Sunday, August 10, 2014

Is the speaker supposed to be a sobbing mess?

Seldom do really great things happen when you're comfortable.  For me, it took stepping out of what I knew and being uncomfortable to know that I was being obedient to what God was asking me to do because I didn't want to do it.  At all.

I became uncomfortable.  Like I would imagine it would feel after getting in a car wreck and the air bag deploys and punches you in the face but saves your life. 

Yesterday was huge part of healing but it hurt in a completely different kind of way than the hurt I've grown comfortable feeling.

A dear friend started a teen ministry called "Metamorphasis" and she asked me to speak at the teen conference a few months ago.  I told her I'd pray about it knowing full well I probably wouldn't because it terrified me to even consider sharing my heart, face to face, with teen girls.

God had other plans.  He laid it on my heart, I prayed about it, I knew it was something I was being called to do so I told her yes and prayed that God would speak thru me to touch the girls who would be there.

I think I sent her like 5 texts throughout the past few weeks that I couldnt do it.  I was terrified and completely freaked out.

I thought this was going to be something selfless, that I would share whatever God laid on my heart and I was confident He would speak through me and something I said would hopefully be a blessing and encourage someone there.

I get this email 30 mins before the conference started.

So yea, there to talk about my heart for Jesus, to teen girls, and being transparent and all that He's brought me through and I get black and white that someone feels pretty strongly that I don't have a sincere heart, that I'm selfish, they need to protect kids from me and who do I think I am blogging.  

So, that was kinda confusing. Until I considered the source, realized Satan was trying to derail me and kind of laughed knowing that if Satan was trying so hard to break me before it even got started that God must have some mighty moving to do.

Was feeling pretty good.

Then the first song we sang was called, "Have Your Way..." I'd never heard it.  We started singing it and immediately tears start pouring.

"Feels like I've been here forever,
Why can't you just intervene,
Do you see the tears keep falling?
And I"m falling apart at the seams,
But you never said the road would be easy,
But you said that you would never leave.
And you never promised that this life wasn't hard,
But you promised you'd take care of me."

DANG!  I love music.  I love songwriters that can write something that speaks exactly to my heart.

Song after song, speaker after speaker, testimony after testimony, skit after skit and dance after dance, God was speaking and moving so deliberatly and strongly in my heart.  One of the other gals said something about wounds and scar tissue being different.  Scar tissue is stronger because it's healed.  A wound is open and painful.  Made sense to me.  And kind of cut me because I had thought, up until I'm praying before my scheduled time to speak, I realized I'm not quite to the scar tissue part where all the broken parts are healed.  There were a lot of "gaping wounds" still fresh in my heart and all the praise and worship, the honest emotion from this girls, their hearts seeking and on fire for God, being part of something bigger than myself was exciting but completely gutted me.  It felt kind of exactly what I'd assume taking a salt bath after being cut and shattered would feel like.  Completely raw and painful.

I thought the theme of this years conference was "Beauty in the Broken".  It wasn't.  It was "Beautifully Broken."  Close but so completely different.  I told the girls I was more Hot Mess than anything and that proved to be pretty accurate.

I shared my heart.  It was painful.  There were moments I couldn't speak, the tears were falling and the weight of the pain was too much.  But it was so important for me to get through the pain to show that I wasn't staying there.  In my life, in my journey, in the middle of sharing this on stage, I'd make them laugh, I'd tell a story, I'd get to a part that really hurt, I cried through it, I prayed through it, when I couldn't speak for the tears, I took a deep breathe and I kept going when I was able. Kind of like I've lived the past 1.5 years.

I was terrified because it mattered.  I wanted those girls to see that if God can use this completely broken vessel, if I can keep trying to move forward even in the moments it hurts, they can keep going too. There was no shame in moving forward, even when it hurts, as long as you keep moving. I was a little worried that the message was getting lost in the snot and tears.

At one point I took a makeup wipe and took my makeup off in front of them, standing there on stage in my heels and jewelry and trying to look put together, with tears streaming, I took that makeup wipe, and took off all my makeup standing there in front of all these confused girls wondering what the crazy lady was doing.

I wanted them to see that it's ok to take off the mask.  I wanted them to see, in me, someone who wants to have it all together but clearly doesn't.  I wanted them to see in me someone who proudly is a Christian and sometimes as much as we want life to make sense, it just doesn't.  And it's ok to hurt and cry and be upset, but God will and can still work through you, IF YOU LET HIM!.

I was letting Him have his way.  And taking off the mask, onstage, changed me. 

My life verse for the past 9 months has been Exodus 14:14 "The Lord will fight for you, you need only be still."

I don't want that verse anymore.  I'm tired of being still.  I want answers.  I want an escape.  I want my life to stop being confused and start to make some sense.  I told another dear friend this week that God had laid that verse on my heart in Jan and I was glad it was no longer my verse because I don't like being still.  She tried to hide her laughter and very kindly told me, that's still my verse.  I was like,  nah, moving on to a different verse.

It's still my verse.

"So I'll stop searching for the answers,
I'll stop praying for an escape.
And I'll trust you God with where I Am
And believe you will have your way,
Just have your way."

I finished my testimony and tried to sing Meredith Andrew's song "You're Not Alone," which has been my anthem.  It's funny that I was most worried about being on pitch, I didn't take into consideration how hard it would be to sing through sobs.

I was trying. I warned them that I may not be able to sing the whole thing.  I tried.  I cried.  I looked out at one point and I was singing thru my tears and looked from face to face of these beautiful teenage girls that weren't judging me, they weren't laughing at honest emotion. weren't completely freaked out by my heart, they were singing along with me.  Some with smiles, others with tears streaming down their own face.

I finished and they clapped.  Then they all stood up.  Then when I walked off stage, there was a group of girls that rushed me, they ran towards me and nearly tackled me as they squeezed me into a group hug of encourgement.  I nearly melted into the floor overcome with emotion at the selflessness of these teenage girls with hearts so on fire for God and concern and love for a complete stranger.  I was completely
humbled and overwhelmed. I was praying for God to work thru me and He spent the hour working in me. Wow!

"When my friends and my family have left me,
And I feel so ashamed and so cold,
Remind me you take the broken things and turn them into beautiful.."

Sharing the hurts, pain and blessings is hard.  But compared to being completely vulnerable face to face, blogging is easy.  Writing an article is easy.  I write my heart and walk away from it, come back, edit it, pray about it, put a picture that's relevant to go along with it and hit publish.

God asked me to do something and I did it, praying that I would be a blessing somehow to others.  I never could have imagined the chang, healing and strength I would take from it.  God changed me.  In ways I never could have gotten to had I not made myself completely raw and uncomfortable.   I have spent the day reflecting, praying and seeking His answers on a lot that has been laid on my heart.

I'm broken.  That's obvious.  It's moved on to a brokenness that's no longer about the boys but the aches and longing I have for other things in my life is a pain that I can't hide. But another speaker yesterday said that when you have a light in a vase with no cracks or breaks, the light has nowhere to shine except directly up.  When there are pieces broken, the light shines even brighter through those broken places, in unexpected ways and directions.

Some new cracks were revealed to me, some balm was applied to my wounds and I felt some scar tissue forming.  It has been a very long time since I've felt, 100%, that I was exactly where God wanted me to be, broken before him, spilled out and filled up more than I've been in too long. 

I'm broken.  I'm healing.  I'm blessed and I'm seeking.  I'm obediently walking where God takes me and I wont let anyone keep my from allowing God to work in me.

I was part of something beautiful.  Something so much bigger than me and it was incredible to feel God change my heart and my life from less "Hot Mess" to more "Beautifully Broken." 


  1. Just a girl. . . An amazing girl! I am so glad you spoke at our girl's conference!!! Thank you so much!

    1. I am thankful that I was asked to be part of something so beautiful! I think you're pretty amazing too! :)

  2. I so enjoyed your message yesterday. Thank you so much for listening to God and sharing your story. I can't imagine how painful that could be, but your words definitely touched hearts. It touched mine. Thank you.

    1. I was able to be open and honest but only because God asked me to do something and even though it was hard, I knew if he asked me to do it, He'd be faithful to pull me thru it. I was blessed so much by each of you, thank you for your kindness and for letting me know your heart!