to him. You will never, ever, ever, ever regret it. After all the darkness, I had LIGHT. And you can too. You do not have to stay “used to” your brokenness. That is not what God has intended for you. He wants to make you whole.
And now that room has two little boys living in it. And beside that room is another room with two little girls living in it. The broken girl in the broken apartment looking in the broken mirror thought she would never have children of her own. But the whole girl made whole in Christ looking in the whole mirror saw four sweet little faces looking back at her. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; A NEW LIFE HAS BEGUN!” 2 Corinthians 5:17
“But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge; I will tell of all your deeds.” Psalm 73: 28
Please feel free to reach out to me any time for prayer, encouragement, or questions.