JK, it’s actually for free… not some Jenny Craig Program for the heart or something…
Last week, my women’s Bible study group was studying about brokenness. And as I was one of the youngest in the group, I didn’t feel like I had much life experience to share. People shared about broken relationships with spouses and family members and parents. People shared about death and mental disorders and other severe chronic ailments…
Mine? A breakup… sounds quite silly and young… actually. But I figured I’d still share. So I briefly, yes, very briefly, shared the break up that started this blog 3 years ago, and started me on my journey of healing and restoration. The women in my group were very gracious. Instead of blowing me off or saying, “Darling, no worries, there are much bigger obstacles down the road, wait till you have kids… ” or something like that, they listened and nodded and grieved with me, but also celebrated in my healing and restoration and recovery!
As I left the Bible study, I drove away in my car with the radio on, and one of my current favorite songs, Free by Dara Maclean, came on.
It starts out with this verse:
Hurting heart (hard) and broken wings
Cannot stop Your love from always finding me
No more days wasting away
I finally realize the gift inside of me
So initially, when I heard the song, I thought the first line said, “Hurting hard and broken wings”, but later when I looked up the lyrics, I realized she was singing hurting heart. But, for me, hurting hard seemed much more appropriate. Because at that time, I didn’t just feel like I had a hurting heart that was throbbing in pain… I felt like I was hurting (all over, not just my heart) HARD, like all of me was in severe pain, hurting really really hard.
I truly think that when I was so hurt, that God came and found me, instead of waiting for me to find God in my pain. (thus the second line of the lyrics). And I remember my first 2 weeks after the break up, I felt like I was living, but not really… more well described as a walking corpse, doing all the routine things, but feeling like my soul and spirit had left me. I felt like my body was wasting away because of lack of sleep and lack of appetite. Then I lived my days not really remembering what was going on… like days wasted away in those first 2 weeks.
And then, slowly at first (even right after the first few weeks of break up), and then more powerfully later on, I start recognizing God’s gift in me, not just the peace and protection and rescue… but the changing and transformation. Of making my pain and hurt and seemingly a chip on the shoulder and a slash in my life become radiant and beautiful and a way to glorify God.
It’s been so long since the break up, and so many things have happened! I grew spiritually in new ways, I started dating again, I opened new ministries, I started dating a special guy, I got married, I moved to the Midwest, I’m about to graduate with my doctorate, I was offered my dream job, and I accepted it…. on and on and on. SO many blessings, so many changes.
In that study, it helped me revisit my once torn up soul and broken body and throbbing heart. It made me realize how far we’ve come (God and I), and how far He’s taken me.
The next two lines of that song:
My strength alone will never be enough
But Your arms keep lifting me up
I’m reminded how God has not only been faithful to me, but He’s lifted me up and helped me soar on wings like eagles! As you can see from all my recent posts, I’m more caught up in trying to settle into this Midwest life and find a new community and make new friends. I think the study was great in how it made me stop and think back, it made me look back to where I had come from. And how much God has FREED me!
You tell me I’ve been made free
You give me everything I need to walk in my dreams
You whisper words that free my soul
You’re the reason I have hope
You’re everything I need and more
You made me
You made me free
These lyrics from the chorus of the song really remind me how God has freed me, how He whispers words, constantly, that free my soul, free my heart, free myself from all the hurt and pain. God became the reason why I had hope in those dark times, even though my body and everything I saw were just sadness. And He did, He gave me everything I needed to walk in my dreams, including the strength, the faith, the friends and family, the support, the encouragement, the chance, the wisdom, the direction, EVERYTHING.
It made me once again, just so thankful. And I think part of sharing our brokenness during the study is to be transparent and grieve and support one another. But I also think, for me at least, a big part was realizing how far we’ve come, and how much God has provided and been faithful, and to count our numerous blessings and be completely thankful and joyful of how God is freeing us, has freed us, and will continue to free us from all things!!