The Broken Beautiful
I spent last week as the nurse at Bear Lake Camp. I always look forward to this time because it is like a mini-retreat for me. I can relax from the stresses and pressures of daily life. It is a time I can focus on spending time with God in prayer and with less distractions to clearly hear His voice. Each year as I spend this focused time with God, there’s a theme from Him of what He wants to reveal to me. This year blew me away. It’s like the same lesson kept hitting me over the head. The words that kept flooding my head was how God is a Redeemer, a Restorer. That He can take broken, painful times in our lives and turn them around into beautiful blessings.
I grew up and lived around Bear Lake for about 20 years. The picture you see is part of my walking path around the camp. I took it because the sun was shining right down into the place about 15 years ago that God revealed Himself to me as my Father. I had been on a walk and was struggling with some of my choices from the past. Even though I had made some wrong choices as a teen, out of that God blessed me with a daughter and a son. The birth of my oldest, Mikayla, started me on my journey back to seeking God. That day, 15 years ago, as I walked, I was thinking about my kids and how much I loved them, and how no matter what they did, right or wrong, that I loved them unconditionally. It was in that moment that God said… I AM that same parent to you! No matter what you’ve done, good or bad, I still love you unconditionally. I AM your Daddy. It was in that moment that I took all the years of growing up in church, believing God in my head..that I finally believed God in my heart. I had a totally new revelation about who He was. I was so thankful that even though I had rebelled, refused to receive His love, and ran from Him, that he never stopped pursuing me!
So fast forward to the rest of my week at camp. I had 3 separate experiences with kids that reminded me of how God takes our past, our pain and uses it for good, if we let Him.
I had a teen girl open up to me about several things, things I struggled with as a teen. She shared a lot of the thoughts that go through her head about herself because she has made some bad choices. That she felt like God was disappointed in her, shaking His head at her. I was able to share and identify with her. We talked about how the things she’s heard in her head or from others were lies and that she can learn to replace them with God’s Word..which is Truth.
Another time I had a teen boy tell me about how his dad was in jail. I was able to share that I also had a period in my life that my dad was in jail, that I understood how hard that is. I shared that the Truth is that our earthly fathers aren’t perfect, they will let us down but that he has a Father in Heaven who is perfect, who never leaves or abandons him. That God is his Father and can love him perfectly.
A third time, I sat by another teen boy. He was telling me about how he has experienced his “first dad” left him, then he “got another one” and he abused him. This has made it very hard to trust people, he spends most of his time on his computer in his room to just get away from real life. Again, I had the opportunity to share with him about a Trustworthy Father.
Now I need to also tell you that all these experiences happened in the same day! I was sharing with my friend, and I just began to cry. First because of these kids who experience so much pain but secondly because each time God had used different experiences or times in my life that were painful that I could relate to. Over the years God had taken those painful times in my past and used them to teach me more truth about Himself. Now he was taking those lessons and allowing me the opportunity to encourage and point these kids towards a God who is truly amazing..
If you are struggling with the pain of your past choices or of the choices of others against you. I promise you that God is faithful. He can heal, restore and renew you!
Watch this video, The Broken Beautiful. It is the song that kept playing over in my head as I realized what God was reminding me this week at camp. That He can take broken things and make them beautiful.