Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Sitting In The Rubble

Of all that I have experienced in my thirty-six years on this earth, nothing has changed me or impacted me as much as that day I accepted God's forgiveness.  Really accepted it.  The day I understood that the Cross was for me.  That I was worthy to be called unworthy and deserving of Jesus' death and resurrection.

When my eyes were opened to the extent of my sin and I had to face what a vile person I was, it wrecked me.  It tore me apart.  To the point that there were days I wasn't sure I could survive.  I couldn't believe everything I had done, all the people I had hurt, all the lies I had believed and the lies that I told.  I still have times where I think back to that time in my life and question, "Who were you?  What kind of person does that?"  I find myself appalled at my behavior.  At the audacity I had, the arrogance in my heart.  Honestly, I hope that I never, ever stop being appalled by the choices I made for so many years.

I was living in sin and having the time of my life prior to 2012.  I thought I was truly happy.  I thought I finally had what I wanted-a man who would appreciate me and make me feel like I was the only woman in the world.  Never mind the messed up logic that should have screamed out at me that I couldn't be the only woman in the world in the eyes of this otherwise married man.

It's was all so absurd.  I am still so ashamed of the person I became and the things that I did.  Not that I am living in shame and defeat.  I believe there is a very real and important difference.  Shame used to dictate my life.  It covered me so completely and defined me.  It called me guilty when God called me forgiven.  But now that I understand that God's grace was freely given to me, that Jesus' death on the Cross covered my sin, I think it is okay to feel ashamed of what I did.  It keeps me grounded.  It keeps me accountable.  What should worry me is if I ever get to a point that I fail to feel ashamed for what I did.  I can feel ashamed, but not be consumed with shame.  It's a delicate balance, but I know whose I am.  I know I am called forgiven, beloved, child of God.  So shame no longer has a hold in my life or calls me by name.

This is where the walls gave way
This is demolition day
All the debris, and all this dust
What is left of what once was
Sorting through what goes and what should stay

Every stone I laid for You
As if You had asked me to
A monument to Holy things
Empty talk and circling
Isn’t that what we’re supposed to do

I needed to be devastated by what I had done.

I needed to be as broken as I was when the truth finally came out.

I needed to despise myself so completely and find myself sitting in the rubble of my mistakes and sin.  If I hadn't been brought to that place, I never would have found the healing I so desperately needed.

There is so much truth to be found in the song The Unmaking, by Nichole Nordeman.  This is a song that has spoken to my heart over and over again.  It fills me with so many emotions, gratitude being the most frequent.  When my sin came into the light and the truth was revealed, everything I had ever known or loved was torn down.  Shattered.  I sat in broken pieces, crying out for rescue.  I didn't know what the next step would be, or how I would even take in one more breath.

What happens now?
When all I've made is torn down
What happens next?
When all of You is all that's left

But it was in that place of brokenness, sitting in the rubble, that I saw Christ.  If I looked down or around me, all I could see was the devastation that my selfish choices had wrought.  It was sitting in that rubble that I could hear a voice saying, Look up.

When you are sitting in the middle of your own mess and you look up, do you know what you see?  Your focus actually changes.  You no longer see all the dirt and grime and destruction around you.  When you raise your eyes to the heavens, you see the stars.  You see nothing of the ashes that are covering you.  You are finally looking outside of yourself, outside of the mess you are in.

When you get to this place, when you can humble yourself enough to look up and cry out to God, that's when the truth becomes clear.

There are so many lines in the song linked below that speak to me. The lyrics are so incredibly powerful, especially to one whose life has been uprooted and turned upside down by a God who loved me enough to devastate me.

What happens now
When all I’ve made is torn down

This is the unmaking
The beauty in the breaking
Had to lose myself
To find out who You are
Before each beginning
There must be an ending
Sitting in the rubble
I can see the stars

I had to be unmade, in order to be reformed. Reforged.

I'm a bit of a nerd so I am in love with all things Lord of the Rings.  I love this scene where Arwen asks Elrond to reforge Narsil for Aragorn.  The sword was broken in battle and laid shattered, in pieces.  It remained that way, until Arwen stepped in and sought to have the sword reforged.  What had lain in devastation for many years was reforged into something new, a new sword to be called Anduril.

This sword was not the same sword.  You cannot reforge something and expect it to be identical.  But there is beauty in reforging something.  When something is broken, it is an amazing thing to be able to take those pieces and reforge them into something new.  This is what God does with our brokenness.  When we are sitting in the rubble, he can take all the devastation and reforge our hearts.  He gives us a second chance to fight!  I don't know about you but I find that exciting!

Only when we’re broken, are we whole

Let that sink in.

Only when we're broken are we whole.

So what do we do with that? We take those broken pieces that surrounded us, we pick them up and we build an altar to worship the God who had made us new.

I’ll gather the same stones where
Everything came crashing down
I’ll build You an altar there
On the same ground

‘Cause what stood before
Was never Yours

Have you been so broken, so devastated by your own sin that you feel like the rubble will crush you? I want to encourage you to look up to the stars. Embrace the unmaking. It's only when we're broken that we are whole.

All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for your insights. I love this song and the hope it conveys