Tuesday, March 6, 2012

"Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings"

The LORD will guide you always;
he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like a spring whose waters never fail.
Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins
and will raise up the age-old foundations;
you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls,
Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.

Isaiah 58:11-13

I woke up this morning feeling really down. Sad. Worried. Afraid. Wounded.

My thoughts kept returning over and over to hard words and accusations that have been cast at me in the past. Harsh words hurt. Harsh words from loved ones crazy hurt. And they linger. I know what they are. I know their intent, and it was not so much to hurt me as to justify outrageous, abusive behavior. The words meant that I deserved it. It is not so shocking, so ugly, so evil to abuse someone who deserves it. The words were never about me. They were about the abuser. I know that.

Still, some days those words feel like they have been permanently engraved on my heart. In my mind. There have been times when, in desperation, I have taken sandpaper to those words, scrubbing at them frantically until the pain stopped me. They are written too deeply. All I was got for my efforts was more words - crazy, drug addict, alcoholic, cutter. More justification for more abuse.

There is only one way to permanently erase these words. I need new words. And they need to be from someone higher than I am. I could tell myself that I am a good person, but what if I am not? Abusers tell themselves that they are good people. The most powerful deception in the world is self-deception. I need to hear it from a higher authority, someone who knows me better than I know myself.

Yesterday, I was going through some papers and I came across a few old sermons that I had written and preached years ago. One of them was called, "Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings." It was from a passage in Isaiah. New words. My hope today is as it was then, to be a repairer of broken walls, a restorer of streets with dwellings. To live my life for God, in His service, doing His heart's desire. Bringing His restoration, His healing, His hope and love to my world.

It is not enough to simply try not to think of the ugly words. They need to be replaced with something better. Something true. So, today, I am a child of God, a mother, a wife, a sister, a daughter, a friend, a helper, a writer, and a Repairer of Broken Walls, a Restorer of Streets with Dwellings. I am flawed, but growing. My land make feel sun-scorched at times, but my needs are always met. There is life in the garden of my heart, my soul. There is Life in my spirit. I fall, but I get back up. I try. And because of God's love and mercy for me when I fall, every time I hit the gravel face-first I have more compassion for others who trip and fall.

Most of all, I am loved. Passionately. Eternally. Gracefully. Totally. Intimately.

There. That feels better.

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