Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Broken but blessed.

The Lord has really put on my heart to share what we talked about during women's bible study last week. I know that a lot of people who read my blog are heart moms or moms of babies in Heaven. It was through praying for other moms whose blogs I follow that God revealed something so special to me in His Word. Something that has radically changed the way I feel about my situation and how to go about living life without Luke here.

Genesis 32:22-31

He was known as a deceitful man, one who did whatever it took to get his way. His name, Jacob, meant "supplanter, schemer, cheater; one who grabs from behind." Through his schemes, he had accumulated much wealth.  For many years he had been running from the truth but that night, he could not run any longer.

He had sent all of his wives, servants and company...everything he had across the Jabbok River and was left on the riverbank completely alone with his doubts, dreams and fears. He was troubled not only by his past, but also his future. The next morning he was to meet up with Essau, the brother that he had wronged and stolen from years ago. His brother was much larger and stronger than Jacob and as he thought more and more about his situation, fear began to sink into his heart. Surely, his brother would take everything from him or possibily even kill him. He needed some answers, some assurance as he faced the future and yet...that night, he sat completely alone.

It could have been that Jacob began to pray that night. In the agony of his soul, he cried out to God. Perhaps, for the first time in his life, Jacob earnestly began to wrestle in prayer...then, something happened. He was no longer alone by the riverside. It was as though he sensed that God was really present with him. God's presence and purpose became more and more real to him until, suddenly, He was real! His uplifted arms were actually clinging to God, Himself! There God was...flesh to flesh...bone to bone...in human form!

They wrestled through the night until the match reached a turning point...God touched Jacob in the hollow of his thigh and dislocated his hip joint. Suddenly, Jacob was weakened and immobilized. He yelled out in unbearbale pain as he stopped wrestling and started clinging!

You see, there is a difference between wrestling and clinging. To "wrestle" is to contend and fight for dominance. However, to "cling" is to hold on to, to grasp in desperation. Even though it hurt, even though he was broken beyond measure - Jacob refused to let go. Instead of crying out in pain and running the other direction, his grip tightened and his knuckles turned white holding onto this heavenly being. In that moment, the same God whom he had wrestled with all night became his answer to prayer, his only hope...his everything.

As morning dawn began to break, the pre-incarnate Christ instructed for Jacob to let go - however, Jacob responds back in a  life-changing way.

"I will not let you go until you bless me." - Genesis 32:26

God, in turn, blessed Jacob, not because He had to or was forced to, but because Jacob was finally ready to receive the blessing. "What is your name?" God asked. Yet what He was really asking Jacob was, "Who are you?" As Jacob clung on to Him in pain, he answered, "I'm Jacob, the schemer, the one who grabs from behind, the scared mama's boy, the con-man, the self-centered, self- serving, self-sufficient one!" Then God said, "Your name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for you have wrestled with God and prevailed." It was as if God was saying, "This is who you were...but because you have wrestled through your faith and prevailed, you will never be same."

This is the part I love...

God did not bless him by taking away Jacob's brokenness...even though that may have been what Jacob was asking for at the time. Instead, He blessed Jacob in a way that was unexpected by giving him a new name...a new purpose. From that night on, Jacob would forever walk with a limp...a physical reminder of both the brokenness and the blessing. His limp was outward sign to everyone who met him that he was changed. His physical pain must have been beyond measure and I am sure that every day, for the rest of his life, his hip would cause him great misery. Yet, I am sure that Jacob would gladly take the pain for the joy he received in being made new that night. To him, everything he would endure physically in the days to come, were worth it all for that one moment...that one touch. Jacob was forever broken, but he was also forever blessed.

I think about my life before Luke and the way that I viewed my faith and my relationship with Christ. I was strong, I thought that I had it all together. However, during the days of his diagnosis, birth and surgeries...I admit that I did my fair share of  wrestling with God. I began to pray, seek and question Him in a way that I never had before. Some days I couldn't help but be bitter and angry...after all, it was was MY baby that was sick, MY dreams that were fading away. Yet, God is faithful and understanding during our weakest times. He allowed me to be mad, to cry, to scream out at Him...He knew that it was in the battle that my faith began to grow stronger.

Then, the morning light came on July 10th, 2010. Luke's condition had worsened and I knew that it was time to let go...yet the mother inside of me wanted to hold on even tighter. Finally, that night as Luke left my arms, I felt as if Christ literally reached down and touched me. Oh, did it hurt!...but even in my pain, even in the agony of losing my sweet baby...I found myself holding on to Jesus tighter than I ever had before. Now, five months later, I still have not let go. The pain is still there and  I still wake up each day with an ache in my heart for a baby I will never see grow. My heart literally hurts so bad at times it is all I can do not to scream out in pain. Luke is gone and because of his absense, I am forever wounded - yet forever changed...forever blessed.


If it weren't for Luke's story...I would not see my life the way that I do today. I would not love this deeply. I would not pray this hard. I would not be as bold with my faith as I am. I would not wake up every day ready to change the world. I am forever changed...forever blessed.

God showed me through this Scripture to look at my brokenness, not as a pain or thorn in my side...but as my very own life-changing blessing. To realize that I will always be broken and instead of trying to fix my brokenness - that I should accept it as a part of who I am and will always be. To embrace my tears, my aches, my bad days knowing that as much as I am broken, I am equally blessed. My brokenness and blessing will continue coexist, side by side the rest of my life; there will never be one without the other...and that is okay with me.

What you speak into your life is what you will get back out of it. So often, we allow satan to be glorified in our lives by focusing more on what we do not have instead of giving God glory for all that is ours. I could live life every day thinking about the son that I don't have - but instead, I find peace in giving God glory for giving me not just a son...but a blessing that has forever changed my life. I encourage you...instead of crying out constantly to God about your brokenness, be changed in praising Him for your blessing. They are, after all...so often one in the same.

My prayer every day this week has been..."God, I'm not letting go...I'm not giving up. Even when its hard and even when it hurts, I choose to hold on to you. I will not let go until you bless me."

And sure enough, He has... and He is.

He wants to bless you too. Don't let go, don't give up...no matter how hard it may seem right now. Sometimes life's greatest blessings come when you wake up and realize that being broken can be breathtakingly beautiful.


  1. I am printing this out so I can read it again, and again, and again. Thank you for sharing this. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  2. I've never read your blog before, and in an attempt to put off things I really needed to do, I came across it for the first time. You are so inspiring! You are so gracious to God and your love and understanding of how he has your life planned out is uplifting. You aren't dwelling in the past, like many of us tend to do, but moving on and that is amazing! My life has been a struggle itself at times and I am constantly trying to remind myself that God is making me stronger and drawing me closer to Him through it all..thanks for reminding me of that once again! I appreciate you posting this. I know God has a purpose for everything.

    And congratulations on your new baby! So excited for you!

  3. So proud of you......love you forever. myrtle

  4. Amazing post. THANK YOU for sharing what God placed on your heart!

  5. This is awesome I'm going to have to print this off and pass it along to my mother in law. She is and has been for a while in a severe state of depression mainly for the loss of her parents back a few years ago. Even though she has 2 beautiful grandchildren she continues to dwell on the past and the losses. Hopefully this will help her see the good even in the midst of the bad, sadness, and loss. Beautiful words, scripture, and meaning from such a beauiful person. God is truely using you in such a wonderful way.

  6. Thank you so much for this post. I just found your blog through Megan's blog "In this wonderful life". My son was diagnosed with brain cancer at 7 1/2 months old. We have gone through 7 months of chemo and most recently a stem cell transplant.
    I felt that last paragraph speak to me. Thank you for putting your heart out there, it has helped me today!

  7. I discovered this post through a link Jill Haskins made on Bowensheart.com. As a "heart mom", of course this has special meaning to me but I know the pain I have experienced isn't as great as your pain because I still have my child. That makes your post that much more powerful. Thanks for sharing and giving me a new perspective on this familiar passage.

  8. Wow, I was so moved reading this, the Holy Spirit used your words to speak to my heart, my core! You are blessed, annointed and courageous. I just wrote a blog about being conflicted on how to share my story without coming off one without faith. But realizing it is through our brokeness His glory is magnified is just so encouraging. The part 2 of this post is incredible as well! Your boldness and stronghold to our Saviour is humbling to me, and empowering to my spirit! Thank you for seeking God's face so faithfully, it's not only exactly what I need to do more of, but you are a vessel, a force of hope to spread the Word, and the LOve of Jesus!

  9. I'm printing this out too. I'm always uplifted and encouraged reading your posts. God speaks through you.

  10. I needed this. I have never been to your blog before today either. A friend posted a link, so I followed. I needed it. I'm not a heart mom, but I have a brokenness that is really hurting me lately. I need to, once again, cling. Thank you. And if I may, can I copy some of the story of Jacob as you have written it onto my blog? I'll link it up to you, of course. Thank you again for the words.

  11. Thank you. 11 days since saying goodbye to my son and I needed your words of encouragement, too.

  12. Thank you so much for posting this. It had been awhile since reading your blog and I have been reading this post for the past few days as I've gotten time. Daniel and I are having some extreme financial issues right now, so much so that we may lose our house. It has been hard to hold onto God. I now know that in my brokenness, even though it may be hard, I still need to hold on. I know that in the end, He will bless us again. Thank you for your words and your faith!

  13. I sending up prayers and a big ol' hug for you, friend!

  14. Your words are beautiful! Thanks for sharing.

  15. Praying for you, believing the best and hoping to hear good reports soon!


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