Part 2 (Click HERE for Part 1)
The Broken Reality
On my knees with my face to the floor, I wept bitterly. In the past, I had read books about brokenness, but late that night alone in my living room floor I actually experienced it for the very first time.
The Lord had allowed me to write a post that gained more attention than I could have ever imagined. So many “friends” and strangers commented that what I had written “touched their heart,” but ironically God used my words to completely break my own heart.
I had come to a place where I was desperately trying to fix myself within my own strength but always felt defeated, unloved, and unworthy. I had lost hope in restoration, but there, in that moment of genuine brokenness, I finally found the love I had searched for my entire life.
As God revealed my “nastiness” to me, the weight of my sin felt as if it would crush me. Satan had blinded me for so long, but once my eyes were finally opened and my pride was destroyed, I could see very clearly just how deceived I had been. I can’t describe the pain and grief I felt as I begged for mercy and surrendered my stubborn spirit and unbelief. I knew without a doubt it was time to quit running and doing things my way. My only hope was a Savior.
Thankfully, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and rescues those who are crushed in Spirit” (Psalm 34:18). He met me in my vulnerable mess as the protector, defender, provider, friend, and father I had been longing for since my teenage years. For the first time, I understood the meaning of “my grace is sufficient for you, my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9).
The following day, I was contacted by the American Family Association and asked if I would be interested in blogging for The Stand. Although this was a once in a lifetime opportunity for me, I declined. I told the vice-president I was far too broken and no one from AFA would want me. He immediately replied, “Because you are broken…we want you more. Take your time to align your heart with God’s, but know that God’s light can only shine through broken vessels.”
Those words changed my life! Once again, I found myself on my knees humbly thanking God for saving a wretch like me. I couldn’t fathom why an all-knowing, faithful, perfect God would break my yoke, enable me to walk with my head held high (Leviticus 26:13), and use me, but I was willing to face my fears and “return to my first love” – no matter what the cost.
For years, I had used the excuse that I “needed” Facebook in order to sell books. However, no one needs that distraction or addiction no matter what kind of business you have or how much your relatives need to see your children. As I deactivated my account, lies from the evil one screamed that my writing career would be over, but my conquering Christ was fighting the battle of temptation for me. I was desperate to follow Jesus, and I knew all too well that I couldn’t follow Him without distraction while maintaining a presence on Facebook too. I knew I couldn’t be the mom I was designed to be, if my eyes were enticed by my screen, so much so, that I couldn’t look my children in the eye when they spoke.
I had no doubt that God had done an incredible work in me. It wasn’t enough to “take a break” from Facebook. It had to go for good because I realized God couldn’t possibly use me in this world if I couldn’t remove myself from “the world.” Though others may not have a problem with it, deleting Facebook was necessary in order for me to experience freedom, escape pointless entertainment and interruptions, and seek truth in the only Book that matters. This step enabled me to hear one voice instead of “the world.” I understood, then, why Jesus would often “withdraw from the crowds (Luke 5:16).”
I would love to say life was a bed of roses after that, but that wouldn’t be true. For months, I still continued to have very real fears. The Devil launched another full-blown attack in order to keep me oppressed and enslaved. My family had to be repaired and like the builders in Nehemiah 4:6 we had to rebuild our walls with all of our heart. As a family, we were walking through the fire of testing, but we were not alone. My husband and I committed ourselves to praying together and studying the Bible for 40 days. But through those 40 days, we experienced God like never before. Interestingly, on day 40 we met with AFA in their 40th year of operation to discuss writing opportunities. God never forgot the desires of my heart (Ps. 37:4) and He proved that He withholds no good thing (Ps. 84:11). Leading that meeting was none other than the Senior Vice-President who had loved me in spite of my brokenness and encouraged me to see that failure is not final.
Today my marriage is better than it’s ever been. When our 40 days were up, my husband and I continued reading until we had read the entire Bible together and then we started over. We have a brand-new baby boy and three happy older boys who boldly love the God that saved our family from the Devil’s snare. Repentance was a hard process, but it was abundantly worth it.
I say all of that to say, “The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them (Psalm 145:18-19).”
This means there is hope for the many women, who, like I once did, wear plastic smiles and position themselves in their church pew every week, but are slaves to sadness, sin, and shame that leave them feeling helplessly irredeemable. There is also hope for the lost young teenager who is expecting a baby after trying to find love in all the wrong places because her father was absent. There is hope for the woman battling fear because of the intense abuse she endured at home or in the workplace. There is hope for the young woman who remains single and fears she will always be alone. There is hope for the single mom who turns to alcohol because she can’t see how her little family will make it on her meager wages. There is hope for the emotionally scarred woman who is a breath away from taking her own life. There is hope for the woman who feels ignored and rejected and falls for false flattery which leads to unfaithfulness.
There is hope for the self-conscious, impressionable girl who is lured into pornography. There is hope for the woman who was told abortion was the best option for her. There is hope for the judgmental, spiteful woman who must belittle others to increase her own self-esteem because she is miserably insecure and feels worthless. There is hope for the woman battling sickness or taking care of those who are sick. There is hope for the overwhelmed young mother who abandons her family. And there is hope for the woman who expresses herself by wearing distasteful clothing and a suggestive hat while marching down a street and yelling- because that’s the only way she feels someone will hear her pain and notice her existence.
Owning the truth
Whether you are a woman who favors the March for Life or the Women’s March, the truth is…we are all “nasty” women at heart. Through my experience, I learned that we are actually more alike than different. Isaiah 64:6 says, “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags.” There is not a single woman who is without flaw. Although we may come from many different backgrounds with entirely different experiences, we all know the sorrow of loss, the pain of rejection, fear of evil, feelings of hurt and hopelessness, consequences of sin, and the need to be loved. Whether we wish to admit it or not, we are all searching for a Savior.
That Savior won’t be found in politics, nor any part of the government. Planned Parenthood won’t be a savior to women nor will same-sex rights.
The one and only Savior is Jesus Christ and it is imperative that we make that known. The numbers would be appalling if we knew how many of the angry, hateful marchers from 2017 had been rejected by believers and shunned from churches. Dr. Adrian Rogers once said that “too often our churches have become sanctuaries for snubbing sinners.” He also went on to say that “the church is known for being the only organization that shoots its own members.” This should not be so! Our church sanctuaries should be the safest places, but instead, people fear judgment and turn to the world. Many Christians today look more like Pharisees than followers of Christ. These wounded women are not our enemies and they don’t need lectures. They just need to know the endless love of Jesus who willingly suffered for their sins so that they could be redeemed and live with promise.
If women seeking social justice are vile, their march is in vain. If women claiming Christ are hypocritical, their message is hopeless and their “walk” is ineffective. Like the Casting Crowns song says, “We need to lay down our signs, cross over the lines and love like He did.” Because Jesus was indeed a friend of sinners, not just a friend to the righteous who had perfect lives. We need to extend that same grace Jesus gives to us. The folks at AFA could have easily rejected me, but instead, they loved me like Jesus and I’ve never been the same!
Our country will never experience healing if we continue the hatred. Gender issues will never be resolved until we acknowledge we were perfectly and wonderfully designed by an all-powerful Creator, who made us male and female in His magnificent image. America will never be a blessed nation if we continue to abort innocent babies. We will never make a difference if we are distracted by social media and fake news. Rights will not be gained through rebellion. We will not be victorious while obsessed with vanity and vulgarity. We will never know true freedom until we forgive. We will never be a prosperous, strong nation until we are one nation under God.
This will never be achieved until we lay down our pride, listen to each other, lovingly proclaim truth, restore the broken, and love like Jesus.
Be real. Share your story. Let your brokenness bring blessing, because “God’s light can only shine through broken vessels.” Jesus is our only hope!
You hear, O Lord, the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry, defending the fatherless and the oppressed, in order that man, who is of the earth, may terrify no more.