Thursday, February 11, 2010

I can do all things...

Last summer I found myself in a vulnerable, almost unbearable place in life when all of my past heartaches resurfaced with a dreadful vengeance. I had no choice but to acknowledge them, the many layers and facets that have made me who I am today. Wishing to receive those memories only from afar in hopes that I wouldn’t have to relive them over and over again, if only it worked like that, but they came close by so that healing could take place. And I had take hold of every shard of glass, the broken pieces of me knowing that in the end I would be the mosaic masterpiece, a person that I could look at face to face in the mirror and smile at.

I had spoken to teenagers and to crowds of women telling them my story of a girl who was broken and just because you’ve been broken doesn’t mean you have to say that way. I was whole and healed, I could share aloud my story in hopes of inspiring them to live by letting go of the heartache we hold onto as our badge of honor. But somehow my brokenness resurfaced taking me to a deeper place of searching after God for new answers to old questions.

Early on in life I had to learn to rip off the mask I often hid behind. I was twenty-two and in ministry, wasn’t I to have it all together in some form of perfection? Not exactly, but I didn’t know this. It wasn’t until I had to live through one of my worst nightmares of miscarrying babies that I desperately wanted. As I felt the ache of empty arms an entire congregation watched me, many of them never knowing what to say as they cradled their little ones safely in their arms.

A year would pass as I was properly diagnosed and treated so that my body could sustain a healthy pregnancy, my waiting turned out to be three years, and then my miracle came wrapped perfectly in pink, the little girl I would name after my favorite Jane’s. I would give her the middle name of my mother, my mother-in-law, and the witty preacher’s daughter and my hero, Jane Austen. Not knowing at the time that I would hope to follow in Miss Austen’s by attempting to write a love story with hidden messages trying to free women from having to fit a particular mold.

When my Whitley Jane was fourteen months old I found out I was expecting again and yes, I did that on purpose knowing that I might have only a short amount of time to have my children. Being a self-professed girly, girl I was thrilled when I found out that I was having another baby girl. In the stillness and stark quiet I find myself whispering in their ears, “You can be anything, you can do all things through Christ.” And as I whisper those sacred words, I realize that I need to believe those same words were meant for me as well.

“Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state that I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Phil 4:11-13)