Feelings of Insignificance and Our Significance in Jesus

beauty-out-of-brokenness

When I was in Kindergarten, I walked to school. At the street crossing, a traffic cop directed traffic with hand signals and a whistle. One day I clutched a brand new box of crayons. At the signal I began to walk. Halfway across the road, the bottom popped out of my crayon box. I scrambled to retrieve my precious crayons, but the cop said, “No! Keep going!” I was hurried to the other side, and I sobbed as the passing cars ground my crayons into blotches of color on the pavement.

For some reason, this incident touched a deep chord in me. I remember feeling so insignificant. Wasn’t I worth it? Couldn’t the cop have helped me pick them up really fast? Why didn’t anyone care about my crayons, something that was so important to me?

Insignificant. Not worth loving. Not worth caring about. Often the feeling I felt in my childhood. Next week I’ll be 60 already, and that feeling still ravages my heart at times.

The truth is I’m sometimes my worst enemy. I too often treat myself as that cop and those cars treated my crayons. I crush myself with self-condemnation when I believe and internalize all the lies that taunt me. When I let them flatten me. When I let them define me. When I let compliments run off me like water off the back of a duck.

It takes so much energy though to keep addressing feelings and persevere in reminding myself of the truth. I can read the verses that show me who I really am in Christ Jesus over and over, but sometimes they refuse to slide from my head into my heart. I love to encourage others with these truths, but it’s hard for me to believe them for myself.

In Jesus’ time on earth, children were not valued either. But Jesus showed everyone differently by inviting children to come to Him. He took time to listen to children’s concerns and joys. He loved them so much and showed it in His kindness towards them, making them feel special and significant. His intentions towards them were always pure and honorable, wanting to help them instead of harm them.

Inside me there is still a child that feels abandoned and rejected. Unlovable and worthless. There is still a child crying to be validated and valued. To be loved and accepted just as I am. To be comforted, not hurt.

I get so confused sometimes. So frustrated and depressed. Why do those feelings still sometimes have such a hold on me? I want them wiped out forever, but they stick like gorilla glue.

I think I’m still walling up my heart. I’m still fearing to truly let Jesus in. Oh, sometimes I open the door a crack and let His love amaze me and comfort me. But so easily I slam the door shut again. It makes me cry, and my heart aches with longing for Him. So why do I keep doing it? I can’t live without Him, but I’m still so often afraid. Oh, how patient He is with me. He never gives up on me. He just keeps knocking. He just keeps yearning for me to open my heart wide so He can apply His liniment of love to heal those broken places. To lift that little girl in me and hold her to Himself. To whisper how precious and lovable she is to Him.

Do you feel unloved, unlovable, and insignificant? Jesus invites our inner child and our adult selves to pour out all our hurts to Him. He already knows them, but He still wants us to allow Him to touch those places we are so scared to allow anyone access to. He waits and longs for us to open our walled hearts and trust He wants to heal us, not harm us. To excavate those feelings of insignificance and lay them open to His healing love. To let His love define who we really are.

When His love defines us, rejection turns to acceptance. Our nothingness turns to priceless value. Our brokenness turns to beauty.

“He heals the brokenhearted
And binds up their wounds
[healing their pain and comforting their sorrow].”
Psalm 147:3 AMP

“Therefore the Lord waits [expectantly]
and longs to be gracious to you,
And therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you.
For the Lord is a God of justice;
Blessed (happy, fortunate) are all those
who long for Him [since He will never fail them].”
Isaiah 30:18 AMP

“And provide for those who grieve in Zion–
to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes,
the oil of joy instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the LORD for the display of His splendor.”
Isaiah 61:3

signature2
WonderfullyMade-240x300

“Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)”
by Hillsong United

cutecolorsplant1c

Linking up with: 

Holley – Coffee For Your Heart 

Jennifer – Tell His Story 

Kelly – Cheerleaders of Faith

Barbie – Weekend Whispers

OneWordCoffee5_Badge5-300x300

God’s Love Can Shine Through Our Brokenness

cracked-pot

A heavy gloom weighted down my soul, and I felt like staying under the covers and curling into a ball. I had no desire to get up and face the day. But I grudgingly put one foot in front of another. I felt like a good-for-nothing. Again. I tried to cling to God’s promises, but He felt so distant. Again. Please help me, God!

I finally convinced myself to read some blog posts. As I try to communicate more with other bloggers, I am finding kindred spirits and I often find hope in their posts. I started out with a calling to encourage others, but God has often used others to encourage me. As I checked my email, there was a reply to one of my comments on a blog. One line really opened my eyes and heart that day:

“This cracked pot is happy to shine for the Lord
in her brokenness and woundedness!”
(Joy Lenton)

I so easily see myself as a cracked pot that’s good for nothing, but I need to remember that more light can shine through a cracked pot than a whole one. I don’t need to be completely healed inside first in order for the light of Jesus to shine.

Looking back at raising my children, I feel like I was too broken to be a good mother, but I forget that Jesus’ love could still shine through all the cracks and spill over onto my children. My children know I love them, and I am harder on myself than they are on me. I gaze at all my mistakes and failures and only glance at how much God’s love and grace helped me through so many difficulties. I need to not even give a second glance to my failures and gaze instead on the love of Jesus that cleanses us. To pour out all my imperfections at the foot of His perfect sacrifice.

I often struggle with what my purpose is here on earth. I confess that it’s hard for me to see God’s purpose in the limitations of chronic illness, but God can use that brokenness, too. I probably wouldn’t have this website if I didn’t have limited energy. And I can’t always see the purpose in my  inner woundedness either, and I wonder how God can use me. So often when I write I am trying to convince myself. I love to encourage, but it’s not always easy to apply it to my own heart. I hope my writing doesn’t sound like I have it all together. I only hope Jesus’ love shines through all the brokenness.

I so easily forget that God loves cracked pots. And He uses them, too! Yes, He is the Healer and He can fix those cracks in the blink of an eye, but often He chooses healing to be a process. If we never felt wounded or broken, He could not use us as much for others who are broken.

“God has a plan for purpose and beauty in your life –
not despite your past, but because of it.”

~ Tracie Miles in Your Life Still Counts.

Do you feel too broken to be of any use to God? Do you wonder how His light could ever shine through you? Do you feel like your life has no real purpose? You’re not alone. Let’s remind each other that God loves cracked pots. The light of His love can shine through the cracks, however broken we may feel. He longs for us to bring all our brokenness to Him and ask Him to fill us with so much light that His rays will shine through the cracks and warm every heart around us.

“We now have this light shining in our hearts,
but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars
containing this great treasure.
This makes it clear that our great power

is from God, not from ourselves.”
~ 2 Corinthians 4:7

cutecolorsbutterflyline

“Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus (Look Up)”

A Beautiful Song of Hope by Nichole Nordeman 

Even when you feel broken,
Jesus’ love in your heart
can shine through the cracks!

Signature

cutecolorsplantline1

Linking up with: 

Holley – Coffee For Your Heart 

Jennifer – Tell His Story 

Kelly – Cheerleaders of Faith

Bonnie – Faith Barista’s Beloved Brews

Restless Until We Rest in Jesus

woman and Jesus

Do you ever feel restless in your soul? Restless for rest in Jesus? Like you know it’s Jesus you need but still you keep trying so many ways to fill up the lack you feel with so many different things? Nothing helps, and you know who can help, but you’re afraid to trust… He will reject me, too, just like people do. He doesn’t have time for someone like me. I’m too unclean. Will He really care and love me just as I am?

I’ve been thinking a lot this past week of a certain woman (Mark 5:25-34, Luke 8:43-48). We’re not told her name. We just know she was broken and very sick. She had already hemorrhaged blood for twelve long years! She spent all the money she had on physicians, but not one could help her. She just became sicker, weaker, more hopeless.

Isn’t that so like us? We will try everything else first for healing in our souls, but we don’t dare to trust our souls to Jesus. Like this woman, we come to the end of ourselves, desolate, and desperate.

Then she heard Jesus came back to Galilee. He is here! Her only hope left! The restlessness in her soul would not let her be still. She had to get to Jesus, her only Rest, her only Hope, her only Healer.

Other people who wanted to see Jesus perform more miracles pushed and shoved to get near to Him. But this woman didn’t seek Him to see more miracles. She desperately needed a miracle for herself. She was despised, rejected, cast out as unclean, and she needed a Savior.

I can imagine her emaciated body stumbling weakly along, perhaps even crawling, pushing herself beyond her strength, pressing on and squeezing herself between so many people as she thought to herself, “If I can just touch even the hem of His garment, I will be healed.”

There! As her desperate emptiness touched the edge of His cloak, she immediately felt the blood stop flowing. She felt renewed, restored, whole. What a sigh of relief as she gave all her soul to Jesus, resting in Him and His love. She became whole not only physically, but her emotional brokenness healed, and spiritually her sins were washed away by the cleansing blood of Jesus.

“Who touched me?” Jesus asked gently. He gazed around, searching the hearts of those nearby. No one admitted it.

His disciples said, “But Jesus, how can You ask that? Just look at this crowd pressing around You.”

But Jesus said, “Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from Me.”

Jesus continued looking at the people around Him. But why did Jesus ask when He knows all things? He knew exactly who it was, but He wanted her to come forward. To freely pour out all her brokenness with no shame. To confess her absolute need of His healing. To glorify Him with her praise of His unexpected, unconditional, miraculous healing of her body and soul.

Oh, what now? She knew she could no longer go unnoticed. She knew she could no longer keep silent. She knew she must fall down at His feet with her heart wide open, holding nothing back. As she trembled at His feet, she told Him the whole truth.

“Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace. Your suffering is over,” Jesus gently replied. And the soothing balm of His love and grace refreshed her.

All this was happening in front of the crowd. People who cast her aside as not worthy of their notice, their attention, their love. But Jesus unashamedly included her and pulled her into belonging. He healed all her brokenness. He even marked her as His precious daughter, and He loved her with all His heart.

Do you feel broken? In your body, your emotions, your mind, your spirit, your very soul? Jesus cares for restless, broken, burdened souls. He can and will heal. He is always ready and willing and has already paid the price.

Jesus Whispers:

Come, My dear child,
Touch My garment.

Let your brokenness be turned to beauty,
Your emptiness filled with My fullness,
Your captivity be released to freedom.

Come, My precious child,
Rest your restless soul in Me.

cutecolorsanibear14

“I Need You, Jesus, to Come to My Rescue”
by Hillsong

Praying our restless hearts will find rest in Jesus!
Signature

21 Days of Rest: Finding Spiritual Whitespace